Sailing the solar wind.

by JadeCriminal

First published

Equestria: Pocket universe. Somewhat hastily made on the fly. The Mane 6: Interstellar Diplomats

Equestria is a pocket universe created by a filly Celestia when she took survivors of war amongst gods, her unborn sister and ran the heck away aboard a spelljammer style flying sail ship.

Somewhat hastily made Equestria has it quirks and foibles. The most annoying of which is the lack of certain useful elements such as copper or coal deposits.

It's time to withdraw from isolation and establish trade and diplomatic relations with the multi-verse. And Celestia knows just the six mares to do it.

First Stop? The Aber-Toril system.

(My writing pace is glacial but pokes and comments do remind me I should be writing this and thus hasten update speed to slow.)

Chapter one. A rare Event

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The turbulent chaos of the Primordium swayed ahead of of the Celestial Wind. The ship plodded on tirelessly as the chaotic sludge battered itself against the prow of the ship mercilessly testing the ship's protective enchantments. Sails secured, flaps retracted the ship was tossed about by the relentless flow of the Primordium.

Men, dwarves, gryphons and elves bled and died as the tidal forces and the probing tentacles of Darkness threatened to tear the ship apart. The Darkness was raced it's pseudopods into the air bubble that surrounded the ship whipping and slashing and the screams of dying men mingled with the groans of stressed wood.

"We'll never make it!" A sailor screamed clutching the glowing helm with a white knuckled grip as a twisting, tentacled shadow reached to tear him apart. A glory of light lanced against the darkness and he turned the wheel slightly to align the compass-beacon.

"Stay the course!" A strong, inspiring voice rang forth across the ship. A small white filly, horn blazing with holy light stood at the stern of the ship, hooves anchored and wings flared protectively over a small chrysalis. In the semi transparent crystal an outline of a purple foal could be seen.

"Stand firm and it will break against us like the mist in the morning sun!" The Unicorn yelled, her long pink mane flapping wildly in the wind and as she said it her horn started glowing once more.

As the sailors fighting against the probing tentacles and shadow stuff creatures froze as a lance of pure light flashed across the ship and deep into the Primordium arround them. The battle stopped as man and thing turned as one and watched the light pierce through the umbra of the screaming Primordial Darkness that was engulfing them. It wasn't enough. The light faded and the filly collapsed painfully, spent and exhausted, across the chrysalis that contained her unborn sister. For a moment her eyes rolled back and her head hung listlessy.

"Celestia!" A young man, barely into his growth with puppy fat of childhood still clinging to his face cried out in horror and rushed to her side. He fell to his knees at her side grasping at her head.

"It is finished." She murmured her lips moving listlessly and the young man paled.

"My light stands with yours until the end as my father stood before me. No regrets." He swore as the battle started oncemore. He drew his dagger and turned outwards his face a grim mask of determination as he stood between her and the Lashes of Darkness that were piercing through the protective shielding once more.

"No young Skyswirl." He felt a touch against his back and turned. The princess was standing shakily and pointing a hoof into the distance.

Skyswirl looked into the darkness, confused, and could see, barely a visible a mote of red light.

"What is..." he started to ask and then ignited plasma seared the darkness in an explosion of light and warmth. He was blinded but his goddess wasn't. Later she would tell him of the birth of a new sun and the circle of light and energy that carved out a stable circle into the Primordium. No he could only feel the wind and the sounds of battle fade away in the light of a new dawn.

"It is our new home." She whispered. "A new universe of safety an light for my sister and my loyal friends."

We will craft a world for us to inhabit, one of peace and harmony so that we may recover from the horrors of war and betreyal.

"We shall call it: Equestria."

Chapter 1, A Rare event.

It was almost time for Apple Buck season and Applejack carefully inspected all the trees she walked by on on her way towards the oldest apple producing tree in the orchard. It was time to perform one of granny smith's traditions: pick the apples from Old Nelly and feed them to those near and dear.

“How you doing Nellie?” Applejack asked the huge apple tree as she approached it and snorted in self reproach as the tree remained silent.

It seemed a silly thing to do, talking to trees but it was just that most folk didn't understand the Art of The Apple. Applejack knew that Old Nelly was just as alive as everything else.

Any pony could rear up on their hind-legs and buck at a tree trunk. The Art of Apple was something else entirely. Yes her work is essentially bucking trees but what most ponies failed to realize is just how much of herself Applejack poured into those trees or how much the trees gave back.

Sensing this flow of life energies, whether by instinct or practice is essential to a good, bountiful harvest and even Twilight admitted it was a part of earth pony magic. A pony with an apple tree will buck it and get a bunch of bruised apples on the ground. Applejack, and any other Apple family member for that matter will buck a carefully nurtured tree, shake the branches in an exact way and get ready to carry home baskets full of premium grade apples.

It is said that the Apple Family has the Green Hoof, which really means being good, honest and hard working. Tho a touch of Earth Pony magic and a family secret or two helped.

Applejack closed her eyes and inspected Old Nellie for varmints or sickness. Not finding even a speck of trouble she chuckled to herself.

“And I tease Twilight about mystical mambo jumbo.” she muttered to herself with a smile.

Art of the Apple was also quite useful for any pony tending a farm a stone throw away from the Ever-free forest.

Being able to buck way above her size saved Applejack's neck a couple of times and it all started here at the farm, with her beloved apple trees and the timber wolves that wanted to pollinate them.

The farmer pony smiled and patted the venerable tree with affection.

“You just keep up the good work you hear?” She smiled at the old tree as she set down the four large apple baskets beneath the tree.

Anyshing for yoush Apple Jack dearie.” A dry ancient voice responded and farmer pony whirled towards Old Nelly eye wide as saucers.

“Nelly?” She whispered in reverence. She head heard stories of old trees coming to life but this was unbelievable.

She was promptly snapped from this reverence by the annoyingly familiar chortle and belly laughter of a certain rainbow Pegasus coming from the apple branches.

“Rainbow Dash!” Applejack yelled feeling somewhat foolish. “That was a mean trick to pull.”

Rainbow Dash was rolling in the branches of Old Nelly and clutching her belly like her life depended on it.

“Hwaaah! Your face.” she chortled and managed to form a few words and then promptly went back to laughing.

Applejack frowned and then hoofed Big Nelly firmly but gently, sending vibrations across the entire tree. The apples fell into the prepared baskets while Dash crashed to the ground in front of Applejack.

“Hey! What did you do that for?” Rainbow Dash complained dusting herself off and standing up.

Her friend just stared at her silently.

“Oh come on. It was funny!” Rainbow complained.

Applejack's eyes narrowed as she adjusted her hat. She did not blink.

“Well it was!” the prankster said mutinously, taking a firm stance and glaring at Applejack.

They stared at each other for a long moment and then burst into laughter.

“A'right. You got me good.” Applejack admitted.

“I did didn't I?” Rainbow Dash agreed readily.

“You are quite amazing at stunts like that.” Applejack said while expertly tying two Apple baskets together into makeshift saddlebags and lifting them up with her teeth onto her back.

“I am aren't I?” Rainbow preened happily as she buffed a hoof on her chest.

“Which means you can now help me take these apples back to the farm.” said the apple farmer as she snuck behind Rainbow.

“I can, can't I?” Rainbow Dash nodded along, her eyes closed and basking in the praise. And her eyes sprung wide open and she paused.

“Wait what?” She turned around just as Applejack dropped two apple baskets across her flanks.

“Hey!” she protested against the trick, sagging a little under the burden..

“Now now, take your punishment like a mare!” Applejack said lifting the remaining two apple baskets on her own flanks. “Or are you saying you can't run with the same amount of apples I can? Without spilling or bruising a single apple?”

Rainbow Dash stared at her rival's challenging smile for a moment and then smiled back.

“It is on! Last one to the farm is Pinkie Pies dance partner!”

“Agreed.” Applejack nodded and then stepped next to Rainbow Dash. “On your mark! Get set!'

“Go!" Rainbow Dash yelled and took off before the other mare could say a word of protest.

Back at the Apple Farm preparations were in progress for a Rarities congratulatory party. Every-pony knew she was coming back from World Fashion Contest in Prance with a first prize and priceless worldwide prestige for Carousel Boutique. The Apple Family barn was crawling with activity as Pony-ville ponies prepared a welcome for one of their own.

Twilight Sparkle was co-organizing a last minute grand party in the Apple Family barn along with Pinkie Pie and was currently staring at the large banner hanging in the center of the back wall.

Most Fashionable Congratulations Rari” the banner read.

Twilight Sparkle sighed. Just once she wished they would gauge the banner length correctly. Her horn shined and suddenly the banner stretched by a crucial few hoof-lengths.

“There. Now fix it!” She glared at the two older fillies, just out of school and on the cusp of adulthood that were usually in charge of the banners. They giggled and whispered to each other while taking down the banner. Twilight sighed as called up a scroll and floated it in front of her.

“Check the banner.” She muttered while making a check-mark on her list.

“Hee~eey Twilight! Whatc'ha doing?” A pink, cloth wrapped face popped up from above between her and the floating scroll. Twilight yelped in surprise and sprang away from the pink ninja.

Pinkie pie was hanging upside down from the rafters, a hind leg wrapped in one of the silk decorative ribbons. She was wearing a pink ninja outfit and looking at Twilight with happy eyes. Presumably she was smiling as well behind the mask.

“Pinkie.” Twilight sighed as her heartbeat slowed back down and smiled fondly at the pink hurricane of random. “Hi Pinkie! I was going to look for you next.”

“No duh! Silly filly, the set up is an important part of the plot to save the universe and pastry!” The Pink Shadow explained. Twilight's train of thought skipped a beat with a rude scratching sound.

“What do?” Twilight started to ask and then waved it off. This was not the time to study the world of Pinkius Piekus and it's amusing la la fantasies. Maybe tomorrow.

“Never mind I don't want to know right now. You are in charge of the guest list and the food. Status report?”

“All hunky dory!” Pinkie pie saluted which caused her to drop from the ribbon she had been hanging from. When she stood up her ninja outfit has changed into a pink hued camouflage uniform. She had a pink beret on her head, an arm band marked with sergeant’s stripes and stood at some odd two hoofed version of parade rest. Twilight envied her slightly on the exceptional balance and stamina needed to pull off all those antics successfully.

“Sir! All accounted for except Rainbow Dash and Applejack who are racing here as we speak and Rarity who's Estimated Time of Arrival from her Air ship crossover in Canterlot is in two hours via Pegasus Taxi Service chariot number nine eight alpha Sir!.”

Pinkie suddenly looked across the barn and waved. “Heartstrings! The Cupcakes go on the other table! For maximum fun! On the double before I make you eat a Fudge Sundae recruit!” She called out shaking a threatening hoof and then turned back to Twilight and winked.

“Also, Apple Bloom and Zecora are a bit late, might want to check that. Now excuse me Sparkle-Dono I must coordinate the Art of Maximum Fun Factor Pinky Shui for the Apple family barn." Somewhere along the line her clothes blurred into an oriental outfit before Twilight's eyes, complete with a pink serpent wrapping a cupcake.

The Pink Serpent of the East dodged the two ponies that were carrying the ice sculpture with a modest, graceful hop and bopped a pony with sideburns with a folded fan as she passed him.

“Szukov! The Appletinni need more apple schnapps and less vodka you silly Stalliongrady pants!” She called out as she navigated the room.

Twilight wondered for the hundredth time that month if it had been a good idea to make that hat of disguise for pinkie. As she pondered this difficult existential question she noticed Pinkie's ear flop and her knees twitch. She couldn't see her eyes but she hopped away from the barn doors just in case.

While Twilight was still in the middle of the hop Applejack and Rainbow Dash burst through the barn doors at top speed sending Twilight spinning into a bale of hay.

“Ha! I win by half a nose. “ the blue mare pranced pridefully, her load of apples seemingly not slowing her down a bit.

“Oh no you don't! My hat was clearly in front of your nose.” Applejack retorted.

“Clothes don't count.” the stubborn pegasus denied as she deposited the apples in one corner.

“Of course they do.” the equaly stubborn earth pony stayed firm while depositing her own load.

“Do not!” Rainbow exclaimed as she got in Apple Jacks face and Twilight twitched from the up side down heap she had landed in. She knew where this one was going. She had to put a stop to their competition and she would. As soon as the room stopped spinning.

“Girls?” she tried to cut in dizzily and then shook her head.

“Do too!” Applejack retorted glaring and pressing her forehead against Rainbow's.

“Do n...” The rainbow maned mare started to retort eloquently but she was abruptly cut off.

“Girls!” Twilight yelled and stopped the impending re-enaction of the Iron Pony contest in it's tracks with a weaker version of Traditional Royal Canterlot Voice. All action stopped for a moment as every-pony looked at Twilight, Applejack and Rainbow Dash for a long moment and then every pony went about their business.

Twilight concentrated on her walking as she approached the two quarreling mares.

“As fun watching you two flirt is, I need your help.” She smiled at the quarrelsome duo and watched them splutter, the two mares promptly forgetting their rivalry. Distract and Conquer, her diplomacy books are always right.

“Apple Bloom and Zecora were supposed to be here by now to help with the preparation and I'm a little worried. Rainbow Dash? You are the best of us at stealth and speed. Could you go into the Ever-free Forest and check on them for me, just in case? Applejack? We really need those delicious Apple Pies ready before the deadline! Please girls? I honestly just want this party to go without a hitch for Rarity.” She added with the sweetest pleading smile she could muster.

For a moment it hung in the balance, the two fillies torn between friendly rivalry, embarrassment and affection for Twilight and Rarity and then Twilight's big sad eyes won them over.

“I'll find them in ten seconds flat!” The fastest mare in Equestria boasted and took off like a miniature bolt of lightning, leaving a small white cloud in her place.

As the cloud cleared Applejack dug at the floor of the barn with her hoof, feeling slightly embarrassed at getting caught up in one of her silly tiffs with Dash.

“Aw shucks Twilight, don't worry, I won't let you down.” the farm pony smiled and heaved all four of the apple baskets onto her back and headed for the house.

“Out of my way! I have some bakin' to do!” She cautioned as she galloped out of the barn.

When Applejack left, Twilight's horn glowed and her check-list poofed into existence floating in front of her.

“Prevent impending Apple-Dash fight, ensure pies are ready on time. Check and check. Three down about a hundred to go.” Twilight sighed in contentment as she made the check-marks and went to take care of the next item on the list. She could se how Pinkie Pie was so into this. The challenge of organizing everything was really fun.

A Rare Event II

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Rainbow Dash exulted in the feeling of wind beneath her wings. She exited the barn in Rapid Take-off maneuver and quickly gained altitude, heading towards the Ever-free forest. When she was close enough she whooped loudly and dropped like a stone trading altitude for speed, with a flex of her will her wingtips started releasing her patented rainbow trail as soon as she had enough velocity.

