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First there was the faint cawing of seagulls, then the soft crashing of the waves and bubbling sound as they receded into the ocean. That fresh salty smell of the oceans flooded her olfactory senses as their owner slowly regained consciousness. As the three toned maned pony began to move her extremities she took notice of the grainy feeling on her hooves as the sand shifted wetly beneath her form. Soon her eyelids began to lift, exposing her bright purple irises as they scanned and acclimated to the heavy sunlight. The landscape was fuzzy at first but as she gained focus she found her presence of mind seemed to be matching her vision's clarity as it became more vivid. 

 

"Ohh... mah head..." the Ivory mare rubbed her forehooves to her temples a few times before she looked around, "A beach?" The pony pulled herself to her hooves and looked at her surroundings, in front of her was a lush and vibrant tropical forest, the calls of various birds and animals present that seemed almost musical. She looked behind her to see the ocean, waves crashing against the shore and then pulling back into the deep blue waters. On the horizon of the water, she could see what looked like a violent tropical storm drifting just out of view... 

 

"That's right. there was a storm... Ah was on a Boat..." Soon her mind drifted back to the memory of what her publicist had told her; she needed a vacation. She'd been producing a great deal of short stories so fast the printing presses weren't able to keep up and then suddenly she'd hit a bad case of writer's block. Go on a cruise in the gallopocus, she said. It'll be fun, she said. She was gonna have quite a talking to when Foxglove got out of this situation.

 

Wiping some sand off her face and the rest of her, she looked around for her favorite accessory; Her Umbrella. She  looked around and then noticed something black hanging from one of the various palm trees at the edge of the shore. She sighed, somewhat annoyed and thought to herself, "Well, at least it's close. ah'll have ta come back for it... fer now, Ah should look ta see if anypony else had luck like mine." With that she began to stroll down the beach, her hooves leaving her mark in the sands. As she walked she made sure to keep a bit of distance from the tide so the water wouldn't wash her tracks away. 

 

"Anypony Here?" she called out, her voice echoing a good ways down the coastline.

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"Ugh! What happened?" Lore said as he opened his eyes. As his vision became clearer he could see he was no longer on the boat like he last remembered but a sandy beach with an endless ocean around him. The stallion slowly got up, his body sore and covered in salt water and sand. There was no indication of any land in the distance. There was that ominous storm that was in the distance that Lore was happy that it was far out. 

 

"Ok so I was on a boat to head to a vacation, now I'm on a beach. I wonder in anypony else is here."

 

"Anypony Here?" 

 

He turned to see a familiar face in the distance, a horror writer named Foxglove whom he met in Ponyville, looking just as confused as he was. 

 

"Foxglove!" he called out to her as he galloped across the sand towards her, "Are you alright?" 

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Of course.

Of bucking course.

"Take a break, Inkbrand, see the world, Inkbrand. Settle down with a nice mare, Inkbrand," the aforementioned stallion mimicked in a high falsetto, even going so far as to demurely toss a hoof through the air - before slamming it down into the sand. "Yeah thanks," he hollered to the empty shoreline, and to one lone seagull to was giving him a very unimpressed stare, "I'll just settle down with this grain of sand here. Don't forget to send a wedding gift, you Taurtarus-flanked piece of rot!"

The seagull stared at him a moment longer, before turning around and taking flight, a derisive caw the only sign of its acknowledgement to his problem.

Rot…his problem.

The part of his brain that was beginning to actually panic with mass hysteria was useless, and Inkbrand had to forcibly push macabre and completely unhelpful thoughts out of the way as the still rational portion of his brain started kicking in. Buck…alright alright. As soon as he could clear the taste of sand from his mouth, he had to search for other survivors. Anypony, anything that might have washed up to shore with him. If not other survivors, then supplies and life support. Anything that could help, for…

…For however long he was stuck here. Bucking buck.

"Buck, stop it," Inkbrand exhaled, pressing one hoof against his forehead - and immediately pulled it back as pain bloomed across his forehead, and a smear of red came away against his grey. Tch…what was it with him and getting cut on the forehead all the time? At least it wasn't anything major. Ignoring it for now, the tattoo-clad stallion forced himself onto his hooves, just a hint of a wobble taking over his frame before he forcibly shook it off, staring down the coastline.

…Huh. That white blob almost looked like a -

"Pony!" Inkbrand exclaimed, flabbergasted, as its voice carried over the sands. The grey stallion didn't think anymore, quickly breaking into a gallop towards the vague shape, and he couldn't help the next grunted exclamation to escape his lips as another shape joined the first, this one more vibrant and…and purple. And blue. And -

"Buck, ponies!" the grey stallion gasped out as he came to a screeching halt just in front of the other two, sand flying upwards from his abrupt arrest of motion. "I can't believe I found other ponies so - you!" The words leaving his mouth made little sense, but Inkbrand couldn't bring himself to care as he pointed a rather dramatic hoof towards the purple Unicorn, the other pounding into the sand rather sporadically. "Head Nerd in - er, library, stallion dude guy. Ponyville Library, right?" Had to be, the purple Unicorn who'd found him a book on fox pet care.

Saved him from the horror of sifting through thousands of books, that was for certain.

The white mare next to him he didn't recognize, flashes of white and black mixing with other names and faces, but Inkbrand could have honestly cared less if he'd met two ponies that couldn't speak Equestrian, just so long as they were there. Monsters, dangerous ruins, ex-marefriends with vengeful best friends - all a walk in the park. But stranded alone on what was more than likely a deserted island?