At near Rain-boom speed she aimed for the open space of the Forbidden Forest Road that lead most of the way to the hidden pathway to Zecora's hut. As she crossed the threshold she allowed herself a blink to adjust to the gloom the dense leaves created even during the day. She smirked. Like she'd let a little darkness stop her, she had worked out the trick to enhancing her eyes ages ago as a side effect of having to adjust her vision to rapid changes in speed and heading during trick flying.

As the cut off trail to the hut approached Rainbow Dash felt herself slipping into the zone as adrenaline started flowing through her veins. With a murmur the world slowed down and her mind sped up in the familiar staccato of trick time heartbeats.

In the blink of an eye she was weaving in and out of the trees following the main path as a warm up until she was near the hidden pathway to Zecora's hut. There she was forced to bleed off a little speed with a quick Stall and a Wingover. Pulling a 112 degree turn she was no rising up to the challenge of winding herself around the thickly growing branches, bushed and vines of the Ever-free forest proper, still flying faster them any pony could gallop.

Fifteen seconds after she left the Apple Farm a rainbow trailing Rainbow Dash flapped to a Rapid Halt in front of Zecora's hut, posing in the middle of a dissipating dust devil she had created with a sparkling rainbow illuminating the clearing before it faded.

Looking around she pouted when she realized no one was there to see her landing.

“Hey Apple Bloom! Zecora! You are are late!” She called out grouchily.

When no one responded Rainbow Dash walked closer to Zecora's hut. Seeing a faint glow coming from the hut she realized there ws definitely somepony there. Carefully she tippy-hooved towards the window.

As she approached she could hear a strange foreign words coming from the hut in Apple Bloom's voice. An then just as she caught a glimpse of the filly standing inside a glowing circle, a blinding flash of light and a deafening explosion caused her world to vanish and a blackness took her.

When she gathered her wit she found herself sitting on her rump just below Zecora's window blinking spots from her eyes. Thick blue smoke was flowing through the window and out of the hut and some pony was having a coughing fit.

“And now you see young Apple Bloom, undue haste invites backlash of doom.” Zecora spoke spookily before laughing.

“or in your case, of baldy gloom.” the zebra added snickering.

“What? But I... Oh no.. My mane!” A young wailing voice rang across the forest.

Rainbow Dash moved herself up and looked through the window. The thick smoke flowing out of the hut had thinned a little she could see the outline of two ponies. One smaller and one taller. She squinted, wondering if Apple Bloom really lost her mane.

“Your mane will grow but lesson heed! What would have happened if you were helping ponies in need?” Zecora instructs.

“But I wanted to get to the party on time.” Apple Bloom whined.

“Apple Bloom...” Zecora cautioned.

“I know I know. I was wrong. I will try Zecora. If I am doing anything that could hurt some pony I will be super extra Pinkie Pie Promise Careful." the filly acknowledged her mistake performing the traditional pinkie pie swear solemnly.

Zecora laughed at the young fillies antics and nodded. “The time is right to take heed and learn. When time is wrong take no wrong turn.” Zecora cautioned and patted the young filly fondly on the back.

As the mist cleared Rainbow Dash finally realized what she was seeing. Apple Bloom looked slightly singed and her mane had been replaced by a pink bald spot.

Dash felt it coming. It started as a snicker, grew into a guaff and then she collapsed into full blown laughter.

“Ah our escort came, and saw your shame.” Zecora teased while Apple Bloom blushed.

“Zecora... could you? You know...” Apple Bloom pleaded.

“A nature's source you cannot force.” Zecora cautioned as she reached to take a vial from one of her shelves.

“Aw.” Apple Bloom bit her lip. “How long?.”

“Do not worry my young friend, Your mane will grow back in the end.” Zecora assured her while applying a lotion to Apple Bloom's bald patches and singed bits.

While they were speaking Rainbow Dash came to her senses and eased down on the laughter.

“Hey you two. What happened.” Rainbow Dash stuck her head through the window and asked with a tinge of worry. She knew Zecora would not endanger someone needlessly but...

“I was learning how to protect against fire. Only... I was late gathering the ingredients and tried to hurry things up to get to the party in time. And then...” The young filly looked down, embarrassed.

“When Fire Spirits you insult with haste. They turn around and...” Here she paused and created a small fire in her hoof and breathed it at the filly. “...Give you a taste.”

Apple Bloom flinched as the flame struck her square in the forehead.

“Hey. That didn't hurt?” She wondered.

“Of course young Apple Bloom. I would never invite your doom.” Zecora nodded sagely.

“You protected me from the backlash before I even started the potion?” Apple bloom wondered in awe.

“You have shown the signs of haste, invited doom your flesh to taste.” Zecora shrugged while petting the filly fondly.

“You can say that again. I'll never ever be hasty with magic again.” Apple Bloom laughed and then grew serious. “It still stinks I have to wait for days for my mane to grow back a little.”

Rainbow Dash looked between the two and finally shook her head.

“Ok you two, enough with the mambo-jumbo. We need to hoof it if we want to make it on time.” she insisted.

“Aren't you going to ask more about what I was doing?” Apple Bloom asked. In her experience there was no way an adult would just shrug things off like that.

“Aw hey no! I get enough of this kind of thing from Twilight. As far as I am concerned you are safe with your teacher and that is all that counts. I singed a feather or two in my time too you know.” Rainbow Dash waved the whole thing off.

“I smell a story, a lesson as well. We will walk, please Dash, do tell.” Zecora wryly encouraged the Pegasus, intrigued.

“Well. I was still working as an apprentice rainbow-crafter at the Rainbow Factory and...”

Twilight walked out to the big stage that stood against the back wall of the Apple Family Barn and looked at the crowd of ponies gathered in front of it with a feeling of pride and affection welling inside her.

She had checked the last check on her check-list, scried for Apple Bloom And Zecora, who were on their way to the farm with the flowers they needed to decorate the tables, and now she exulted in the glory of a job well done.

Everything was complete. The last decorations would be done when Zecora came, the drinks and other preparations were completed on budget and ahead of schedule and DJ pon3 managed to fix the problem with the sound system. And now it was time for a speech.

She took a deep breath, resisted the urge to call up her cue cards and thought about the relevant passages from the motivational speaking instruction booklet.

“All right! Excellent work every-pony!” She exclaimed enthusiastically giving her audience a big smile.

“We are finished early and within budget. I wanted to tell you how proud I am of each and every one of you. Give yourselves a great big stomp of approval. You earned it.” She called out stomping her own hooves against the floor in the popular pony version of applause. The crowd was enthusiastically noisy and Twilight smiled a proud smile at them.

“It is now time to relax and have fun at the Pinkie Pie Pre-Party Party until our harmonious handsome honorary guest arrives.” She announced and caused a small titter of laughter to spread at her alliterations.

She looked around for her co-organizer who was still missing, not noticing Pinkie Pie sneaking up behind her in her patented Pink Nin-pony costume.

“Speaking of Pinkie, has anyone...” She started and then stopped when she felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise just before Pinkie Pie struck.

“Pinkie Pie popped up behind Twilight and put a proud hoof around her co-host.” The Pink Ninja intoned into the microphone while popping up behind Twilight and putting a foreleg around her friend.

Twilight snorted and returned the one hoofed embrace. She should have expected this.

“And then she announced that everyone should remember to have fun!” Pinkie pie added while grinning cheekily and then tilted the mike at Twilight who added her own two bits.

“I would also like to caution the entertainers that the pit trap has not yet been removed from the stage design.” Twilight Sparkle informed the audience. “And while this time I have it from a good source that there are no honey badgers present inside the pit...”

“I made a Pinkie Pie swear to Fluttershy and everything.” Pinkie Pie interjected.

“Yes, still, entertainers are cautioned to stay away from the big pink lever.” Twilight finished.

“Yep, keep away from the lever unless you want to be Pied!” Pinkie Pie giggled.

“Pinkie!” Twilight growled at the Pink hazard she had befriended a long time ago.

The Pink Prankster smiled and leaned close to Twilight and whispered as if just for her. The microphone had no difficulty picking up her whispering.

“Relax Twilight. The Pinkie Pie Pit Trap is one hundred and ten percent Pinkie Pie safe. Also, between you and me even the honey badgers from last time were actually bribed not to hurt any pony and only pretended to be angry.” Pinkie Pie winked conspiratorially seemingly un-aware that the microphone spread the whisper to the rest of the room..

“But Fluttershy said they were upset. They even ignored her!” Twilight protested.

“Oh they like Fluttershy, they just think she worries too much. Honey Badgers don't give a hoot.” Pinkie Pie nodded sagely.

“Well, as long as it's safe.” Twilight said raising her voice to the crowd and glanced at her planning partner.

“As Pinkie Pie always says: time to party!” She announced in tandem with the party mare and the crowd of satisfied ponies cheered.

During Twilight's speech the barn doors popped open and Rainbow dash flew backwards through them followed by a giggling, mane-less Apple Bloom and a smiling Zecora, who was carrying saddle-baskets full of bright colorful flowers.

Apple Bloom's mane has grown a tiny smidgen by now so her head was not quite so pink, thus improving her mood significantly.

“And that's why after I single hoofedly saved the factory from a rainbow tank explosion my supervisor suggested that I should be promoted to chief weather pony for Pony-ville As far away from Clouds-dale as he could send me at the time.” Rainbow announced giggling to herself.

“I now feel a certain dread. Should I move as far in-stead?” Zecora teased the flying mare, giving her a mischievous glance.

“Nah,” Apple Bloom waved Zecora's 'concerns' away. “She has no control over Ever-free weather anyway.”

Zecora and Apple Bloom started chuckling and then Rainbow Dash joined them happy that they like her tale of folly.

“Yeah, laugh it up Miss Missing Mane.” Rainbow Dash stuck her tongue out at the filly and chuckled just as Twilight And Pinkie Pie finished announcing that it was time to party. The crowd gathered against the stage cheered and started to spread across the room and the general noise level in the room raised to an excited murmur.

“Yeah well at least I never flooded and entire city with rainbow.” Apple Bloom stuck her tongue right back.

They were finally noticed now that the attention was away from Twilight and Pinkie and some ponies threw surprised glances at Zecora and her young apprentice.

“Apple Bloom your poor mane!” Sweetie Bell called from across the room and rushed to hug her mane-less friend.

“What happened you run into a rampaging dragon and had to give it the old one two?” Scootalo asked eagerly while jumping, somersaulting and punching at the air. Then she joined the hug and ran her hoof across her friend's extremely short mane.

“Wicked!” She proclaimed at Bloom while Sweetie just spluttered, still in shock from the drastically different appearance of her friend.

Apple Bloom hugged her friends back and then put on a sinister face.

“Ok girls listen carefully to my tale of woe.” She started gloomily.

“It all started on a dark and stormy night!” Bloom proclaimed when she was rudely interrupted.

“Apple Bloom!” Scotaloo punched her in the shoulder lightly. “The real story!”

“Ok, ok so it was a bright shiny afternoon. Way to spoil my story.” Apple Bloom complained as the Cutie Mark Crusaders gravitated toward the cupcake table and the Pre-party party got into a full swing.

A Rare Event III

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It was unusual for the fillies to be invited to one of Pinkie Pies big parties and Sweetie Belle smiled at the excited chatter of her two best friends and let the noise just flow over her as she scanned for any key phrases she would need to respond to as she fretted about her sister.

She remembered reading Rarity's last letter and getting a gnawing feeling in her stomach that something was wrong.

My dear Sweetie Belle.

I hope the weather in Ponyville is as grand as the glorious sunrise i am watching from the The Hoofton Arc de Triomph royal suite in Prairies.

It is the morning on the final day of the fashion circuit and I am most pleased with how things are turning out, the connections i have been making will be most useful to my work and fame.

It is time now to prepare myself for my lunch with Lariat Coeur the world famous artist.

I shall be returning to our quaint little town in the next few days and I hope you are well.

Lady Rarity Belle
Fashionista Extraordinaire

The letter had been... Weird. Like some pony other then her sister had written it. No, it was like on of those thank you notes she had heard Rarity write to some of the Canterlot ponies. Eloquent, charming... Distant. And that signature...

"Sweetie? Is something wrong? You promised to tell me when I gab to much!" Apple Bloom asked and the unicorn filly realized that she had completely drifted off into her thoughts.

"I'm sorry Bloom, it's not your studies. I like hearing about Zecora. It's... Rarity."

"Oh come on! She'll be here soon enough, you can't miss her that much!" Scotaloo growled and bit into an apple tart angrily.

"Scotaloo! She has as much a right to miss her family as anypony!" Interjected Apple Bloom.

"It's only been three weeks. What's the big deal." the pegasus filly wondered, confusion and apple sauce evident on her face.

"Well imagine not seeing us for three weeks." the earth filly said quietly.

Scotaloo blinked for a long moment and then slid across the seat towards Sweetie and gave her a hug.

"She'll be here soon." She whispered.

"Thank you Scoots but... It's not that. I miss her but that's not..." Sweetie Belle shook her.

"What's wrong sugar?" Asked the worried earth filly.

"Her last letter," Sweetie sniffled. "she signed it with Lady Rarity Belle, Fashionista. She always signs it with: 'Your favorite sister, Rarity'."

"She sent YOU one of her generic letters?!" Exclaimed Apple Bloom. "She can write letters in her sleep! In fact we all saw her do it during that sleepover where we learned why raw spider-silk and flames don't mix."

"Oh no, you think she's gone workaholic again?" Asked Scotaloo.

"And without any pony to stop her..." Sweetie Belle closed her eyes. "Poor sis. I guess now we know why Twilight was the one behind this."

"I like machines as much as any pony but your sister scares me when she goes all clockwork Rarity." Shuddered Apple bloom.

"You know sis. Perfection all the way." Sighed Sweetie Belle reaching listlessly for a cupcake.. "Even if she has to light the candle on both ends."

"Well she is coming home now and we will help her recover from her ordeal even if it takes all week and a dozen experimental potions." Apple Bloom suddenly exclaimed slamming her hoof on the table.

"What? Like nurses?" Scotaloo asked scratching her chin thoughtfully.

The girls looked at each other and smiles slowly spread across their faces..

"CUTIE MARK CRUSADER NURSES! YAY!" They exclaimed over the din of the pre-party.

The fillies grinned at each other and Sweetie Belle grabbed a slice of cake from their table.

"So, Bloom, why DID Zecora think it was important for you to learn Protection from Fire." The unicorn filly asked.

"Well, remember how we learned that tree sap would catch fire if exposed to cutie mark crusaders experimental tree sap cleaner number six??" Apple Bloom started to explain and the fillies settled down to listen knowing this would get amusing.