Buck him, even That SODD would have been preferable to utter isolation.

…Maybe. Not.

"Please tell me this is all a dream," Inkbrand groaned to the two other ponies, though he wasn't really excepting a confirmation on his thesis, nice as it would have been. "We're all going to wake up at any moment, back in our luxury cabins with a bottle of the strongest bucking Firewhisky Equestria has ever had the pleasure to ban from eighteen different trade cities."
 

 

 

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Foxglove's ears perked as she heard a voice suddenly call out to her. The mare looked over the beach until she saw a purple coated unicorn galloping her way. She racked her brain for a moment and then realized who he was, "Lore! Ah can't believe mah eyes!" she blinked and then caught her little drawl slipping and then spoke back up, "Besides some sand in my tail, mane, and other places... Ah'll manage. How 'bout yerself?" Aw, hayseeds, she was too nervous to keep her accent from slipping. Perhaps after some time with her fellow survivors she could manage to calm her subconscious.

 

Soon a second voice called from the other end of the beach. This voice belonging to a more edgy looking stallion who was galloped up to her and Lore Weaver. Foxglove let her eyes wander over the stallion once or twice and then she remembered; his name was Inkbrand. She'd seen this stallion a few times before, once during a rave dancing with a lovely griffin, and the second time when some magical mishap caused by Equestria's newest princess warped her body and some of her memories to that of a filly. It was lovely to see a two familiar faces at her side during this ordeal but her excitement only managed to fade as she took notice of the cute on his forehead, Thankfully it didn't look too bad but it would probably be best to try and clean it at some point.

 

"As much as I wish ya were right on that score... I don't think this is a dream." Said the pale coated mare as she brushed some sand off of her body. She took a few steps towards the forest of palms trees inland and chuckled softly, "I gotta say, my dreams are a heckuva lot scarier than this." The mare thought for a moment, "Does anyone have an idea where we are? Ah mean like the region... if we're in the strand we might be able to find our way back to civilization..."

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"Lore! Ah can't believe mah eyes!" she blinked and then caught her little drawl slipping and then spoke back up, "Besides some sand in my tail, mane, and other places... Ah'll manage. How 'bout yerself?" 

 

Several things took Lore by surprise. One was the drawl that for some reason the stallion didn't expect. Foxglove looked as fitting with her true accent as an ice cube in a volcano. The other thing though that was strange and probably contributed to her accent slip was that  she seemed nervous around him. Was it the fact that the mare was a little worse for wear or something else? 

 

"I'm fine, same thing with the salt and sand like you but ok? I wonder if anypony else is here." 

 

He didn't have to take long to get that answer as a stallion appeared looking at the purple unicorn like he was the last pony the tattooed pony wanted to see. Lore remembered Inkbrand during the grand opening of the new library and how he carelessly went through the stacks for information. 

 

"Head Nerd in - er, library, stallion dude guy. Ponyville Library, right?"

 

"Err... right. That's where we met. I'm Lore Weaver, and yes I'm the librarian there. As for being called a nerd... well... I resemble that remark." 

 

"Please tell me this is all a dream," Inkbrand groaned to the two other ponies, though he wasn't really excepting a confirmation on his thesis, nice as it would have been. "We're all going to wake up at any moment, back in our luxury cabins with a bottle of the strongest bucking Firewhisky Equestria has ever had the pleasure to ban from eighteen different trade cities."

 

"Yeah, I wish it was a dream too," Lore said with a sigh, "I really wanted to go on this trip to see a place beyond just Canterlot and Ponyville where I normally am. As for where we are Foxglove, it could be the Strand although there aren't too many palms there unless you're at the southern most point or one of the islands south of it. 

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Well that was unexpected.

…Relatively speaking.

Still, Inkbrand couldn't help a visible double take as the white mare spoke up in a distinctive southern drawl, completely at odds with her appearances, considering the dark mascara had immediately made him expect a more sultry and smooth voice. It was almost enough to make him laugh, appreciate the amusing and unexpected surprise in a veritable sea of unexpected surprises.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to make the grey stallion forget exactly how screwed the three of them were.

"Weaver, right," Inkbrand muttered distractedly as he ran a hoof through his mane, less focused on the purple stallion's name and more on the fact that both ponies in front of him had so cruelly and unrepentantly trashed his slim hope of this entire scenario being one crazy figment of his imagination. Buck, they didn't have to do it so quickly, could've let him live in denial for just a bit. The tattoo-clad stallion didn't even bother commenting on the unicorn's apparent resentment over being called a nerd, waving a hoof through the air in vague apology as his golden eyes darted around the area, eventually landing back onto the white mare as she spoke up again.

Oh, yeah, location. Location would be good to know, so they could know exactly how screwed the three of them were.

The grey Earth pony let the two others converse a bit more, narrowed eyes trained on the white mare, before what he was searching for abruptly alighted into his brain. "You're…Foxy. Foxed Glove, right?" he hazarded, eyeing the unfamiliar cutie mark. He was definitely picking up some weird, cult vibes or something now. "You're a lot bigger than I remember," he eventually conceded with a breathy sort of grunt, as if the mare were at fault for not being exactly how he remembered. Considering that he remembered her solely from his short stint as a temporary father, that wasn't saying all that much.