Rarity stood with perfect poise in the chariot that was taking her home. her mind going over the past three weeks and the whirlwind of events and faces she had ridden like Pegasus rides the air currents. Three weeks of living, of fashion, high society and staying on top of her game had taken their toll on her mind and now she was numb. She vaguely remembered thinking Prance was amazing and that spending so much time in the capitol of fashion competing with the best fashion ponies in the world was the best thing ever. It seemed quite an empty thing now that she had done it.

Her morning arrival in Canterlot and attended the few events she had agreed to attend. Outwardly she had been a graceful, social machine and for every minute of it she had been looking forward to just imitating Rainbow Dash and being lazy for a few days when she finally got home.

Her head was numb and heavy as she got the first glimpse of Ponywille from the flying carriage and her heart skipped a beat. A small speech for the mayor, give the plaque to the city and she was free.

Feeling a little more alert she checked her appearance in her compact in an elegant, practiced move as her mind went over her social obligations for the next few days. Spa with Fluttershy tomorrow morning, Tea with Twilight in the afternoon, probably some sort of gathering with Pinkie Pie in the evening... Everyone would one a piece of her time and she would benevolently grant it.

"Decorum, Presentation and Presence." She reminded herself and willed a sparkle of life into her eyes. It wouldn't do to see Mayor Mare and not be perfectly lovely.

The chariot lurched slightly and pointed downwards towards the town.

Rarity frowned as they passed the town hall and headed outwards.

"Um, Excuse me? You missed the address!" She called out as they flew across the Apple farm.

"Nope Miss I have the address right here." The lead Pegasus called out as they set down in front of the apple family barn.

Rarity maintained a polite smile even as she was feeling puzzled inside, as she exited the chariot and tried to muster up some anger but couldn't find the drive within her. Then the doors opened and a smiling Twilight Sparke walked out followed by Pinkie Pie, Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy trailed off behind them and offered a timid hesitant smile to Rarity.

She opened her mouth to scold them for dragging her away from her much needed refuge in the Carousel Boutique but what came out was an undignified squeak as her heart skipped a beat. Of course that wanted to see her. She shook her head and then realized her eyes were stinging and when she rubbed them with her hooves she found they came away wet.

"I?" She tried speaking again and choked as her friends approached and just gathered around her in a silent hug. Some pressure in the back of her mind began to ease and she realized what it was.

"I missed you girls." She finally whispered and inhaled the scent of her friends, her adopted family even. She marveled as the press of warmth and affection lifted the fog from her mind she had been lost in for the past couple of days. The Lady Rarity cracked and let Rarity out from behind the mask. She buried her face in a mane and she didn't care which. "I didn't realize how much until now."

"Ehem." A quiet cough from the lead stallion broke the silent moment after a minute or so. "I hate to be a bother but we have a schedule to keep."

A pouch of gold flew out of the small herd of mares and he expertly snatched it from the air.

"You fillies have a good day now." He called out and stomped the the chariot was gone.

The mares stood there in silence, hugging and just reaffirming their bonds before finally the silence broke.

"Ok Rare we missed you now enough of this mushy stuff Pinkie and Twilight put a little something together for ya as a way to say we missed ye too!" Rainbow Dash bumped her flank at Twilight and tried to hide the wetness in her eyes.

"Yeah, We did, come around the back and we'll show it to you." Said twilight as they lead her away from the main entrance tot he barn and towards the back.

Rarity smiled her first genuine smile in many days and shook her head. Who were they kidding?

"Oh?" Intoned Rarity in a mock surprised tone, cheer evident in the very tone of her voice. "What could it be? Does it begin with a letter P?"

"What? Where do you think we would find peaches sundaes this time of the year?" Pinkie Pie giggled and shook her head.

The back entrance had a few steps on it and as the girls lead her up Rarity knew it was a party. Even a surprise party of sorts and still, as she was walked onto the stage she was stunned by the sheer magnitude and speed with which this had been organized.

The large barn had been transformed from a dusty place where you kept your hay into a beautiful dance hall filled with ponies, decorations and large and exotic Everfree flowers. The tables were filled with tasty looking food. There was even an ice sculpture of her being used to chill the drinks behind and improvised bar. It was magnificent.

“Congratulations!” A significant chunk of Pony-ville called out at Rarity while she was still staring around in a daze. And then they started to sing:

“For she is a a be~estest pony,
For she is a be~estest pony,
For she is be~estest po~ony!

Which nobody can deny!”

Rarity watched from the stage as practically every pony in Pony-ville stomped their approval of her success Rarity was completely stunned, her jaw hanging open for a very long couple of seconds.

“I... Thank you every pony.” Rarity finally managed to regain her composure and come to the microphone. “Truly from the bottom of my heart.” She sniffed tossed the microphone behind her and launched herself recklessly at the five of her friends responsible for organizing the event. “I love you guys!”

“Speech, speech.!” A certain young dragon called out and the crowd took up the call. Releasing the group hug Rarity dabbed at the corners of her eyes with a handkerchief, took a deep breath and then levitated the microphone.

“When the whole world was deciding who among ponies, griffins, dragons and everyone else had the best designer I hoped for the best.” Rarity started, trying to convey her feelings.

“When the mulch-species judges panel decided I was to be the designer of the year I was a very happy pony.” She continued, eyes shining with pride. “I will be the first to admit that this morning, when I was being congratulated by Hoity Toity and every other major Equestrian fashioner at the society brunch in Canterlot I was proud of my accomplishments.”

Then she paused and looked over the crowd of Pony-ville ponies and then beamed at them with a patented hundred carat Rarity smile.

“And yet here, now. Standing here and looking at all of you. I can honestly say I am the happiest mare in the world. Thank you every-pony. Pony-ville is the best. I am proud to be a Pony-ville mare.” She sniffed and her voice softened and trailed off as she finished. The crown enthusiastically stomped their approval and then Pinkie took the microphone.

“Yay for Rarity, And now to commemorate her success DJ Pon3 has prepared a special mix for her from the famous Elements of Harmony compilation: 'Simply Rarity and 20% cooler!'” She weaved her hoof and DJ Pon3 took this as her cue to start the music.

And as the music started Rarity could see Sweetie Belle and her friends waving at her from their little corner and she realized that next year she was either taking every pony with her or staying right here in Poniville. Where she belonged.

Author note

I had to go back and re do this part and it still feels a little flat, emotionally.

I would appreciate if anyone can tell me why. (I am not quite willing to write the epic of Rarity and the fashion world and yet it became important.)

The story is growing into a monster and I haven't finished the first chapter yet. I have Pinkie Pie giving romance advice, Dash partying a little too much, Fluttershy with her own set of rather unique problems and more and it all wants to be expanded. It NEEDS to be expanded and elaborated and little interludes written to establish the ponies as real people.

So much for posting a 10k chapter in a few parts and then diving into adventure. I am having a blast tho. If this keeps up i'll be popping out a couple thousand words each day or so for those people who think 2 thousand words was enough of a premise to watch the story. XD

A Rare Event IV

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Half and hour later the post pre-party party was in full swing, as evidenced by a number of exhausted but smiling mares and stallions lounging in the I-Danced-With-Pinkie-Pie recovery corner also known as the hay lounge closest to the dance floor.

The Pink storm was busy doing the twist with a wildly grinning Cherilee. They wore a matching outfits consisting of cheesy leg warmers, disco shoes and improbably angled hair.

"This party is bucking great Pinkie! I haven't had this much fun since last summer break! Thanks for dragging me kicking and screaming out of my house." Yelled the ecstatic teacher as Pinkie pulled her up and tossed her over her head with the help of a well timed jump. A gleeful shriek sounded even as Pinkie caught her again and dipped her with a grin as the song came to crashing halt.

"Oh you naughty school mare I love it when you talk dirty." The Pink Prankster intoned with a cheeky grin in the silent moment between the songs. The dancers around them spared them a knowing glance and Cherilee blushed as a more sedate piece started. She wrapped her hooves around the cheeky Pink menace, sighed and leaned tiredly against the Party-est Pony in Ponyville and stared at the three fillies that were jumping around nearby with boundless energy.

"You know Pinkie, if the children were not here I'd be seriously considering dragging you to a dark corner right now." Cherilee whispered and now it was time for Pinkie Pie to blush.

"Chery? I thought you and Big Mack?" the blushing mare trailed off, a slight worried frown marring her face.

"We do, I mean we had an agreement after Hearst and Hooves day and it's going well but... You know how stallions get during birthing season." Cerilee sighed.

"You mean?" Pinkie pie asked wide eyed even as she gestured with a limp hoof.

"He drops faster then Rainbow Dash practicing a sonic rain-boom." Cherilee complained.

"I'll lend you my copy of the Candy Sutra. Maybe if you spice things up a bit. I fondly remember number 33." The candy expert waggled her eyebrows and Cherilee was blushing as smiling again. Her work done Pinkie turned her thoughts to Big Mack. Maybe if she...

A tap on Cherilees shoulder brought the slow dance to a halt.

"Um, Mind if I cut in? If it's ok?" A gentle voice asked and Cherilee turned to a fidgeting Fluttershy.

"Sure! I'm getting kinda tired anyways. Pinkie I'll drop by in a day or two to pick up that book." Cherylee smiled and bereft of Pinkies support staggered towards the Post Pinkie Pie Recovery Lounge for a fruity drink and a soft spot to plop into.

"Hey Flutters, what's cooking?" Pinke asked as they settled into a steady waltz.

"Rainbow has that look in her eye again." Fluttershy smiled faintly and then giggled as Pinkie Pies outfit shifted into a nurses cap.

"Ooo Maregarita fueled Rainbow Dance Fever Syndrome. I'll keep you safe from the dreaded Serial Kisser, Dash the Lipper." Pinkie intoned solemnly and smiled when Fluttershy giggled cutely.

"I don't really mind getting kissed by any pony, it's not like I'm still a filly but Rainbow gets so flustered the the day after I have to yell at her to make her stop apologizing for 'taking advantage'. As if she could." Fluttershy snorted minutely and Pinkie Pie suppressed a squeal at the fierce way Flutter's nose wrinkled.

"Meh, what's a little kiss between friends." Pinkie waved a hoof vaguely and perked up as the beat picked up and merged into a into a lively rock and roll number.

"Oo they are playing our song!" She exclaimed, grabbed Fluttershy's hooves and spun her , nurse cap changing into a full fledged glittery acrobatic skating leotard.
The Pegasus eyes widened in understanding and she flapped her wings once, a surge of magic lightening her weight considerably. They've done this before and the rare wide smile on the Pegasus betrayed how free dancing with Pinkie made her feel.

Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy were a perfect mirror image of each as they eased into the song. A tush wriggle, a few bucks and a hop or two was all they needed to warm up to some serious dancing and up on their hind hooves they went, Pinkie Pie pulling her partner into a slide and shuffle, flanks wiggling and hooves stomping.

"Now if you let her drag you back to that cloud castle of hers for a night of thunder and lightning..." Pinkie started chatting as she lifted a light as a feather Fluttershy above her head and gave her a little spin.

"Oh no, I couldn't. She's my best friend. She'd be panicking for weeks after she sobered up. You know how fragile her heart is right now." The pegasus shook her head as she placed her front hooves on Pinkie's shoulders, back flipped and landed lightly on her hooves behind the pink pony. Back to back they circled a few times around the dance floor before the Pegasus stepped out and spun Pinkie back towards her.

"Yeah yeah, for all her protests of being a stallion's filly I thing she is en equal opportunity flier like most of us." Pinkie retorted as she came out of the spin and stepped closed to Fluttershy.

The mares were standing side by site on their rear legs with just a hoof-tip touching before Pinkie gave Fluttershy a little tug without letting go. The Pegasus responded with a fluid grace, hind hooves twirling expertly. She ended up with her back to Pinkie pie's front, one Pinkie's foreleg wrapped around her belly for stability even as the song faded into another slow dance.

"She's been hurt so many times Pinkie." Fluttershy mumbled, Pinkie instinctively drawing her close, giving comfort.

Pinkie pie glanced at the clock and then smiled at Vinil Scratch who was holding out a clipboard and tapping it. The Party planner spun her hoof at him and the Dj smiled.

"Yeah, after Gilda it will take some time for her to trust some pony again." Pinkie nodded and then brightened up. "Hey I've been meaning to ask what's that Everfree Patrol cloak doing on the hook by your door?"

"Oh that? Well, um. I keep it next to my emergency bag in case i have to leave in a hurry." the Pegasus stepped away from her dance partner and smiled mischievously still moving in perfect sync with Pinkie. The Pink mare was good at giving physical dance cues and Fluttershy knew them by heart.

"Alright smarty pants I'll ask better. Why do you have a cloak only meant for ponies willing to patrol the Everfree for rampaging animals?" Pinkie asked as she lead Fluttershy away from the dance floor.

"Well, you know how the Everfree makes me feel at home even tho it's scary at night?" Fluttershy began as they made their way to a quieter part of the barn.

"Well, for a long time I have been wandering the forest during the day, making many new cutesy, scaly or feathery friends and helping animals in distress." Fluttershy explained as Pinkie puled her away from a Cutie Mark Stampede as the group of fillies made a beeline from the middle of the dance floor straight for the pasty table.

"That doesn't explain the cloak! I know you would do anything to avoid killing anything smarter then a fish." Pinkie complained.

"Well yes but the Everfree Patrol does important work in keeping the more dangerous critters inside the forest where they are safe. As for how I got involved...”

Pinkie smiled at her friends unique perspective and grabbed a few pastries to tide her over. This sounded like it would be interesting.

Interlude 1: Fluttershy's forest

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It happened last autumn, at that time just after we had our argument with that meanie Discord. After the whole savage Fluttershy episode I threw myself into my work to make up for it. The horrible horrible things I said and felt still haunt me to this day.

Still, life goes on. My little friends helped me get back into swing of things and on the day of the incident I was hurrying along on my final pass for the day bringing some berry sandwiches to a Mr Bear who got into an argument with some diamond dogs that wanted to eat him. As far as I could tell from the tracks he had sent them home with some scratches and their tails between their legs but not before he got shot with an arrow. I had hurried to his cave early that morning afraid he was seriously hurt but it turned out he had just been hit in a in a... Well padded place.

When I got there the poor thing had been preparing to walk all the way to my cottage with a diamond arrow in his... lower back. I recommended he stay in his cave for lots of rest and recovery so his um... butt would recover and promised the diamond arrow tip would buy enough food so he could keep up with his pre-hibernation calorie intake.

The day was a long one and it was very late in the afternoon by the time I was making my way above the forest. I loved flying aboive the Forrest and taking in the wonderful smells of late autumn. Still I flew fairly low above the trees. Flying real high is kind of... Scary.