The question of where the buck that had washed up at was still hanging around in the air though, prompting Inkbrand to sit his rear end straight downwards and stick one hoof into the sand. "Well," he started, and was rather proud at how calm his voice came out, "dunno 'bout the two of you, but I was enjoying a nice tour around the Gallopocus." A hoofed-out shape was slowly beginning to take form in the sand, somewhat resembling a crudely drawn south-eastern edge of Equestria, along with a series of blobs that could perhaps be considered islands. "Think we were going 'round south, weren't we?"

Buck if he knew - he'd been paying attention to the smoking hotties aboard the liner than the boring and redundant navigational maps. Though, even if they had been south of the islands before the storm hit, that didn't make their situation any much better. Inkbrand's eyebrows furrowed downwards as he leaned over his temporary map, a scowl on his face. "Not gonna make much difference now," he grumped, "if we all keel over and kick it in the next couple of hours. We should…make camp?"

…That's what shipwrecked survivors did, wasn't it? Built homes out of tree leaves, gathered resources, produced offspring, formed a giant colony that eventually took over first the island, then the entire world, right?

…Right.
 

 

 

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Seems like Foxglove's nerves were finally settling down. Even if she was stuck in the wilderness, at least she had somepony else to talk to. "Huh, so... we might be somewhere pretty south of the strand if I'm understanding you right... Do you know if there are any islands charted there that have as many palms as we're seeing?" She asked calmly strolling towards the Forest edge and looking up to see a few coconuts resting between the fronds. At least they had a potential food source...

 

It was then that Inkbrand saw fit to speak up, seemed he -did- remember their last encounter. Despite him getting her name wrong she smiled, "I suppose I did grow up kind of fast." She chuckled softly before extending her hoof for a shake. "Well, you're a bit shorter than I remember... but your style is still as impressive as I remember. " The mare's tone was soft and a tad playful, now more relaxed in the presence of company as she spoke, although her question she posed shortly was tinged with a hint of concern, "Is your head alright? you may want to get that cut treated... I can take a look around the island to see if I can find some medicinal herbs so I can make  a salve."

 

As she waited for his response she looked over his drawing and gestured to lore weaver, hoping to get his input on there situation and possible location, "I went on the ship because my publisher said I was working too hard and needed to relax for once... This is last time I'm taking her advice on this sort of thing. The mare huffed in irritation before looking back to where she had come from, "Inkbrand has a point, We all must be pretty tired from this and we could use some time to collect our thoughts while not in this heat and with our ears full of sand and seawater... I think I saw some driftwood back where I was walking from, maybe we could use that?"

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"dunno 'bout the two of you, but I was enjoying a nice tour around the Gallopocus."

 

"Well I do remember why I went on the cruise," Lore said as both ponies mentioned the fact as to where they were, "But you're right Inkbrand, it doesn't matter where we are if we don't find civilization, which I know from the area most of these islands are uninhabited. Tourists can visit them, providing that they can fly or get a boat. So our chance meeting another tourist might be slim." 

 

He recoiled slightly as Inkbrand mentioned that Foxglove was bigger than when he first met her. If there was one thing that Lore knew it was never say a mare was bigger or any combination of the word "big." 

 

"Yeah we definitely need a place to get out of the heat. Those palm fronds can work to make a good roof or at least a blanket to cover us. Since you mentioned why you were on this trip Foxglove, mine was similar. I felt I needed to take a vacation from my job and Ponyville to visit someplace I've never been to. Not to say being a librarian is boring or bad but it can be demanding." 

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So intent was he on his crudely drawn map, that it took Inkbrand a moment to realize that Foxed Glove was speaking to him, causing confusion to spread across his face before he realized what the mare was referring to. The grey stallion instinctively raised a hoof back up to his brow, a scowl on his face as the slight stinging sensation came back, though it was duller than before. As he currently wasn't rolling around in the sand screaming in agony, Inkbrand could only assume the cut was a minor one, and how in the hay all three of them had washed ashore without more injuries was a mystery to be analyzed another time.

Preferably once they were all off this bucking island.

"S'fine," the tattoo-clad stallion said blithely, waving away Foxed Gloved's concern with a swipe of his hoof as he got back onto his hooves, dusting off sand clinging annoyingly to several places he didn't really want to think about, "just a scratch. Got bruises in a lot more uncomfortable places, if you know what I mean." A reassuring and slightly flirtatious grin was shot in the white mare's direction, concealing the distaste at the thought of a relatively unknown mare concocting a slave using whatever the buck was available at the moment.

Not that he thought this mare would purposefully harm him or anything - they barely knew each other, after all - but he wasn't all that big on rubbing unknown plants and herbs into open wounds.

Finally getting a majority of the sand off his hind legs, Inkbrand proceeded to ignore the other two ponies as they devolved into a discussion on why they had been traveling in the first place. Which was all well and dandy to him, but maybe, 'ya know, not right this bloody second. The grey stallion was more interested in getting some semblance of a shelter started, or at least scouting for a safer location than smack dab on the beach. Though, staying close to the shoreline was probably a good idea, on the remote chance a ship passed near enough that they could flag it down.

…Somehow. And what the buck was a frond?

The mention of driftwood, however, was more than enough for Inkbrand to both figuratively and literally perk upwards, eyes fixed in the direction opposite of where he had approached the pair. "On it," the tattoo-clad stallion declare, already moving down the beach to where he could see some pieces of wood floating near the shoreline. "I'll get some of that driftwood, you can get started on those…fronds," he said, trying out the unfamiliar word, before continuing down the beach, pace steady and unhurried.

No use panicking and wasting energy right now. Not yet.