The sky was nice and clear, the air was warm and I was thinking of the nice picnic I was about to share with Mr Bear when an Everfree patrol golden fetched javelin soared through the air and stuck right into my picnic basked!

I tell you, I got so flustered I dropped my poor basket right into a huge patch of claw bushes and blade briers.

I swear such things never happen when I keep my hooves on the nice firm ground, only when I fly I get into trouble. I really admire the other Pegasi for being brave enough to take the risks they face every time they take to the sky. I am so very glad my wings didn't lock up this time or I have no idea what would have happens.

When my heart stopped trying to escape from by chest I carefully dove towards the clearing. I never expected that the Patrol ponies would be so careless to just fling those dangerous things like that. I mean what if some pony was flying there and got hurt? I planned on telling them nicely that they should be more careful when I first heard the distinct lion's roar of an adult manticore, presenting a dominance challenge to an invader. Which was odd since we were close to the edge and manticores dislike being here.

By the time I controlled my I was close enough to hear the sounds of ponies yelling and the scary sound of a sword being drawn. It was really worrying, ponies yelling, manticores growling. I quickly realized from the sound there were two at least, one male and one female. I was worried that the patrol came across a mated pair and got into trouble.

As I passed the forest canopy and had my first glimpse of what was going on my wings had started quivering and I was forced to land on a sturdy tree branch before I fell out of the sky.

The violent, bloody scene before me was like something out of my nightmares, the smell of blood spilled was nauseating.

"Reload Javelins!" The unicorn with a crossed swords cutie mark called out to the two armored earth ponies that were were standing in front of two other ponies. The worst was a really young stallion probably fresh out of school. His metal shirt had been torn in half across his flank and he was just laying there eyes open and unresponsive.

Across the clearing two manticores, a lion and a lioness were standing their ground against the ponies. The lion was limping on three feet with a nasty bleeding gash in it's front paw while the lioness had three javelins stuck having hit with enough force to penetrate even the thick fur and tough hide of an adult manticore.

She was crouched low to the ground standing protectively before a bush and an outcropping of rocks and boulders looking closely I could just make out something small and catlike moving a hollow. I knew what was happening and I could not believe the Ranger ponies or even the Everfree Scouts would do something like this

I shivered as the scout ponies finished loading a javelin each into the javelin launcher on their flanks while the unicorn levitated a large sword in front of the scout ponies. The lion roared once more, in defiance and anger. It displayed it's stinger and I knew his next action. After displaying dominance his instinct would be to charge.

"Steady." The unicorn yelled. "Wait for it to commit. Steady!"

I blinked away tears, knowing this was not time to fret or be afraid. Later, when it was just me and Angel bunny I would cry about this, but if I collapsed here I would regret it forever.

I flared my wings and as the manticore dug it's claws into the dirt, about to charge.

With a thundering force I called down a lighting strike right between the ponies and the manticore and jumped from the tree.

“Stop this at once!” I called out, feeling like fool as I glided awkwardly to the ground between them. I turned my back to the ponies and looked at the lion manticore. Ponies would hesitate to attack another pony. Manticores would not.

"Miss watch out!" One of the earth ponies called out.

"Quiet!" I told them not taking my eyes off of the lion.

I could feel their stares on my flank even as the lion displayed his stinger in a vie for dominance, we stood there, in silence for a long moment. I stood my ground, wings pointing at the sky defiantly as I boosted by resistance to poison with magic just in case it decided to sting me. I was stung by a manticore before and I would probably resist the toxin long enough to go back to Ponyville.

A bead of sweat rolled down my back and finally it reared up and roared in my face. I swallowed my fear, displayed my teeth and looked it calmly in the eye.

This was what as important, putting myself on the line for them, for my animals, for ponies in trouble, for every living thing that flew, ran or crawled. I would not let the ponies get hurt and I would not let the Manticore family get hurt. Over. My. Dead. Body.

"It's enough." I told him gently. "I won't let them hurt your cub."

He stared at me for a long moment and then lowered the stinger and grumbled, lowering himself in a display of submission. I stepped up to it him and trailed a hoof over his wounded leg in acceptance of submission and used the gesture to apply a minor clotting spell to stop it's bleeding. I looked to the mother and noted the javelins were not penetrating even half a hoof length. She was bleeding a little but she would be fine.

“Go on, take your mate and kittens to your den. I will be there shortly with some herbs and bandages and help heal you and your wife.” I spoke, knowing it would understand me due to my special talent. It grumbled but the lioness called to him and retreated into a hole dug bellow the bushes she had been protecting and grabbed on of their cubs by the scuff of it's neck.

I turned my back to the lion manticore and looked to the scouts.

“Why in Celestia's name are you ponies attacking a nesting pair you foals?” I snapped at them harshly as I made my way to the downed ponies. I regretted being so mean but it was critically important for me to seem like an alpha before the manticores.

“But Miss! They are right at the edge of the forest. The trade road is ten minutes away and the Sore Hoof Inn is only half a mile down." The unicorn protested.

"They already raided one milk wagon and sent the milk pony to the hospital! The same thing has been happening for days now all along the Everfee line. We have our duty to the citizens!” The unicorn pleaded.

“Hey, How did you know it's a nesting pair anyway?” One of the earth ponies wondered as I stepped right up to the two fallen ponies. I ignored him. The younger one has been losing more blood then I thought.

I quickly slapped a clotting spell at him and quickly assessed the two downed ponies and made a rapid assessment.

The younger one would need stitches but he was not in danger of dying for now. The spell was holding.

The older one had a slightly erratic pulse. His helmet was dented and his pupils were reacting out of synch but still shrunk when exposed to light. Then he stopped breathing.

I felt along his spine and felt a bump on his neck vertebrates where there should be no bumps. I sighed and held his head in my left foreleg and murmuring a quick prayer to Celestia that nothing was shattered I gently pushed the misaligned bone with my right. It was solid and yielding, i let out a relieved sigh and tugged strongly on his head while I pushed his misaligned vertebrae into place even as I flared my wings to on my last major healing spell. Unicorns have it easy with their inherent abilities. We Pagasi are at a disadvantage with magic because we have to 'wing' the spells primarily meant for unicorns through such a different medium.

It is easier when I prepare the spells in advance and store them in my wings.

I released the now breathing pony and felt a surge of pride for my policy to always kept at least some magic in reserve just in case. Neck injuries are not something to toy with without healing magic even for a licensed chiropractor like me. Hopefully I was in time to prevent nerve damage.

I tore his cloak into strips, chewed some Goodberries from a nearby bush and bound the claw scratches on the young pony that got slashed by the manticore.

"Celestia." He murmured quietly. "I though I was dead."

I choked and just pated him with a sigh. What could I say?

By I finished the first aid I was so embarrassed about yelling at them that I couldn't even look at them. They were just doing their duty.

The ponies I had interrupted were silent and I took the advantage and fled through a claw bush which was kind enough to let me pass to look for my picnic basket and went to feed Mr. Bear. I thought it was the end of it and that i would never see those ponies again.

I thought I had barely helped the ponies but I forgot how much we all grew in that last year. When I was done what I felt was the most basic first aid to those ponies I felt like a bumbling filly playing with magic. Sure, Twilight helped me adapt spells to wing casting but I couldn't cast them nearly as well as a popper Healer could.

I saw a silly yellow pegasus fumbling with magic.

They saw a legendary forest pony descending from the heavens on a lightning bolt, saving their flanks, berating them for bothering animals and then walking off through an impenetrable claw bush without a word.

They came to me the next day. All official and solemn. They asked me to become a ranger Warden. The offer came with free access to their library of nature based magic and forest lore which had some really helpful things I wanted to learn about and I said yes.

Only I didn't know no unicorn they had could use half the spells or rituals, I didn't know using healing spells through my wings was considered impossible. I just wanted to help and now they think I'm secretly an Alicorn.

They even made a shrine. It's really embarrassing, Especially now that I can feel them when they are in trouble in the forest. They think I'm responding to their praying. Which I suppose I am but not like they think I am.

It's not nice to laugh at ponies troubles Pinkie.


I think interludes like these will be better put into separate chapters.

A little background I couldn't fine a place to put in yet.

Poor Fluttershy. If it talks like a legend, casts like a legend and comes when you are in big enough trouble to pray?

It's a Fluttergodess!

Celestia thinks it's hilarious.

Since she is discouraging of temples with her in the spotlight in my story but allows a single, small shrine dedicated to her sister? Her putting a stamp of approval to a forest shrine for 'Fluttershy the Warden of Everfree. I assure you she is not an Alicorn like me and My sister. Really. Answering prayers? That's just a coincidence.' is just adding fuel to the fire.

A Rare Event V

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Pinkie Pie collapsed in laughter, face buried in one hand and slamming the coffee shop style table with her other hoof. Fluttershy glared at her, pouting and the expression sent her pink friend into a new wave of laughter each time she looked up.

After a minute or so Pinkie managed to settle down somewhat, still a little wide eyed.

"Are you finished?" The pegasus asked, her crossed arms and her small pout hit pinkie like a yellow weapon of daaw destruction, softening the party mare's expression.

"I'm sorry Flutters, you know I don't mean anything bad, it's just, well that they really think you are some sort of Living Pony Legend, I could get that. You are The Element of Kindness, an how many ponies can say they faced down a dragon. So in a way you kinda are a pony legend. But on the other hand I think you are being pranked. No silly filly would really think you are a horny, winged princess. Heh, Horny."

Pinkie frowned for a moment and then scooted closer to the Pegasus gave her a little sniff and stared at her forehead nudging it a little with her hoof.

"Nope, not horny." She nodded to herself seriously then giggled.

"Well, I'm not really sure they really all think I'm a princess but some said it and its kind if embarrassing anyway. The ponies are even leaving offerings at the shrine. They started with bits, candy, incense, even a love letter or two," The yellow Pegasus blushed, the second letter got a little heated, she sighed,stress wrinkles forming around her eyes and Pinkie had to lean closer to be able to hear what she was saying.

"I could pretend those were not for me but you know how I am always short on bandages and one time some pony left a healing kit at the shrine and a pony got hurt nearby so I rushed and used the healing kit for bandages and cleaning the wound. Now I am finding bandages, healing herbs and all sorts of potions. I can't just let those sit there and go bad you know. It would be irresponsible... And rude."

For the first time in this conversation Pinkie looked at Fluttershy felt genuine worry. Fluttershy was really stressed about this. She peered carefully at the shy Pegasus and tried to read her eyes before Fluttershy looked down and hid them behind her hair again. Was she scared? No. It was something else? Shame? Why was Fluttershy feeling ashamed?

"How long has this been going on?" The earth pony probed carefully.

"About six months. And it's not the worst part." Fluttershy voice cracked as she looked up at her friend. Pinkie leaned closer, sitting on the edge of her seat. With her eyes connected to Fluttershy's and ears perked while sitting up at attention the pink pony was the very picture of attentive listener.

"The Rangers, they are kind to me. They don't crowd, they don't ask for silly things, they are eager to learn my advice about the forest, they are polite, And I... I, " Fluttershy buried her face in her hoof and Pinkie Pie had to lean closer and closer so she could hear Fluttershy's increasingly softer confession. "I like it."

With a squeak Pinkie Pie felt her concentration shatter and she fell over, knocking over the table and the two empty plates and landed right onto Fluttershy.

"Pinkie!" Fluttershy exclaimed as they fell of the hay bales in a tangle of limbs. They struggled for a few moments and then Fluttershy started laughing thanks to skillful prodding at all her ticklish spots.

"Eek! Pinke! Hahaha! Stoop!" the yellow Pegasus begged and Pinkie relented after the appropriate tickle time has elapsed. It was time for Pinkie Magic.

"Sorry Flutters but you are not a tragic heroine and this is not an angst paperback so I had to make you laugh. My advice is to see this like a somewhat unusual fan-club that respects your healing abilities, your extensive knowledge of nature, shares the burden of gathering healing supplies to aid in your efforts and they also like your kindness. So what if they built you a shrine and you like the attention. Shame on you, shame shame for behaving like a mortal pony." Pinkie mock chastised before grinning and sticking her tongue out.

"Pinkie Pie! It's not that simple." Fluttershy protested faintly.

"Simple Schmimple. You are allowed to like ponies that are nice to you. Heck, in your place Rainbow Dash would try to establish the church of the divine Rainboom." the fun master waggled her eyebrows and nudged Fluttershy lightly who smiled and looked thoughtfully.

"Can't talk right now, taking my Divine Nap." Fluttershy imitated softly and then hid a half snort, half giggle behind her hoof looking astonished at herself.

"That's the spirit. What's there to be all frown-y about? You help ponies and critters, and they help you help more critters, and ponies. Those then help you help ponies and critters help critters and ponies. How tragic, if you are not careful you will reach a critical help mass and have a helpsplosion that will help everything within a sixtykilopony radius and kick of a helpocalypse which will blanket the whole world with critical amounts of background helpfullness from which the world may never recover!" Pinkie pie paused in her declamation and scratched her chin as Fluttershy gaped at her.

"Actully I think that might have allready happened. Hm, hey Flutters? Think Twilight can build us a helpfulness counter to measure background helpfulness level? With some study we could calculate when the last helpocalypse happened." Pinkie wondered, nodding at her wisdom. The serious expression on her face sent Fluttershy into a wave of quiet giggles during which the Pegasus grabbed the pink pony into a big fluffy hug.

"What?" the party prankster wondered as her tirade was interrupted by a fluffy warmth seeping into her heart.

"You're the best Pinkie Pie." Fluttershy told her in a solemn tone but with a small smile on her face. "thank you for the talk, I still have some things to work out but I know I can always count on you."

"Always a pleasure, and with that said," Pinkie pointed up at the crossbeams of the barn roof. "Dash the Lipper seems to be taking a nap after her wild dancing spree."

Fluttershy looked up and then tilted her head at Pinkie like a confused bird.

Pinkie pulled out a pair of pink, water soluble sharpies out of nowhere and Fluttershy smiled. She was not one to like pranking much but Dashie was asking for it.

As the yellow pegasus flapped her wings and rose into the air, hiding the pranking tool behind her back Pinkie looked at her with a far away look in her eye. As Fluttershy uncapped the sharpie Pinkie smiled and shook her head.

"Silly Fluttershy, no way anypony could help enough ponies to reach a helpsplosion. But if some pony could it would be you." She whispered fondly.

With that the pink ninja was once more climbing onto the barn support beam with the help of a garishly pink three clawed hook and some rope.


As the Prankster pony was teaching a young genponin pegasus the art of pranksassination Applejack had been doing her duty and deposited the latest batch of Apple Pies on the table.