The driftwood Foxed Glove had mentioned was plain to see as he got closer, some of it already beached while other pieces were pulled in and out by the tide. The sight of it was almost enough to send a relieved sigh out of the grey Earth Pony - not because the driftwood was going to be their saving grace or anything, but it gave him something to do, allowing him to give up thinking hard thoughts and difficult decisions for the moment. He'd never had a problem with manual labor, after all.

In a relatively short amount of time, Inkbrand had gathered up all the pieces he could reach, even wading out into the ocean to nag the pieces floating tantalizingly in and out of the shoreline. These were all set into a pile on the beach, though Inkbrand could already tell he'd need to make a couple trips backwards and forward to move all of them. Scowling down at the pile, the grey Earth Pony glanced a bit around, before spotting something in the wreckage and debris that he'd just shoved into one group, and he wasted no time tugging and pulling it out.

"…Oh. Well that's swell," the tattoo-clad pony muttered to nopony but himself, eyeing the length of rope and what looked like the tattered remains of a sail in his grasp. Highly convenient, but still a bit unsettling to see, wreckages of the mighty vessel that had borne them all here. Struggling not to wonder what became of the countless other ponies that had been on the liner, Inkbrand set out gathering some of the bigger pieces and tying them together, intent on heaving the bundle on his back to transport it back to the other ponies. THe more materials they had, the better.

"Or more, fronds," Inkbrand again commented to himself, though with something of a chuckle ending his words. Seriously, he'd only met the purple Unicorn once, but it was almost like he spoke another bucking language at times.
 

 

 

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"Oh well... whatever our reasons for getting on that ship, S'hardly relevant now. I suppose I could gather some leaves too... but then again telekinesis might make that go a lot quicker." The pale pony brushed a bit more sand off her body and put a hoof to her chin in thought. She was a fairly strong pony, not as tough as Inkbrand but she figured she might be able to buck a few coconuts off a tree, failing that she could search the inlands for some other edible foods... "hm..." The mare spoke up, "Anypony mind if I try and gather some food for us? If we're gonna build a shelter it'd probably be best to not do so on an empty stomach."

 

Inkbrand's response was more or less what she expected from the stallion, he seemed strong and not the type to be easily bothered by a minor injury. Didn't stop her from worrying a tad though. that flirtateous remark from the stallion earned a sly smile from the sharp eyed mare, "Hm... perhaps I'll ask to see some of them sometime. I've gotten the occasional uncomfortable abrasion on occasion... mayb we can compare." The mare gave inkbrand a subtle wink and then strolled beside him for a bit until she took a few steps ahead, toward one of trees that seemed to have something stuck in the top. 

 

"I can't risk the wind blowin' this away... let's see. I know a read a book about fruit bucking ... how did that form go?" she thought to herself aloud. She slowly situated herself in front of the tree, backing up a bit before lifting up her hindlegs and pounding her hooves at the trunk, shaking the poor shrub a fair bit. The mare sighed in a bout of mild annoyance as her efforts only managed to bring down three coconuts rather than her umbrella that was still stuck in the fronds above, "Well... at least I got us some food."

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Lore Weaver watched as Inkbrand went off to find some driftwood. He felt a little jealous about the flirtatious nature the grey earth pony had with the white unicorn although he didn't know why. It wasn't that Lore knew Foxglove much, but still she seemed like a nice pony that he'd like to get to know more. For now he'd just have to watch Inkbrand while helping with their situation. 

 

"Alright I'll go get the palm fronds for the shelter," he said as he went to the nearest palm a using his magic began tugging at one of the leafy fronds until it detached, sailing to the ground. To his surprise Foxglove approached him as she tried getting a few coconuts from the same tree. In reality though the mare was trying to also retrieve her prized umbrella by kicking the tree. 

 

"Hang on, let me try and get your umbrella from the tree," he said as he concentrated on where it was, inching it from the branch. 

 

"Ok, give the tree a kick and it should fall off it now." 

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Alrighty then.

Inkbrand stared at the two ponies only a few hooves length up the shoreline from his own position, before shrugging and beginning to haul his tied-up load of driftwood towards the two. He'd been all prepared to make several trips back down the beach where the three of them had been pow-wowing, but turning around had only revealed both Lore Weave and Foxed Glove focusing their attentions on a nearby palm tree, apparently having followed him allow the coast line.

Well, then. Maybe they'd decided that this spot was a better place to set up camp than the other one? For…some reason?

Whatever. Inkbrand didn't care, so long as some semblance of a shelter was built up before night fell. With one might heave of his shoulders and a loud grunt, the tattoo-clad stallion carried the bundle of wood up the shoreline, unceremoniously dumping his package in a heap next to the purple Unicorn as he went back for more. Two more repeated trips yielded a few extra supplies, such as more rope and some strewn pieces of cloth, before the grey stallion deemed his job well done and returned his attention to the other two ponies.

Who, it seemed, were still rather focused on that particular palm tree.

"Umbrella," Inkbrand questioned, nonplussed, as he watched the black object sway precariously in its treetop perch, before his memory jolted, bringing back to mind the white filly who'd used him like her own personal carriage - and who'd always carried around a large black umbrella that had seemed comically oversized next to her shrunken body. If he'd had any doubts about the white mare's identity before, they were now effectively erased.