These Apple Pies were not to be confused with apple pies of course. As Granny always said: 'Apple Pie is to apple pie as a kiss is to a hoofshake. One is a loving culmination of personal feeling and the other just a formality. Also unlike a hoofshake it takes quite a while to quit fumbling and really get good at it.'

The amount of Pies that have been disappearing from the snacks table sure testified to Ponyville's love of Apple Pie and she was sure glad about those stasis schmaisis things Twi whipped up to keep the huge number of Pies at Perfect temperature. She sure would have hated to miss the party because she was stuck in the kitchen baking Pies.

Nodding to herself, satisfied about a job well done Applejack was about to return to her friends when she spotted a surge of chaos in the corner of her eye, turning she saw Bloom, Sweetie and Scoots trampling at full speed from the dance floor towards the main snacks table she had just carefully refiled. They were clearly intending to assault the snacks table with Crusader intent.

"Whoa there Nellies." she called out and stomped her hoof at the ground in front of them. The ground shook, sending the fillies sprawling and they skidded to a stop just in front of the table.

"Now ah reckon ah like Pie as much as anypony but reckon you fillies need to slow down a bit." She cautioned them sternly.

"But... Pies." Muttered Applebllom and three tearful pairs of eyes stabbed into her heart half a heartbeat later.

"Aw, you are getting good at that, the eyes need a little bit more twinkle tho. Now, I said nothin' about the pies being forbidden. "Applejack chuckled good naturedly. "Just move slowly enough not to knock anything over and don't eat so much you'd get a tummy ache."

Applejcaks eyes suddenly narrowed, she stepped closer and smiled dangerously at the fillies.

"Cause if ya'll ruin a single dish by knocking it over carelessly? You're on dish washing duty in the morning."

The fillies paled, looking around the room there where thousands, no millions and millions of plates that were being used. They froze completely for a moment, looked at each other and then back at Applejack.

"Gosh sis, we would never do anything to hurt those nice pies and cakes." Apple Bloom intoned solemnly slowly walking to the table and slowly grasping a Pie in her mouth. “Fiwwy Scoots onr” She mumbled while raising a solemn hoof in the air.

"We will be extra cautious and practice absolute perdition when utilizing any kinds of mastication upon these paragons of culinary delight." Sweetie Belle verbally assaulted the suddenly glassy eyed farm pony. The white pegasus filly glared at one of the pies for a long moment her horn sparking. Finally she sighed and just bit down and carried her pie like Bloom did.

"Yeah, no way I'm cleaning those dishes." Scoots added her own two bits while lifting her self on her hind hooves and swiping three pies in her hooves. Applejack watched her as she balanced the pies expertly along the fillies that were carefully and slowly making their way to their small corner. As they sat down the pies on their table Scotaloo nudged Sweetie "Hey dictionary! Are you sure perdition means what you think it means."

As the fillies bickered Applejack took three pies from the heap, put them on a tray and made her way to Rarity and Twilight.


"I tell you Darling I never felt so empty in my life! It was like I was sucked dry by all those ponies and fillies in the fashion industry, and not in a good way. Oh I had a good time, So many dresses, so many models and luncheons and reviews but I am ashamed to say I overstretched myself and let some of my lesser instincts loose. Making my mark on society is one thing but I want you to promise me that if I ever get so distracted by the high strata of social climbing that I forget..." Rarity sighed and rubbed her forehead with her hoof. "If I stop being me again and start signing any letters to anypony as Lady Rarity I want you to teleport me straight into a large vat of mud. The way Sweetie Belle asked me if I still wanted her as my sister earlier. I was never so ashamed in my life!"

The white unicorn just stared at her with an intense look in her. A single strand of hair was sticking out of the usually impeccable unicorn's mane for ten minutes now and she didn't even notice. Twilight realized that Rarity was truly upset about her sister. She reached out and smoothed out the imperfection with her hoof.

"Don't be so hard on yourself Rarity, I myself have a small penchant for overdoing things. I myself have once signed a letter to Celestia with: And thus I recommend that my findings be implemented into the Academy curriculum as outlined in proposal 23b. Field Researcher, First class, Twilight Sparkle." Twiligt confessed and felt her ears burn in remembered embarrassment at that incident so she urgently downed the glass of something strong and salty that Dash had talked her into getting, against her better judgment.

As the drink burned it's way pleasantly down her chest and into her belly Twilight's thoughts drifted off as she remembered how she had been so tired that day that half way through the letters she had mixed up the letter to Celestia with her Academic paper on the new effects of Lunar phases on the flux of magical fields. Worse still her academic paper contained a an anecdote about using her research to experimentally augment a lullaby spell for use on an angry Ursa Minor and several choice words about silly foals courting danger and braggart journeyman spellcasters. She had also signed the letter Your faithful student Twilight sparkle.

The members of the Education board were so earnestly touched by her somewhat informal and yet friendly manner of writing she didn't have the heart to disabuse them from that that notion or correct the paper that was archived in the University library.

"Oh Celestia, somepony could be reading it right now." With a groan she thumped her head on the table.

"There there darling, It's not that bad.”

Feeling |Rarity pat her on the back gently, Twilight snapped back into the hear and now an her blush intensified.

"Sorry, I kind of drifted off there." She apologized and then smiled at approaching Applecjack and the appetizing appearance of apple pies the farmer mare was bringing.

The farm pony was beaming as she deposed the Pies in front of her friends.

"Hey there Rarity, Twi I brought the snack. Sorry it took so long, I had to double check the heat in the warmers and then I had to stop the Crusaders from launching the snacks table to the moon."

"That's quite alright darling Twilight told me a delightful story about her recent academic mishaps." Rarity explained. "A veritable coup in public relations, even if it was accidental.

Twilight snapped her eyes towards Rarity.

"Oh no, don't tell me I said all that out loud?" Twilight groaned.

"Oh that sounds mighty interesting, care to share Twi? I didn't know you all had any academic mishaps. Tell us more" Appejack drawled eagerly and wondered at the darker and darker hue on the purple mare's face.

So that's how she looks when she's blushing? Who would have thunk it?

Author's note:

Those of you that missed it go back and read the prologue I added at the opening of chapter one. :)

Should I post once or twice a month with bigger chapters or is this pace good?

Anypony think I need a beta?

OMAKE (Because things get cut in production)

Just remember, If somepony gets creepy? Give us a nudge, send us a mockingbird telegram or even some smoke signals and we'll lay down a divine smack down on anything bothering you, Pinkie Pie Style." Pinkie Pie nudged the flustered pegasus a few time and then finally Fluttershy smiled.

"Yeah, nothing can stand against Team Pinkie and the Elements of Harmony. If it tries it gets a face full of out Friendship Party Canon!" Pinkie exclaimed posing heroically, rearing on her rear hooves.

"Friendship Party Cannon?" Fluttershy asked, hiding a giggle behind a hoof.

"Well you know, we're all floaty and then Twilight goes all shiny eyes magical and whoosh, BOOM, Friendship Party Cannon. Because afterward, we party!" The party Pony exclaimed and hopped up and down a little.

Fluttershy got up as Pinkie started bouncing around. She walked over to her cheerful friend and gave her a hug.

A Rare Event VI

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"Hey Miss Sparkle, I'm gonna wind it down now for an hour or so until past midnight with some chill-out prance combo." Vinyl Scratch absently informed the Organizer Adept while staring in awe at the three fillies that have been tearing up the dance floor with minimum breaks since sundown.

"No problem Miss Pon Three. Pinkie said you two talked about the music schedule and I trust the skill in moving an audience you have displayed thus far." Twilight smiled a silly smile at the DJ, wondering how she could see in the party gloom while wearing those rainbow lensed goggles. The purple mare was floating a tall glass with a few ice cubes and a lot of drink in it and took a small sip.

"Your break is well earned, go on have a dance yourself. I also recommend you try this nice ice tea from Manehattan and enjoy the party. Very tasty. Also call me Twilight."

"Sure think Twilight. Pinkie was oddly specific this morning on the timing on some of the songs but I don't regret accepting a gig in Ponyville... I have to ask about those three tho." DJ Pon3 shook her head and pointed at the dance floor where the three fillies were dragging an exhausted looking Spike back to the center of the dance floor leaving claw marks in the dirt. "How in Equestria are they still up and jumping around? I've seen more energetic ravers but those were adults with lots of practice."

"Evil Chaos Magic?" Suggested Twilight and then giggled at her hilarious and daringly edgy joke. Something niggled in the back of her head. What could she have forgotten. She shrugged and took another sip of her tea.

"Oh I reckon I can answer that Miss... Pon Tree was it?" Applejack offered from the sidelines with a slight confused frown having never heard of this type of tree.

"Please, It's Vinyl, Vinyl Scratch. Pon3 is my stage name." The white Dj unicorn corrected gently.

"Sure thang Vinyl. I reckon there are three parts to their endurance. One, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are always, from dawn to dusk tearing up the town on on of their Crusades. Unless they're in school or doing chores of course. Outdoors air is mighty good for fillies. Two, this is the first 'grownup' party they have been allowed to attend thanks to some nepotism and ah reckon they're mighty excited." She pointed at the guest of honor who looked up from her conversation with Fluttershy and gave a little wave.

"And finally, number three," She pointed at the slightly smaller built booth in one corner of the barn where empty plates and Pie holders were stack up high. "It looks like they've eaten their weight in food. Most of it had sugar in some form or another. When they crash they'll want to sleep for a week."

"Of course, the food! I wanted to ask about those Pies. How would one go about ordering a couple dozen of those?" asked the unicorn party DJ as the mystery of the super energetic fillies was answered to her satisfaction.

"Oh Sugar, I reckon you asked the right mare. Have a seat and let's talk." Applejack gestured next to her.

As the DJ and farm mare talked Twilight swept her gaze over the rest of the room. Across the barn ponies were talking, dancing and laughing. Pinkie Pie was tirelessly floating around the room like a somewhat random butterfly/bee/chameleon hybrid, changing her outfit to fit the mood, support some cheesy pun or aid in a punch line.

Rainbow Dash was in one corner whispering and nuzzling up to the Flower Twins. She smiled. They weren't quite smooching but give them an hour or two when the filly curfew passed and they would be. How she managed to seduce both the mare and the stallion was still on Twilight's 'mysteries to solve' list right with Pinkie Pies precognition and Fluttershy's Epic Intimidation skills. Twilight herself had trouble getting past the second date let alone maintaining a 'friendship with benefits'... With twins... Of opposite genders. She shook her head and looked away. Jealousy was unbecoming of a true friend and Dash admittedly had charisma in spades when she was on a roll.

A green fleck of illusionary images drew her gaze across the room to where Zecora was engaged in an intense discussion with Nurse Dear Heart. An illusion of a spasming pony heart floated somewhat grimly between them and at Zecora's gesture the illusion swiftly changed to add a depiction of a Nightshade flower which was then swiftly infused with other ingredients into a potion. The potion flowed inside the heart and it shuddered and stared beating regularity.

Nurse Dear Heart looked skeptical and stabbed her hoof at the heart ventricles, gesturing wildly. Zecora smiled and shook her head, the ventricles got enlarged and shown that while they were slightly damaged Oak Mistletoe was wrapped around them and holding them together as they healed.

Twilight felt that she could follow their conversation with just looking at the illusion despite her somewhat spotty medical expertise. If she was correct and the potion worked like Zecora said it did? That potion was going to save lives. Making a mental notes to look up the magical effects of digitalis, oak mistletoe and nightshade. She also made a mental note to check her notes on Timber-wolf Mistletoe.

As she contemplated the future research she spotted the DJ moving across the floor to her friends Lyra and Octavia and realized she had gotten too focused as she followed the animated medical discussion, no pun intended, and lost track of time. Still, she felt incredibly relaxed.

The party was a success, the music was great, her ice tea was delicious and every pony looked like they were having a good time. She knew now why Pinkie Pie liked throwing parties so much. Speaking of which where could she... Twilight halted her train of thought and instinctively turned around ignoring the logical part of her brain that was telling her it was unlikely to expect Pinkie Pie showing up behind her just because she thought about...

And yes, there Pinkie stood, reared on her hind legs a little way behind her holding a pin and a balloon in her hooves and there was Rainbow Dash who had apparently separated from the Flower twins to look at a support beam and whistle. The blue Pegasus was casually holding something probably explosive hidden from Twilight's sight. She felt the back of her eye twitch and she resolved her face into a Canterlot issue Firm Mask of Authority no6 while victoriously sticking her mental tongue at her Voice of Logic

Under the purple mage's frowning gaze Pinkie simply continued walking towards her before sitting down while Rainbow Dash slinked over to Fluttershy avoiding Twilight's gaze.

"Hi there." the carefree party pony smiled as Dash got really interested in what Fluttershy was saying. Apparently bunny census was a really intriguing topic. Twilight's nose twitched.

"Hello Pinkie, Having a good time?" She asked conversationally eying the, oh so casually set down instruments of Noisy Heart Attack sitting on the table in front of the Pink Pranknsassin.

Her reply was interrupted when Rarity turned her full Presence with a capital P onto the Pink pony the moment she settled in.

“Oh Pinkie Pie, I had been trying to catch you during a lull all evening, I have to ask. How in Equestria did you manage this? I only sent word I decided not to stay overnight in Canterlot a few hours before sundown?!” Rarity verbally pounced at Pinkie Pie as soon as the pink pony had settled at the table

“Party Cannon!” The Pink Pony responded cheekily waggling here eyebrows and smiling broadly and Twilight shook her head even as a small smile snuck onto her face against her will. "Also, you can catch me anytime you are prepared for the consequences."

“Pinkie!” Rarity complained, pouting at the fact that her friends were immune to her social skill and blushing slightly at how expertly Pinkie Pie twisted her words into a subtle innuendo while Rainbow nodded sagely in agreement with Pinkies statement. Fluttershy and Applejack stopped discussing bunny, (or as Applejack put it 'varmint') breeding cycles and turned to watch.

“A really big, Stalliongrad Built, line fed Party Cannon?” The Winged Mistress of Awesome offered, imagining it the hexplosions of confetti such a thing could fire. "Hey do you think if we build a big enough cannon we could launch a pony with the confetti? I could do a Rainboom going up!"

“Rainbow Dash...” Twilight finally broke down and smiled as she hoofed her rainbow maned friend on the shoulder as punishment for her numerous amusing, yet vexing indiscretions.

“Hey! Why do I get hit! Pinkie started it!” Rainbow Dash complained.

“She was out of reach.” Twilight said and then threw the drinking straw from her Manehattan Ice Tea at Pinkie Pie.

Pinkie Pie stuck out her tongue at Twilight and then expertly caught the straw and chewed it as she explained:

“Ok ok, so it was going down when Twilight asked for my help throwing a party so I borrowed some time from when I was bored and sent out invites by Spike airways and asked every-pony to come early for a pre-party party and to lend a hoof. Twilight used her ginormous organizational brain to help out and organize everything efficiently and we had the stage from last time. So this is Technically A Pinkie Twilight party. Or would that be Tinkie Pwilight party? Maybe a Pinkle Twi party?” Pinkies eyes crossed as she worked out this complex problem and then she just shrugged, spat out the heavily chewed red straw, now tied into three knots tied and grabbed a cupcake.

“Anyways. It was a team effort between Me, Twilight and Myself. Also some other ponies helped. Also Spike.” She concluded shoving the entire thing in her mouth and munching. Twilight opened her mouth to ask how exactly Pinkie managed to write out those two hundred something gold laminated invitations that popped and shot out confetti when they were opened while she had been getting Spike from upstairs. Pinkie smiled at her expectantly and then looked behind her her smile widening into a full blown grin.

“And quite and effort it was. Is there room for one more?” A familiar regal voice came from behind the fillies. The six mares turned around and instantly recognized the speaker. Even without her customary regalia, wearing a comfy sweater and her flowing, multicolored mane braided together and significantly more compact then usual it was impossible to mistake her for any pony else.

“P-Princess Celestia!” Twilight stammered as everypony stared for a moment. By the time the mares thought to get up and bow Celestia plopped down on the bench among them. “Not today girls. I have an aversion bubble in effect and bowing would probably disrupt it for a few seconds. As far as everyone else is concerned I'm just some big boned white mare named Sunrise.”

“Princess? Is...” Twilight started to pose a concerned question her face a contorted expression of surprise happiness and worry before she was pushed out of the way by Pinkie Pie. Thoughts of stable aversion bubbles and horrible royal emergencies clashed and collided in her head. Vaguely she considered constructing a runic array to sent Pinkie Pie to the moon for a week or so but dismissed it because of the power requirements. Her head was feeling off and so she took a sip of her delicious ice tea to clear it.

While Twilight was distracted Pinkie Pie took the opportunity to display her enthusiasm by throwing her hooves around the princess for a brief but enthusiastic hug.

“I knew it. I knew if I just kept sending the invites one of these days you would come to one of my parties.” Pinkie pie called out enthusiastically as she bounced around the table once and then settled back into her seat pushing a cupcake from the previously empty seeming pastry tray towards her monarch with a disturbingly large smile on her face. Princess Celestia smiled back at the Pink Antics nibbled at the cupcake and and reassured her still recovering student.

“Everything is well Twilight. Tonight is the second night in a thousand years I am completely free from any duties. And thus I came here to honor your invitation Pinkie Pie and your success Rarity. Do not think I had not enjoyed hearing about it.” Princess Celestia explained as she reached for another cupcake.

“But why? How? When?” Wondered Twilight having finally regained her wits. “You are always so busy.” Than she paused as understanding dawned.

“Luna?” She asked quietly.

“Indeed, My Faithful Student. My Sister has Ascended into her rightful place. Our rule was always meant to be a dual princessdom. Now my duties are halved. I have my Sun and my Sky while Luna has her Moon and her Stars again and this time the ponies love her night more then ever.” Celestia's gaze was far off as she smiled fondly.

"You should have seen her face light up when Luna realized there was an actual Amateur Astronomer Pony Society around and that couples viewed moonlight strolls as romantic." Her smile turned sour and she huffed exasperatedly. "Then she discovered modern pony pastimes like open sky rave parties and copper music concerts. How somepony can enjoy the noisy lightning guitars and gryphons and ponies yelling at the top of their heads of love and tolerance in between screams of claws and hunt was a mystery to me."

"Although now that I think about it Blood Beak had a certain intensity about him when he courted me a few years ago." She pondered thoughtfully. Rarity gasped and leaned forward and by now all the mares at the table were listening intently to the princesses musings.

Twilight choked on her Manehattan Ice Tea. Surely the princess surely did not mean Bloodbeak the Frenzied, the leader and main instigator of the Unification Civil war in Gryphonia. He was dead for sixty years now after a long and successful career as Prime Minister of Gryphonia after the previous hereditary earldom was overthrown. Her historical train of thought was further derailed as the princess continued.

"Maybe I am a bit hasty in condemning the music as noise. Gryphons have always been a bit fun to play 'predator and prey' with." She added, sighed in contentment and nibbled at the most excellent cupcake and chuckled her eyes sparkling evily. "Especially when they realized it was their turn to play prey."

Rainbow Dash nodded sagely to that, eying the princess with a strange respectful glimmer in her eye.

Twilight was stunned. The royal princess of Equestria was sitting with them in Applejacks barn wearing a purple cashmere sweater and nibbling on a cupcake with her hair down, her regalia absent and implying she had 'recently' had a... a fling! with Bloodbeak the Frenzied! The scenes rapidly flashed through her head, her massive intellect barely frazzled by the amount of alcohol she had been imbibing in her 'tea' building a medley of scenes in her head. Her eternally virginal mentor, running across a field at sundown, flank sweating and chest heaving from flight, rippling muscles and a purple flash of wing, tangled feathers and grasping talons, a nibble upon a sensitive neck and an eager moan and then... And Then. Oh Dear Celestia!

Pinkie glanced as Twilight's eyes derped inwards. The purple unicorn collapsed onto the table, horn piercing the wood, her face and neck flushed pale magenta all the way down to her shoulders. Surprisingly the almost empty glass of Manehattan Ice Tea was still expertly being levitated at her side. Pinkie giggled an took a sip from the straw. Her tongue curled as she smacked her lips appreciatively even as she eyed the six empty glasses of next to the purple mare. Her estimate of her friend's alcohol tolerance shifted towards respectable.

Rainbow Dash looked eager to hear more of this fond memory while Rarity looked torn between impressed and scandalized. Fluttershy was peaking at the princess beneath a hoof and Applejack was simply confused. Princess Celestia was acting like some of her Aunts when they came over for visit in stead of, ya know... Royalty.

“Um... Princess.” Apple Jack finally raised her voice hesitantly. “So you are here to... relax? With us?”

“Of course. Where else would I go?” Celestia asked with a smile. Her eyes sparkling with mirth as she was well aware that of how many in Canterlot Elite would faint at even imagining the setting she was in.

“But... Well. This is a simple barn party in Pony-ville. I'm sure you could go anywhere in the world...” Apple Jack wondered.

“And so I could young Apple Jack. And I came here. To be with My Most Faithful student and her friends, my most competent Elements Of Harmony and favorite pen pals. How many ponies do you think, my little Applejack, would just come out and ask if they wanted to know why I was there?” She looked around and then looked at Pinkie Pie as the Pony Pokey started playing. “Or have an actual prancing song begin while I was around. I think I would like to dance. If you would oblige me, Miss Pie.”

Pinkie, suddenly wearing a fancy stallion hat and an archaic tuxedo She was holding out a hoof in a fully formal court bow and sidestep, four hundred years out of date. “Why I would be positively delighted to, Miss Celestia.”

The five remaining mares stared as Princess Celestia left them to dance the Pony Pokey with Pinkie Pie and then excited chatter exploded as they realized that Celestia considered them valued friends.

Well almost everyone. Rarity stared because Pinkie Pie was wearing a supposedly one of a kind, hoity-toity personalized hat she had seen two days ago in Prance. A still passed out, blushing Twilight just mumbled in something about punishing Bloodbeak for heresy.

Author's note:
And then suddenly? Celestia...

I found out why my changes do not take sometimes... Work Offline kicks in when my connection wavers.

Edit: 23. April, Chapter re-revised. Enjoy!

A Rare Event VII, afterparty

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The Party lasted until early in the morning until only a small number of Ponyville party ponies remained behind. The after-party-cleanup party in the barn was in it's late stage as the cleaning had finished and post party unwinding had begun.

The six Mares and Princess Celestia had gathered outside for what Pinkie Pie was calling a post-after-party-sunrise-picnic-party.

The weather was only a touch chilly in the pre-dawn twilight and as the stars faded only a few clouds could be seen lazily drifting along waiting for the morning weather patrol to direct them somewhere more useful.

DJ pon3 had left her booth on auto, leaving a soft chill-out music to set the mood and joined the Poniville Party Ponies in the hayloft from where a murmur of conversation and the occasional squeal of laughter could be heard.

Seven mares sat on a picnic blanket and chatted to pass the time. Fluttershy looked peaky and Pinkie was encouraging her to eat a shugary confection. Rainbow Dash was trying to teach a slightly tipsy Applejack to bend her front hooves like a robot. Rarity was observing these antics while nibbling on some cake and restraining laughter.

Twilight nervously glanced at the princess who was lying comfortably between her and Pinkie. The somewhat larger alicorn looked so relaxed and content that Twilight was having trouble connecting this alien looking Princess beside her with her mentor. Also... If her calculations were correct.

“Is there something wrong, Twilight?” Celestia inquired gently.

“Well. Um. The sunrise is supposed to start any second now.” Twilight said nervously.

“Indeed it is.” Celestia said as she stood up, stretched, walked forwards a few steps and then promptly laid down the comfy looking hay pile that was there to provide shelter from the breeze, smiling to herself and looking towards the far away hills where dawn was supposed to break.

Twilight gaped at her for a moment and then sunlight spilled across the land and she glanced away to look at the majestic, rising sun and then back at her Princess whose horn was completely dormant.

“You need to relax more Twilight.” Pinkie needled the purple mare and nudged her towards where Celestia watched the spectacular sunrise with fascination.

Twilight sighed and then joined the princess, laying down on the hay and letting her analytical mind quiet down for a moment to just enjoy the sunrise.

Celestia spared her student a glance and a friendly nuzzle before looking towards the hills once again.

“It is my first sunrise in a thousand years where I can just admire it in stead of scrying far away and balancing planetary rotation and angle with orbital and planetary lay lines.” She explained softly, her voice brimming with emotion. "The colours. I had forgotten the colours."

“Luna does good work.” Twilight remarked with a whisper enjoying the hues of the sunrise and the oddly intimate moment.

“You are almost at the level where you could learn the magic yourself, My Faithful Student.” Celestia quietly noted, deciding on a whim to spring this on her student now, anticipating the confusion this statement would cause.

Twilight started and looked at the Princess her eyes wide, spectacular sunrise forgotten.

“Isn't this kind of magic the domain of... well...” She trailed off. She had always been uncomfortable reminding herself that her flesh and blood mentor was one of their...

“Gods?” Celestia asked gently. “You forget this about Us and Our Sister and it is your greatest gift to me. Think on this question for a time and get back to me. What are your limits as the Element of Magic? And what are your limits as Twilight Sparkle.”

Celestia touched Twilight's hoof gently and with a small glow of her horn a pair of slender tomes popped into existence.

“This is the complete Rite Of The Sun and it's counterpart The Rite of The Moon. Take no rush and study them, over the next few days, months or years, think on my question and let me know, when you think you know the answer: Just how far are you as Twilight Sparkle from casting them.” She proclaimed. Goddess or not Celestia was unsure herself of her students limits. Technically, the spark of her divinity that imbued in all her little ponies and granted their cutie marks when some threshold into adulthood was passed had no limits and heeded not any boundary.

Twilight sat in stunned silence and held the tomes closely to her chest, staring at the rising sun.

“Do not experiment with them without me there to supervise and remember that magic should be about learning, and fun.” Celestia cautioned softly, knowing her students propensity for all-nighters. Hey eyes widened in surprise as Twilight leaned and pressed her head against her divine neck and sighed. Celestia's ears twitched as faintly murmured and delightfully blasphemous words graced her ears.

She looked down at her student and smiled. It had been a long time since any pony had used the old tongues for an promise-oath to her, let alone referring to her as a person in stead of a goddess. She wondered if Twilight knew she had whispered that out loud. Probably not.

Her little scholar would probably faint if she knew Celestia had heard her craft from the aether a possessive use of the title Σολάρι.

"I Better stop her before she accidentally utters a marriage proposal in the language of magic." She chuckled internally.

"So how are your studies in expansion of touch spells onto groups and areas going?" Celestia questioned. Twilight was always eager to discuss magic.

“What do you think they are talking about.” Asked Rainbow Dash curiously as the rest of the girls lay on blankets, around the small picnic spread enjoying the first rays of sunlight on their skin.

“I don't know and it sure as hey ain't none of our business.・Apple Jack nudged her blue friend slightly.

“I know... It's just. Look at them, It's princess Celestia, The Rising Sun of our lullabies, The Wind In The Sky my Grandmother prays to, as much as we tend to forget it when she is being 'jus Celesia'. For Equestria's sake she is a goddess and Twilight is cozies up with her like, like... Anypony!" Rainbow Dash squirmed, her curiosity rearing it's head.

“'Ah admit that two years ago I would have called ya a liar if you told me any of what we all saw and lived through. And, when you think about it everypony needs companionship I think that all her power aside, deep inside even Celestia is just a pony who wants to have friends. I for one will never flinch from a friendly hoof, extended.” The farm pony concluded with a poetic finality that left the other stunned for a moment.

“We knew they were close, as mentor and student." Rarity agreed, staring at Apple Jack fondly. These moments of wisdom were why she was friends with that mare. Propensity for mud, sweat and all.

“Celestia was always like, super-friendly to all of us, writing back to us, doing us favors, being nice and lending us her hall for Twilight's birthday and stuff. And she's a good dancer too, which is the main thing. No pony had ever kept up with me in pony pokey before." Pinkie added her two bits.

“She is nice.” Whispered Fluttershy with a far away look in her eye and a wry smile. Something about the husky way she said it drew the attention of the rest of the mares.

“That was not a bad ni~ice!” Rainbow Dash grinned as she nudged her shy childhood friend. "Spill it Flutter-wonder!"

“ Um, It's nothing...” Muttered Fluttershy.

“Oh come on. You can't still be doing that. Take a deep breath and pretend you are cheering, and then say it.” Rainbow Dash encouraged her.

“It was when I was claiming Everfree Forest as my Guarded Lands as part of my Warden duties.” Fluttershy braved loudly, for her and a small blush spread across her face.

The rest of the mares looked at each other.

"Warden?" mouthed a confused Applejack at Rarity who just shrugged helplessly. She had never heard of that title.

"Go on, go on." The blue pegasus encouraged eagerly.

“She appeared during the ritual and... Kind of...” She muttered with diminishing loudness. Rainbow leaned closer trying to catch every word.

"Yeees?" the pushy pegasus prodded leaning precariously.

Fluttershy trailed off and lowered her head to the ground and covered her head with her hooves an mumbled quickly: “She gave the Everyfree Forest to me as my domain.”

“What was that sugah?” Apple Jack encouraged.