Lore Weaver's directions, though, caused the grey Earth Pony to tilt his head slightly, bemused grin on his face. "If 'ya say so, Weaver," Inkbrand commented, never considering that the purple Unicorn might have been speaking to Foxed Glove herself - but buck, who the buck cared so long as the mare got her precious umbrella back? And precious it had to be, if the white Earth Pony was so Taurtarus-bent on retrieving the object before other, more useful assets.

With a nimble twist of his body and snap of his hind legs in no particular form or fashion, the palm tree gave a might shudder, relinquishing its prize after one stalled moment. Inkbrand was just as quick to react as it came cascading out from the leaves, deftly snatching it out of the air with a surprised "Woah there!", reflexes making the movement instinctual. "Dunno why you're so keen on this thing, Foxed," the tattoo-clad stallion stated mildly, but handed it over to the white Earth Pony without any fuss as he turned back around towards Lore Weaver.

"So, brainiac, what's next?" Inkbrand questioned as he leaned lightly against the palm tree, casting a somewhat dismissive glance towards the layers of palm leaves the purple Unicorn had apparently been collecting. "How are those…fronds coming along?"

 

 

 

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Foxglove was about to try and buck the tree once more but thankfully, the stronger looking inkbrand volunteered first. Thank goodness, she wasn't built for bucking of this sort. The umbrella  landed in Inkbrand's hooves before he handed over, "Such gentlecolts! Thank you very much for both your help." She said before taking a hold of her umbrella in her hoof and laying it across her back. The ivory mare looked at coconuts she'd managed to knockdown earlier and then angled the metal tip on the top of the accessory above it and pushed it as hard as she could, making a small hole in one of them. 

 

"And, Inkbrand. It's something I've held on to since I was in high school... I... won it from from a traveling fair that was hosting a special competition. It's made of a plenty of special materials that are hard to come by and nearly impossible to replace... but still very tough. Also I won this the same day one of my first novels got published, so it's got more than a little nostalgic value to it. I'm sure everyone has a keepsake they couldn't part with easily." The mare lifted up the coconut, the hole she'd made in it moments earlier just below her nose before she sniffed once or twice, her brow furrowed slightly. "Hm... they smell ripe. Since I've yet to do anything particularly productive compared to the two of you... I'll test to see if it's edible. " The mare said with a soft chuckle before tilting the drupe, the liquid within flowing into her mouth. She froze a moment and licked her lips, "Oh my goodness... why on equestria have I never tried these before?!" she asked incredulously, a droplet of the coconut milk slipping down her chin.

 

The mare smiled brightly and offered her friends a sip, "There's still some of the water inside this one. Anyone else want a try a taste? It gets the taste of seawater out of your mouth pretty quick." she said in a slightly cheery tone before going to start punching holes in the other coconuts for her companions.

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Lore Weaver was about to wait for Foxglove to retrieve her umbrella, making sure it didn't fall into the sand and get wrecked, when Inkbrad took matters into his own hooves. Perhaps it was an annoyance for everypony's attention being diverted to the umbrella or it was another way to upstage the stallion. Whatever the reason, at least Foxglove was reunited with her object which she explained she had for a long time. 

 

"Well I'm glad that you have you umbrella," Lore said as he looked at his pile of fronds. He cringed though as Inkbrand called him brainiac while chiding his decision to collect the fronds, not seeing the value in them. 

 

"The fronds are for part of the shelter, and can be used for many things like the floor, roof, even blankets! But first, we need to build the walls." 

 

As Lore looked at the stack and driftwood and palm fronds, Foxglove decided to test a coconut to see if it was good to drink. To Lore's relief the coconut was fine.

 

"It definitely tastes better than sand," Lore replied after being offered the fruit, "Have you had a coconut before Foxglove? It seems like you didn't." 

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…Alrighty then.

Inkbrand belatedly scratched the back of his head with one hoof, out of wont to do anything than a real need for the gesture. He supposed Foxed Glove's need to suddenly spill the history behind her umbrella to a veritable stranger spoke of his own charismatic ponysona, sure - but a quick, "it's got sentimental value to me" would have been more than sufficient. He honestly didn't care to know the details behind some random mare's rain gear, even if said mare was now stuck on a seemingly deserted island.

Seriously. The white mare had to be from Ponyville, ponies there seemed to love answering a simple question with their life's story.

Slightly perturbed, all Inkbrand could really do was shrug and shake his head once, watching with a rather impressed stare as Glove managed to poke a hole through the outer shell of one coconut, using only the tip of her umbrella. Buck, was the thing bucking sharpened? Might make for a decent weapon if that were the case - no telling what was lurking all along the island.

…Probably some bears, or summat.

Which is why a shelter would come in mighty handy, causing Inkbrand to swivel back around towards Lore Weaver, eyebrows raised incredulously. "Oh, is that what they are," he half-exclaimed, half-questioned as he took in the palm leaves with a more appraising eye, "the buck didn't you just call 'em palm leaves." The collection of…fronds…meant more shelter, which was his immediate worry - but he couldn't really foresee using them as blankets. Body heat would be much more efficient, if it were even needed in the first place. How cold could a tropical island get during the night hours?

"Well, let's get on it, then," the tattoo-clad stallion cajoled, reaching for the first piece of driftwood. His actions were stymied however, by the intercepting of a coconut-filled hoof in his general direction, bringing the grey stallion up short to grimace at the proffered fruit. Coconut wasn't his favorite, and instinct almost had him turning away from the offering - before the sight of the gentle waves a few feet from his hooves brought him up short, a second time.

…Right. Desert island, and all that.