“Princess Celestia acknowledged that the Everfree Forest is my Magical Domain.” She rapidly fired off and then with a squeak covered her head again. Rainbow Dash fell on her face and groaned in disappointment. She had thought it was something juicy. A half remembered story niggled in the back of her head and she froze staring at her blushing friend.

“What the hey does that mean?” Applejack asked looking at her other friends. "Besides, you know, you being a super duper Nature pony we all know and love?"

“Hey Twilight whatsa magical domain?” Pinkie Pie called out as Rarity wondered if it Warden counts as a noble title or a professional moniker.

“Well Pinkie as you know everpony draws their magic from an aspect of the world. Now like how most pegasi draw from the air or the sky. Sometimes tho...”

As Twilight stopped up onto a nearby soeapbox to deliver an university level lecture on the nature of magic about this subject Rainbow Dash tuned her out and stared at her longtime best friend for a long moment considering a half forgotten Pegasus fairy tale and then lowered herself to whisper at her shy friend.

“Does that mean if I pray to you I can have spells?” Rainbow teased quietly with mischief in her eye.

With a squeak Fluttershy drew Pinkie's attention from Twilight's overly scientific explanations and waved her head no a small blush visible on her face.

“Aw, why not? Do I have to offer sacrifices first?” The pegasus teased her long time friend and touched a hind-leg to a yellow flank. “A virgin sacrifice perhaps?"

Twilight's lecture paused as she noticed her friend's attention being drawn to Rainbow and Fluttershy.

Crimson spread across Fluttershy's face, and down her neck as she blushed from the teasing. She knew that Rainbow was not really into fillies that much and was just teasing her but the entire concept of giving someone else a piece of something as intimate as a a breath of ones magic in exchange for... even more intimate favors like in one of the more adult oriented pegasus tales was really embarrassing and she just knew Dashie was doing this on purpose. She was about to plead for her to stop embarrassing her when her hind-leg twitched from Dash drawing a gentle hoof just below her cutie mark causing an involuntary shiver. Blue eyes narrowed and adrenaline surged through her veins in a sudden bout of anger. Enough is enough.

"Now listen here Missy!" Fluttershy growled as she hooked a hoof under Dashe's hind leg and pulled, lifting herself on her legs as the prankster pegasus toppled to the ground with a surprised oomph.

Her wings snapped up in a display of dominance that was completely unlike her normal timid self. Lightning arced along her wingtips stabbing at the the nearby cloud turning it dark and heavy. Fluttershy pinned her prankster friend to the ground and displayed her teeth for all to see while sinister wind picked up across the Apple farm and stirred her mane.

Lighting dropped from the rapidly spreading cover of dark an heavy clouds and struck the weather mane as a localized storm rapidly spread across the sky.

“Rainbow Danger Dash! You will stop that kind of talk this instant! I am not a mythical Goddess of The Everfree Forest! I just protect it and embody it's magic and I most certainly do not want Virgin Sacrifices!” She shouted in the blue mare's face even while her eyes were tearing slightly in equal measure anger and embarrassment at what would everypony think of what Rainbow had been saying about her.

Rainbow stared at her trembling friend with wide eyes. Oh rainbow Dash you really stepped into it this time.

"I'm sorry Fluters." She muttered closing her eyes. "I took it too far, you can punish me whichever way you want."

Fluttershy's anger cleared like mist and and the howling winds died down to a dull roar and faded, but not before it stole Applejacks hat right off her head.

"Hey shugarcube. You may not be a goddess but you sure as heck have the Royal Canterlot Voice down.” Apple Jack finally spoke into the stunned silence.

“What was that about virgin sacrifice?” Yelled Dj Pon3 from up in the loft and a few cheers and a whistle were heard from the Ponyville Party Ponies in the back.

Fluttershy looked around for a moment, looking horrified and then squeaked and covered her head with her hooves, landing on top of Rainbow Dash who stared at her supposedly timid friend for a moment and then wrapped her limbs around her and gave her a big hug.

“I'm sorry Flutterwonder. I was just teasing. I'm sorry. I didn't think you were stressing about it. Forgive me? Ple~ease."

Fluttershy stiffened and then melted into her friend's embrace, resting her head on her shoulder and the budding storm died down like it hadn't happened leaving just a few leaves gently fluttering down to the ground.

“'S 'Kay.” She muttered tiredly, still trembling from the emotional turmoil. “Just don't... say those things again. It was... Just a story... I wouldn't... You know. It's not nice. 'f you are in the forest and need me just ask you know. Praying is for gods." She half whispered

“'M not a goddess. I just take care of the animals.” She whispered closing her eyes.

As Fluttershy dozed off a complete silence descended on the farm cut only by the soft rhythms of Pon3 chill-out track

Everypony just looked at each other at a loss for words. Finally Applejack stood up and walked over to where her hat had been blown off.

"What the hey just happened?" She asked as she picked up her hat from the ground and returned to the slightly ruffled friends. Pinkie Pie shrugged and made some room for her, looking slightly worried while Rarity was just frozen staring at Fluttershy.

Everyone looked at Twilight who was staring at the sky and the few stray clouds fading like mist in the morning. She looked at Applejack and then shrugged.

"I got nothing. What just happened is..." the Purple unicorn trailed off and shook her head. "All i can possibly think of is a timed stunt by a team of Pegasi hiding in the clouds to set everything on cue. I never studied weather magic much. Dash how did she do that?"

Rainbow shrugged while she pushed away a stray hair from Fluttershy's face and then just rested her left arm on Fluttershy's shoulder and laid back, staring at the sky.

"I dunno. I could do it in about twelve seconds by preforming a rapid, condensed cloud manipulation in conjunction with some thermal finagling. But I'd have to be flying and work my flank off to pull it off. I have no clue how she did it. But I'll be her servant for a year if she says she can teach me. That was awesome." She smiled and hugged Fluttershy a little tighter. Fluttershy mewled and murmured ”Dashie. Not so hard.” before she sighed and settled more comfortably into her Rainbow-pillow.

Rainbow Dash froze and then blushed like a tomato.

“No pony talks about this EVER.” She growled at her friends who all wore silly grins on their faces.

Celestia opened her mouth to comment and Rainbow cut her off.

“That goes for you to miss sunny side up!” She ordered and then blanched in a sudden color reversal from blushing purple to pale blue.

“Um. If you don't mind. Your highness.” She Rainbow retreated verbally in a rapidly diminishing tone of voice reminiscent of a certain yellow colored Pegasus.

Celestia's mouth fell open as she stared at the mercurial mood of the pegasus and then her eyes glittered like sun filled dew drops as she let out a completely girly giggle and wiped a tear from her eye. With that a dam burst through and the rest of the girls collapsed into laughter and chuckles at the role reversal the two pegasi just went through.

Author's note"
As always, I have no beta and no pony loving pre-reader friends. Tell me what sucks and what's cool so I can make the story better.
Also I have some other projects so you can expect weekly updates at best..

Ponyville Tea party I

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Twilight woke with a yelp, panting and sweating. Wide eyed she struggled against her sheets for a moment before she realized it had been that dream again. She closed her eyes and sighed letting herself fall back onto the bed.

"Sweet Celestia that was intense." She muttered to herself snuggling deeper into her covers, deciding that for once she should be lazy.

"Why thank you my little Twilight. I do have one thousand years of experience." Celestia spoke and her tone was one Twilight had never heard before. It sounded... Husky.

Twilight's eyes snapped open and she rapidly sat up looking around the room wildly. Ok so she was in her room. And princess Celestia was lounging on a cloud-bed situated above her desk. Giving her the bedroom eyes.

Mind scratching to a rapid halt she blinked stupidly, wondering if she was still dreaming and then last night rushed back into her mind.

"Abuh. Wha?" She hyperventilated as increasingly panicky thoughts flitted through her head. Her eyes widened to an impossible degree and her tick had returned with a vengeance.

Arcs of lighting and a lick of flame danced across her mane before the panic crashed to a halt as one of her contingency spells kicked in.

A wave of calm descended on her and logic re-asserted itself.

"You've been sending me dreams of battle?" She inquired politely of he mentor. Of course Celestia was here. She offered to let her stay. Perhaps saying your place or mine had been somewhat unfortunate in retrospect but it was the only 'invite a mare to your home after a party' phrase that came up to her slightly woozy mind. Stupid dating books confusing her vocabulary.

"Oh I felt that. Calm mind contingency?" Celestia pouted cutely at her fun being cut off. "And no. I wasn't sending dreams that is traditionally Luna's domain. I was trying to make you blow a gasket. You always have the cutest expression on your face when you are panicking. I am still going to use the fact that you woke up panting and with my name on your lips to embarrass you at some point in the future."

"I don't have a problem with that. As long as I get to tell the Zebrican ambassador the realreason why his daughter came to study in Canterlot." Twilight smiled. She really was usually a bit nervous around her mentor and it was nice just talking to her normally.

Celestia's eyes widened and she hopped off the cloud approaching her student.

"You wouldn't!" The Solar Regent complained with a hurt expression on her face.

Twilight smiled serenely at her friend and mentor. The solar princess sat down next to Twilight and nudged her slightly.

"Blackmailing your princess is a capital offense you know." Celestia tried another angle. "I'll have you in front of the Firing Squad."

"I'll take a dozen pies to the face if I have to." Twilight countered.

"Pies?" And then she hit her face with her hoof when she remembered that she wrote a law re-establishing capital punishment as a combination of embarrassment and civil labor. Not that the subject had come came up in court in two hundred years either way.

"Remind me to never write laws when the Jamareican ambassador is visiting." She grumbled. Love and tolerance might work wonderfully and yet, sometimes she wondered if a little plasma, properly applied to a certain segment of nobility... Naah. If she had to be embarrassed she would be. Still she had one more weapon to play. Misdirection.

"I'll just have to torture you then." Celestia intoned calmly, her horn glowing with a customized battle spell that she had been saving for an occasion like this. With a war cry she descended on her rebellious student intent on quashing all signs of insolence.

Before Twilight could react Celestia had pounced on her student and struck true, her hooves precisely guided by the spell to her target, the most ticklish spots her student's body.

A screaming peal of laughter rang across the library with occasional pleas for mercy from Twilight

"There shell be no mercy for the rebellion against your sovereign! No Mercy! No Quarter! Submit! Obey!" The Solar Sovereign commanded before her rebellious student used the small pause to retaliate using the soft ends of about a dozen levitating quills.

No pony noticed Spike had opened the door and then quietly closed it again, blushing.


Fluttershy woke up with uncharacteristic reluctance to drag herself away from dreamland. She was warm and safe and all was well with her world. She was still half way in that strange dream where some pony was asking her for something with extreme politeness. She didn't quite understand what, a dream equivalent of a band aid perhaps and she was glad to give it. Her work done she decided it was time to stop being a lazybones. She had some cute critters to feed and a patrol to get to.

With a sleepy yawn she tried to stretch and realized that warmth she was feeling was a limb-full of pony. She froze, her eyes snapped open her heart beating wildly. At the sight of a familiar rainbow mane she relaxed. Dashie was safe, for a moment she had feared she had brought some strange pony home from the party. By morning she had been feeling a bit woozy and what would have been really really Embarrassing.

Still, needs must and her animals needed. She reluctantly slipped out of bed. Dashie mumbled something in her sleep and sprawled onto her back, starting up a cutesy little snore. Fluttershy giggled quietly and tippy-hoofed out of the room.

"Morning Angel Bunny." She called as she made her way into the kitchen. Her dear bunny friend glarred at her tapping his watch. He pointed his finger to a bowl of porridge, a glass of milk and some some simple cellery and carrot salad on the table before pointing out the door. He crossed his arms tapping his foot impatiently.

"Thank you for making me breakfast Angel Bunny I know I slept in a little today." Fluttershy smiled and leaned, parted his ears and gave him a smooch on the top of the head. With a disguised sound Angel scrubbed his head and fled out the front door to hide his blush.

It didn't take too long for her to finish up breakfast, go outside and fill the animal feeds then come back in to brush her mane and tail to make herself presentable. Soon she donned her cloak and went for the door once more. She paused for a moment and hastily scribbled a note to Dashie before leaving, a busy day ahead of her.

She had to check on that manticore family, the river serpent was shedding his scales and the poor timber-wolf pack was having lichen problems. Then she had to swing over to the ranger station and check on the Everfree Patrol before going home for the afternoon feed.

Feeling cheerful she set off towards the Everfree forest with a cheerful melody on her lips that gathered some song birds in counterpoint.

All in a day's work.


Applejack never went to sleep. As the others took off she went home, brewed some coffee, had a light breakfast and then threw herself right back into chores. The barn was pretty clean from the after party crowd's kind effort but hey needed stacking, apples wouldn't pick themselves, that fence needed mending and she'd been meaning to fix the harness on the plow for weeks.

By noon she was feeling a bit dizzy from lack of sleep but the chores she set aside for herself were done. As she strolled into the kitchen after a good shower. Granny Smith was away at the spa retreat after getting her hip fixed and it was her bother's turn to cook and she couldn't wait, if only he wouldn't leave that huge pile of dishes after he was done creatin'. Big Mack noticed her entering sighed and shook his head even as he served a tired looking Apple Bloom who has been doing her own chores for the day at double speed so she could go crusading in the afternoon.

"Don't y'all start in on me Big Brother, ah had chores." Applejack protested.

Big Mack nodded knowingly and served her the delicious mushroom casserole.

"Ah know that. But If th' Princess wants to have a talk ah reckon ah might be on another mane raising quest to darn knows where and then the princess herself know when those chores 'd be done." Applejack defended herself.

Big Back dished out a generous serving for himself and sat down raising an eyebrow at Applejack.

"Well of course you could do it but what the hey kinda sister would ah be if ah let you do all the work?" She questioned her brother ash they all paused briefly and murmured a thanks to Celestia and Luna over their meal.

Big Mack smiled at his little sister and chowed down.

"Ah suppose so. Ah jist didn't wanna leave in undone." Applejack sighed.

Apple Bloom stared at her older siblings and then dropped down the spoon.

"Ok how the hey do you two do that?! He didn't say a word!" She protested.

Big Mack and Apple Jack looked at each other and chuckled, eating their lunch calmly in silence.

"Oh come on!"


"Come o~n Rarity!" Sweetie Belle protested. "I'm starving!"

In her work room Rarity was just finishing her latest creation: The super lazy unicorn hammock for her vacation.

"I'm coming Sweetie Belle, decorum!" She cautioned.

"I hardly think I am capable of decorum when my stomach is collapsing into a thaumaturgic singularity!" Sweetie Belle protested and a large growl emanated from her stomach. "You hear! It's the anti-thaums from the prevent-horizon self annihilating against my stomach lining."