He'd be stupid to turn down food or water when it was available. With an inward groan, Inkbrand made himself take up the fruit with a shadow of his cocky grin, eyes slanted towards the white mare. "Think I almost prefer seawater to this stuff," the grey Earth Pony stated blandly, but a quick wink showed his thanks before he downed what was left of the punctured coconut.

Immediately, the sickly sweet flavor of coconut assaulted his senses, almost enough to trigger his gag reflex. Inkbrand swallowed through it though, snout scrunched as if he could ward off the unpleasant taste before he finished his drink. "Ooh yeah, that's the stuff," the tattoo-clad stallion hacked, lips smacking together to try and clean out any remaining residue. A careless toss over his shoulder had the empty coconut shell landing a few feet away in the sand, and without further permeable Inkbrand turned back to the task at hand, pausing only once to let a shudder pass through his frame.

Coconuts. Not as bad as mushrooms, but still.

"Thanks for the drink, sweetheart," the grey Earth Pony called out as he nosed through his collection of driftwood, most of it still held together by the bundles of rope, "but we're gonna need more than that. Where the buck are we setting up, anyways?" Along the beach was a good assumption, so they could spot and hopefully signal any passing ship - but sand wasn't exactly a stable foundation for long-term housing.

And as terrible as it was to think, this could, potentially, become long-term housing.

 

 

 

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The gothmare couldn't help but give a chuckle at the little at Inkbrand's reaction to Lore's clarification. In response to the librarian's question she couldn't help but arch a brow at him, she was pretty sure she'd said she had in fact never tried them before. Maybe she just didn't speak loud enough? oh well, "I can't say I have. I usually bring my own food when I'm traveling... but this event caught me un-prepared."  Once Lore took the coconut, Foxglove began to look over the shoreline for any trees like it but then paused as she saw Inkbrand tasting his drink.

 

It was visibly obvious that he didn't care much for the sweet taste of coconut, but his wink of thanks didn't go unnoticed and it brought a smile to her face once again. Not an exceptionally overjoyed one but a subdued type that gave away a feeling of contentment. "No problem at all... and I'll be bucked if I know. I'd figure'd Lore had the best idea fer the safest place to set up." The mare glanced somewhat expectantly at Lore, hoping he'd speak up. Lore did seem to be the pony with the sharpest mind so she felt he might have a fairly good idea as to where their shelter should go that wouldn't risk the elements tearing it down not long after they'd put it up.

 

"Anywa, I'll get ta work gathering up food for everyone, I'll try and vary it up a bit." With that, Foxglove would head out to the forest before the trio.

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Lore Weaver couldn't help but shake his head at Inkbrand's comment. It seemed the Earth Pony was destined to object to everything the unicorn said. Maybe it was because he was a unicorn or maybe it was because he was nerdy. Whatever the case there was not sense in trying to correct him although Lore was not afraid to lecture when necessary. 

 

"Palm leaves, palm fronds, same thing. Most important they will shield us from the sun so we don't bake." 

 

As the unicorn tasted the coconut juice he couldn't help but watch as Inkbrand forced himself to drink it, almost looking like he would throw up the sweet drink. He obviously never had one and Foxglove admitted that this was her first time trying one. 

 

"I've had coconuts before, just only on things like desserts and ice cream so I don't think it counts. Still tastes fine though. But i agree with Inkbrand, we're going to need something else." 

 

"Anywa, I'll get ta work gathering up food for everyone, I'll try and vary it up a bit."

 

"If you need our help, let us know," Lore said before turning back to Inkbrand, "Ok, so we definitely don't want this at the water line and preferably nearby some palm trees so that we can use them as part of the hut and for extra protection. How about there?" 

 

The unicorn pointed to a short distance away from where they landed where there were three palms growing together in a clump. 

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He was going from bemused to dumbfounded in a matter of seconds.

Inkbrand might have opened his mouth to speak, but in the end he simply shut it again and shook his head rather bemusedly as Foxed Glove wandered away, into the dense line of trees that hinted at an island forest. Splitting up into singles to make exploratory ventures on a potentially inhospitable and unknown island seemed like an extremely poor way to start off their deserted island vacation, in the grey stallion's own humble opinion. If the white mare fell down a ditch in the middle of the forest, she'd be completely alone and hurt and rot out of luck.

Still, Foxed Glove seemed confident, and hopefully smart enough not to wander too far off, so the tattoo-clad stallion simply turned back to the matter at hoof, frowning down at his pile of driftwood, before he let his gaze travel towards Lore Weaver's target. The cluster of palm trees definitely did provide more shelter than the open beach, and were still close enough to the shoreline to potentially signal any passing ships - though, the ground still seemed to trend more towards sandy than actual soil. Buck. He'd just have to dig deep enough to hit soil, then.

"If 'ya say so," Inkbrand stated with an ineloquent shrug, before gathering the first of the bundles onto his back and making the short trek over. This he repeated two more times, until all the materials had successfully migrated areas. The shade from the overhanging palms also made it easier to work, something for which Inkbrand was grateful for as he became more and more aware of the unforgiving tropical sun beating down his neck.

Bucking tropics.

"You can set up a roof or summat with those…fronds…maybe," the tattoo-clad Earth Pony not-questioned as he gestured towards the Unicorn's collection of palm leaves, mind already whirling with the resources they had available. A leafy roof would probably suck hardcore if another storm came by, but it would also probably be easier to put together to provided at least some sort of structure over their heads. Easier than attempting a wooden roof, anyways. "Here, you can use this," Inkbrand added, untying one of his bundles to toss the length of rope towards Weaver. He wouldn't need it, himself.

…Maybe. Inkbrand didn't know much about home construction, but he was pretty sure lashing together two pieces of wood with rope didn't cut it.

What did cut it - at least for now - was digging in the base, and with all the concentration of a squirrel hunting for buried acorns, Inkbrand began outlining a small, rectangular perimeter in the sand, mentally mapping out how much driftwood he had to the amount of space their mediocre shelter could afford. But that was the easy part. With an inward sigh, the grey Earth Pony followed up the outlining by beginning to dig downward until he hit soil - only about six inches or so. Stabilizing the pieces of drift wood in soil instead of sand would make them all the more sturdy, after all.

Or so he hoped.

But again. Home construction was just a little bit out of his knowledge range.

…Well hay. At least he was getting some practice in.

 

 

 

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The Writer took a look behind her at the two stallions as they spoke, at her distance she couldn't very well here what they were saying but it seemed their conflicting personalities were putting them into ... well... conflict. Some ponies just couldn't gel she supposed. Enough worrying about their social situation now was the time to focus on their food situation. Foxglove set out in search of the most important thing that they would need; Water. Food was indeed an important supply to stock but a pony could go a while without food, but water was another story entirely.

 

While the pale pony took in the scenery she couldn't help but feel a strange serene nature to this place as she continued onward; eventually happening upon a large clearing with a large rock face on the other side.Upon closer inspection she noticed what looked like a cave and most importantly... a gigantic waterfall. The mare galloped over, her umbrella in tow and and lowered her face down to the water. She drew a bit of the cooling liquid in and gasped in relief. "You can never beat fresh water... I'll have to tell the others about this."

 

In some rather tall grass she noticed stems belonging to what looked like wild onions once they were dug up. *sniff* Yes, definitely onions. She also found a large amount of Dandelions... these could definitely be good. If she remembered right, the Dandelion was packed with various vitamins that would be necessary for their survival... 

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Lore Weaver expected that Inkbrand would balk at his plan to build a shelter by the palm trees but to his relief the earth pony accepted and began carrying supplies to the location. Lore Weaver carried others with him using his telekinesis dropping them closer to the palms. 

 

"You can set up a roof or summat with those…fronds…maybe,"

 

"Right, the fronds will add to the trees shielding us as well as cool us." 

 

"Here, you can use this," 

 

"Thanks," the unicorn said as he untied the bundle and began laying out the fronds and meshing them together, "By the way, you said that you lived in Manehattan, right? Did you always live there?" 

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Well now...Inkbrand didn't consider himself a master carpenter by any stretch of the imagination, but this work was almost...relaxing.

Maybe he was just getting used to the idea of being stranded on a deserted island, and wasn't that bucking depressing.

Still, aside from his tattoo business, he didn't do much work with his hooves, which was making this whole experience a bit surreal. It wasn't even difficult work, no, just...different. More authentic? The thought of building a home with his own two hooves made him want to do stallion-esque things, like pound on his chest or headbutt a charging buffalo. Not that he actually would do any of those things, but the thought was still there.

...Maybe, he wouldn't do any of those things right this second.

Conversation suddenly started up however, consisting of topics directly outside the realm of 'how the buck do you make a house', which was enough to pull Inkbrand from the urge to do stallion-y things. "Did I?" the tattoo-clad stallion questioned idly, fiddling with a too-small piece of driftwood. Inkbrand couldn't remember ever mentioning where he was from...unless Weaver was talking about before, when they met months ago at the Ponyville Library?

Buck, the Unicorn had a good memory. Inkbrand could hardly even remember what he'd eaten for breakfast before the ship went under.

Anyways. "Yeah, I'm from Manehatten," the grey Earth Pony confirmed, tossing the small driftwood piece into a growing pile that would probably be used as firewood later on, "born and raised. 'Course I kinda recently set up house in Ponyville, for my tattooing business. Not much of a market there, though," he added, with a wry grin shot at the purple Unicorn.

No, bucking, idea.

"And you?" Inkbrand continued after a moment, keeping up the line of questioning as he attempted to fit the wooden pieces together more snugly. "How'd you get to work in a Princesses' castle? I bet you've gotta get pretty close to royalty, working in a castle all the time, eh?" he teased, with a nudge of one elbow at the Unicorn's shoulder. The Princesses themselves had never been much of a huge fascination for Inkbrand - they existed, they did stuff, they ate and slept, who knew - but their setting, royalty itself, piqued his interest more than anything else.

After all, only a dunce would never imagine a greater and grander life.
 

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"I'm back." said a familiar feminine voice behind Lore Weaver, "...And in addition to some things we can eat. I found someplace that may serve as a decent shelter; a cave." Once Lore turned around or Inkbrand focused they'd see the mare had brought an umbrella that held quite a bounty in it. There were some spuds, wild onions, and A great deal of Dandelions. Seems once again the ghostly mare managed to sneak up on somepony, not too different from the earth filly Inkbrand had met some time ago.

"I haven't checked it out yet. It looked a little ominous so I thought maybe one of you would like to come with me after we have something more filling to eat. There's a strength in numbers, isn't there?" She asked with a playful smile before taking a dandelion from the pile of edible items being held by her umbrella.