"Don't be such a drama queen." Rarity protested placing a simple but elegant white hat on her head and opening the front door. She turned to the filly that was gaping at her with her mouth open at the drastic and unashamed hypocrisy .

"Well? Don't make us tardy little sister."


Pinkie Pie carefully closed the gold laminated invitation and slid it into it's pre-addressed envelope with a tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth.

"And Two hundred and thirty six." She grinned cheerfully. "Awesomest party invitations ever! Well there we are Gummy! Thanks for the help." She said fishing him out of the confetti box and shaking him upside down gently before setting him down.

She placed the last envelope into the carefully labeled envelope folder and headed downstairs.

"Hey Miss Cake, I'm ready for my shift!" She announced bouncing cheerfully behind the counter while throwing on an apron.

"Oh thank you Pinkie, I promised the twins I'd take them to the park and they've been reminding me about it all week." Miss Cake sighed in relief.

"Doncha worry about a thing." Pinkie announced cheerfully.

"Oh I don't worry. You could probably run the whole thing yourself by now." Miss Cake teased.

"Heavens forbid! When would I find time to party?" Pinkie giggled.

"Pumpkin! Pound! It's..." Miss Cake started to announce when two bundles of pure energy in equine form descended down the stairs and vanished her through the front door.

"My, my those two are getting rowdier every week. Soon they shall fall completely to the pink side and rule in my stead!" She chuckled to herself as she set to do a quick sweep of the counter.

The door clinked and a pink mail-mare entered through the front door.

"Special delivery for a Pie, Pinkamena Diana." The bubblegum maned mail mare cheerfully announced.

"Awesome!" Pinkie Pie announced hopping over the counter. "Just in time! I have some invitations for you!"

"Sign here, hoofprint here." The cheerful mail-mare guided. "And here you go, one self-addressed envelope."

"Why thank you miss mail-mare." Pinkie Pie giggled. "And here's your parcel with Two hundred and thirty six hoof made invitations for a surprise welcome back party."

"Two hundred and Twenty six?" The mail-mare raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah. Yeah, grumpy ol stalliongrad-y pants came back to town yesterday morning and he knows his vodka." Pinkie elaborated.

"Great! More the merrier." The mail mare enthused.

"So... You have time for cake?" Pinkie asked with a giggle which her companion shared.

"Do I ever! I've been looking forward to a slice of chimichanga surprise all week." The Mail mare squealed.

"You and me both sister, you and me both."

Fifteen minutes later the Mailmare left, pinkie was reading the letter she recieved and soon Twilight entered looking slightly confused.

"Pinkie? Do you have a sister in the postal service? I swear that mailmare I passed looks almost like your twin." Twilight asked sounding a bit confused. "In fact for a moment..."

"Oh we get mistaken for each other all the time. Don't worry about it." Pinkie hoof waved Twilights question away. "What can I do for ya?"

"I need some snack for this evening." Twilight started.

"Say no more, I got just the thing for you. I'll bring a fresh batch of cupcakes, tea biscuits and a dozen slices of forest fruit surprise supreme when I come over."

"Ah great Pinkie." Twilight said distractedly as she checked of an item on her list. "Do you.."

"The shop down the street just got a new batch of candles." Pinkie informed her before she even finished the question.

"Great thanks." Twilight said absentmindedly. "See you later Pinkie."

"Bye Twiliey!" Pinkie waved and then turned back to her letter. "Oooh forming a party! I'm gonna need my Hoppers Hoofy Hoversack. Gummy? Did you see where I left my ten foot pole?"

Ponyville Tea party II

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"It was tea time in Ponyville and the six most powerful mortals currently alive gathered inside a nature born fort of knowledge to discuss the very future of the world with their sovereign. The meeting of minds could and would shake the very corners of the universe with it's magnitude. They sit before their beloved creator and one of them poses a most crucial of questions as the universe pauses in anticipation: One lump or two?" Pinkie Pie asks the white alicorn guest, holding up the sugar bowl.

The princess smiles at the pink mare as the rest of the mares groan and chuckle. "I believe I shall have three." She answers levitating her cup closer to the Pink Mare.

"Ooh! Good answer your Princessliness!" The enthusiastic mare say and then continues serving tea. "And thus Equestria is safe from Shugarocalipse once more!"

Applejack wipes a tear from her eye. "Pinkie Pie you are a hoot! Six most powerful mares in the world. Really!"

"We have some influence darling but I must say you do make this meeting sound ominous." Rarity pronounces as she flicks her mane to the side, lounging gracefully on her side.

"Well, technically, she's right. Remember that experimental thaumic Sensor Spell I was testing two weeks ago? Each and every one of us is in the 99th percentile." Twilight looks at her pink friend thoughtfully.

"Hold on! Are you saying I'm more magic then 99 percent of Pegasi out there? Boyah!" Rainbow exclaims and does a little loop de loop in the air above the table.

"Surely darling you cannot be serious? I am good but last time I checked I was pretty average. I admit that was six years ago but most unicorns don't gain that much power after puberty. I certainly haven't been levitating any Ursa." She laughs politely her eyes shining with mirth.

"Actually Dash, I used the absolute scale, not race specific." The purple scholar corrected. "As for our development i suspect...."

"Now hold on a second Twilight. Ah actually know about this from helping Applebloom with her homework and Earth ponies don't pool our magic inside ourselves like that." Applejack smirked and adjusted her hat smugly. "So you can't measure earth pony magic like that."

"Which is why I snuck in under an invisibility spell and measured while you were Applebucking." Twilight proclaims smugly. "You most certainly channel a lot of magic when you get all sweaty. Now as to wh..."

"Who cares how you proved it. Science just proved what I knew all along. We. Are. Awesome!" Rainbow interrupts, preening proudly and landing next to Pinkie Pie who was ready to return a hoof bump.

The group look at each other in silence for a long moment. Applejacks readjusts her hat nervously. Rarity's eyes glaze over like she is far, far away. Pinkie pie is eating her cake humming cheerfully to herself and observing the Pincess. Fluttershy had an exaggerated look of surprise that would have fooled no pony if they were actually looking at her..

Celestie smiled gently at her friends.

"Ok Princess, I've seen you practice the-smile-of-omnipotent-knowledge in the mirror plenty of times and it only works on people who didn't see you slip an a bar of soap and dive face first into the Royal Jacuzzi." Twilight prodded with a fond smile

"Fine, ruin my fun won't you. Bad Student." Celestia chided, gently tapping the purple student on the top of the head with her hoof

"That's Doctor Bad Student your highness, I have a triple PHD you know." Twilight said haughtily before her eyes softened. "But I'll always be your student."

A cough interrupted their exchange the princess and they snapped back from whatever world they floated off to.

"This is all kind of fun y'all but I reckon we all came here for a reason." Applejack said plainly and the rest of the mares nodded.

Celestia sighed and let her playful manner wash away. Suddenly before them stood The Unconquered Sun.

"Very well. I shall speak plainly. It is the time to do so. Equestria is a great place and I am proud of what all my little ponies achieved. What I am going to tell you now is not widely known. Some of you are probably more aware then most that I made the world-sphere of Equestria when I was a filly, I was young, made some mistakes. Equestria is a bit flawed in some aspects." She paused and sipped her tea taking in the reactions of her favorite mortals.

Twilight stared at her with her mouth opened for a moment and then got that intense, thoughtful, look in her eye. Wheels inside her head spinning into overdrive.

The girls displayed a varying amount of confusion at this confession except Fluttershy was the only one who took this confession in stride.

"Nature." The yellow, shy pegasus spoke. "We have to maintain it ourselves."

"The Periodic table. The missing elements we have to synthesize at great expense. You forgot to put them in." Twilight added frowning slightly at Fluttershy. What was she getting at.

"Yes. We have found ways around almost every difficulty except the scarcity of some resources such as copper and germareium. Alchemical synthesis is still too expensive. Imagine if you could buy a pound of copper for a steel bit or two. Or maybe even gold."

"We'd have telegraph in every town in stead just for diplomatic use?" Twilight snorted at the absurd thought of copper wiring. Gold wires were expensive enough.

"Correct. While my little ponies have accomplished much, my sister and I have realized that a significant part of equestrian science has remained mostly academic due to the need for exorbitant transmuting of materials. The main reason I've switched the guard to the even more expensive adamantine alloys seventy years ago is that we simply did not have the iron needed to finish the railway system and supply the guard. Luckily I had been making a stockpile of adamant out of the spare Mythral and electrum in the royal treasury in my spare time."

Twiligh's eyes grew wide. She thought the secret of transmuting adamant out of gold, silver and mythral was a myth. She opened her mouth to ask and then hesitated. No. They shouldn't get sidetracked.

"You... you want us to go beyond the world sphere?" Twlight asked hesitantly, "How come I never learned that it was even possible?"

The rest of the mares also leaned a bit closer, curious about this topic. None had ever heard that there were things outside of the world.

"Twilight, you are my favorite, most precious student. And your studies are vast and diverse. But even you can only cover so much. Ladies, let me tell you about the eternal sea, Primordium." For a moment the princess gaze was cast far, far away as she recalled the distant past and her voice took on an ethereal, larger then life quality.

"Imagine an endless sky all around you, dotted with countless stars. There is no up or down, only the endless sea of stars. And each star is a universe unto itself that you could sale to. The analogy is the closest lie we can tell ourselves to comprehend the vastness of Primordium. Sailing throught the space between universes is an experience i can only try to describe. But how does one describe it's winds of pure joy and the corrosive storms that prey on the unwary. Primordium is potential incarnate, a wonder and danger unlike any other and from which all else is born. I only traveled it once, as a filly as I fled a war and strife unlike any Equestria has seen. I guess I should start there, on the shores of Everfree. Uncle Io had just lost his eye while getting unborn Luna into a crystal chamber that would keep her safe until she could be born. My retainers struggled to keep us hidden as we made our way to an old pleasure yacht my aunty rarely used...."

The girls listened in awe to the tale of the creation of Equestria as the day turned to night. And as they listened they realized that the princess was sharing something very personal with them, even though she didn't have to. Time passed as they gained a personal view of their princes and the nature of the universe. Gradually the conversation turned on how they could make the journey through the stars.


The Solar Wind is a pinnacle of magical engineering crafted by the finest minds of Equestria. Her appearance is that of a large, classically rigged if ornately decorated sailing vessel is deceptively fragile. Thirty seven meters long it is technically a merchant class vessel.

With the sleek appearance of a traditionally rigged Barquentine in water it looks and acts as an unusually responsive sailing ship. Yet the Solar Wind is more then she seems because unlike most ships this one is about as magical as it gets.

With a competent Pegasus at the helm and crewed by all three Equestrian races the Solar Wind hidden majesty comes to light: the Solar wind is not bound to Equestrian oceans. The Solar Wind is one of the rare few, non dirigible vessels capable of atmospheric flight.

During flight the ship’s ornate wooden hull glows faintly with a web-like lines of runes and usually hidden within the ornate carvings of her body. When sailing in the atmosphere the Solar Wind deploys Pegasus sized spinning blades from the sides for lift and flight control and can reach up to 23 knots without the assistance of her sails. Assisted by a good tail wind she can go above 47 knots.

Magically transcendent hypercube of space inside it makes it a unique creation, a merchant vessel with capacity beyond anything ever made. She is fast, durable and agile.

And when in need that little something extra, a good captain will deploy the magical solar sails and ride the sunrise.

The Solar Wind gained it’s name for it’s ability to catch the rays of a sun and through a practical application of magical sciences: go faster then any pony crewed vessel before her: With a Pegasus on the helm and a Unicorn to to guide the main flight cone and an earth pony manning the gravity emulation array she is the only ship in Equestria capable of going supersonic.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” Dash stopped Celestia's textbook explanations. “Did you just say THAT thing can do a rain-boom?!”

“Only with a helms pony that knows what she is doing.” Celestia smiled enticingly while Twilight nodded, engrossed behind them in a book that went into far more details then is necessary..

“Suddenly I wanna join the Equestrian Navy...” Rainbow Dash mumbles, biting her hoof and failing to realize that piloting the Solar Wind was not impossible for her..

The with an evil smile on her face Twilight looks up from the manual for the ship ever prepared Celestia summoned for her. "Hey Dash! It says here she can also go faster the light."


After Rainbow Dash was revived the girls realized it was getting somewhat late thus the tea party turned into dinner party food was brought forth and as explanations and questions sailed were exchanged the mares came to realize that they should they go on this journey it would be an experience of a lifetime.

"Well, I'm in, how much time to pack?" Rainbow Dash proclaimed suddenly whens he was told she could become a helms-pony and Celestia laughed.

"Oh Rainbow Dash, of course you do. It is not a time sensitive mission. Ideally you would leave within the month the Solar Wind is ready but it is unfurnished, it lacks a crew and I am certain you ladies can't just drop everything and disappear for a several months. Remember traveling the Primordium is a sea of space and time. It can flow in odd ways but things have a way of evening out. If your trip out lasts a month the trip back could last only a day." (NTS: do you want to open that can of worms?)"

"Ah reckon that should be plenty of time to prepare for those of us who decide to go besides Twilight and Rainbow Dash." Applejack said frowning in thought. "Personally Ah don't reckon Ah like leavin' the farm for so long."

Rarity found herself agreeing with Applejack. "While I believe I should come along I am not entirely certain if I can. Closing my boutique would be difficult and who would take care of Sweetie Belle? Tracking my parents is next to impossible this time of year. They could be anywhere on Equis and they aren't scheduled to come back for another three months."

"I already worked out a schedule that should let me work in all the parties so I am free to join this party." Pinkie nodded with a Smile.

Fluttershy merely looked thoughtful.

Soon they parted ways. Celestia on her way to Draconia say hello to an old friend and the mares retreated to their homes to consider everything and decide.

After they left Twilight waved goodbye to her friends and sat down to organize her thoughts. Curling up on her favorite pillow her thoughts turned inwards. Facts connected observed phenomenon linked to higher mathematics that never meshed complete lt before as her inner world connected new things she had learned into her greater whole. Fractals blossomed as she rebuilt her inner universe.

Well after the sun finally set Spike finally returned from hanging out with Snips and Snails at "the fort."

The library was dark when he entered but that was no big deal for him. Without bothering with light he made his way along the main room to where he could see Twilight's form still snuggled on The Pillow Of Snuggles. Eyes wide open but blank and unseeing, breath imperceptibly shallow and still as a statue she would have made an eerie sight to anypony else.

Spike just chuckled quietly and shook his head, fetching a blanket. Silly Twilight thinking too hard again. He tucked her in, just like she used to do for him and with a gentle kiss on the the forehead he let her to her own devices. She could stay like that for hours and he didn't want her to get a cold. With on last look he hesitated on the stairs one day he'd be strong enough and big enough to carry her up.