 

 

 

 

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Lore Weaver was certainly not the type of stallion to go building houses. Sure he had an eye for detail when it came to organizing, say his house or the library, but building something from the ground up was difficult at best. It seemed that Inkbrand was also having trouble, but between the two the piles of fronds and poles were starting to look a house. But conversation now moved in as Inkbrand questioned where Lore learned he was from Manehattan. The unicorn could have sworn it was when Inkbrand met him at the library.

"Yeah, I'm from Manehatten," the grey Earth Pony confirmed, tossing the small driftwood piece into a growing pile that would probably be used as firewood later on, "born and raised. 'Course I kinda recently set up house in Ponyville, for my tattooing business. Not much of a market there, though."

"Yeah, I don't see many ponies in Ponyville with tattoos. I guess a bigger city would get more interest. Personally I never was in Manehattan, but one day I'd like to go there."

"And you?" Inkbrand continued after a moment, keeping up the line of questioning as he attempted to fit the wooden pieces together more snugly. "How'd you get to work in a Princesses' castle? I bet you've gotta get pretty close to royalty, working in a castle all the time, eh?"

"Er... well... I..." Lore said trying to hide his embarrassment as he knew what Ink meant by "get pretty close," "Actually, getting to be a librarian was due to a shared tragedy between the Princess and I. You remember Tirek, right? Well, at the time that he arrived in Ponyville I wasn't a librarian. I owned a bookstore, which also was my home, right across the street from Princess Twilight Sparkle's former home: the Golden Oaks Library. But then he showed up and after draining my magic and all the others in town, Twilight battled him. Just when I thought that things couldn't get any worse, the battle destroyed Twilight's home as well as my shop and home. I spent weeks in the hospital and was more upset about losing my home and business than getting hurt. But then Princess Twilight offered me to be the new librarian at her new castle, as since she is a Princess she can't operate a library along with all her duties. So, that's how I became a librarian!"

"I'm back." said a familiar feminine voice behind Lore Weaver, "...And in addition to some things we can eat. I found someplace that may serve as a decent shelter; a cave."

The voice shocked Lore Weaver. He knew Foxglove would be back soon, but the way she approached so silently was eerie. He turned to look at the haphazardly half constructed shelter as Foxglove mentioned the cave, happy a little that there was an alternative.

"Great job finding food and a possible place to stay," Lore said looking at the umbrella filled with the island's bounty, "Glad you got back safely!"

"I haven't checked it out yet. It looked a little ominous so I thought maybe one of you would like to come with me after we have something more filling to eat. There's a strength in numbers, isn't there?"

"Yeah, there's no telling what or who might be in that cave if anything. I haven't seen any animals here on the beach, did you see any looking for food Foxglove?"

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Alright, so, another life story. He probably should've seen that one coming. 

 

But seriously. A simple, "Princess Sparkle asked me to a librarian because she was too busy to manage a library," would have sufficed just as well, and maybe even more so. Though, it was kind of interesting, hearing about the entire incident from a front-row perspective. Inkbrand had heard that the Ponyville library had been destroyed during the fighting and the crystal-tree-castle thing had gone up in its place - a pretty garish looking thing, if he was perfectly honest - but details on had still been scarce. Not that Lore Weaver had provided any more specific facets about the old library's destruction than the passing pony, but that was a-okay. 

 

Because if he were doubly honest? The details could bucking stay scarce. Tirek and all memories and events related to him could stay rotting in the pits of bucking Taurtarus. 

 

Before the tattoo-clad stallion could share this nugget of information with the purple Unicorn however, a voice suddenly spoke up at his side, causing Inkbrand to start a little bit as Foxglove strolled back over towards the pair. She looked pretty awkward lugging around her umbrella, opened in order to hold whatever she'd plundered from the islands' resources. And it looked like a pretty good haul, too.

 

"Cave, huh?" Inkbrand mused mostly to himself, glancing back at the makeshift shelter they'd been throwing together. Yeah...yeah, a rock solid cave would probably be a better alternative to this little shack, definitely more stable. Though only if it wasn't already inhabited by some particularly grumpy bats, or bears, or - or iguanas"Yeah alright," the grey stallion said after another moment, wandering over to Foxed Glove's umbrella to pull out a small hoof-ful of dandelions for himself and popping them into his mouth one at a time, "but we should - mmph - probably all go check it out. No sense leaving one pony to - nom - fend for themselves so early in the game." 

 

Especially with that possibility the two other ponies brought up, of wandering animals. Of course, that one left behind pony would just be sitting on a warm beach instead of traipsing through an unknown and potentially deadly jungle, but the principle was still the same!

 

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The mare paused a moment, "Now that I think about it... I haven't except fer maybe a crab skittering down the shore. I did catch what looked like some movement in the brush but everytime I got close... nothing." The ivory pony shrugged momentarily and took a bite of a dandellion in the umbrella before offering a small hoof full to Lore before looking back at the jungle from which she'd emerged so recently. "No birds in the trees... or monkeys... or snakes..." this was getting a bit unusual even for Foxglove... and that was saying something for a mare who'd been babysitted maybe less than a month ago by one of ponies here. 

"I was thinking the same." Foxglove took a few more bits of the dandelions she'd brought. This situation was rather... odd for this writer, not so much a mysterious circumstance... in fact she'd written a story about this. several ponies stuck alone on an island and some mysterious force keeping them their and tormenting them with their secrets. That was back when she was a filly though and she HATED her early work. If possible she'd rather like to forget that but it helped to realize some of the literary cliches of the past she relied on; like splitting up the group to 'cover' more ground.

"Should we wait to stuff our faces and digest, or get a move on now?"

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