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Move your hooves to the beat! (ATTN: Alivda, OPEN)

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There was a rhythm to every city, if you could hear it through the cacophony of traffic and advertisements, feel it through the thrums and rumblings in the paving stones, loosen yourself to let it carry you through alleyways, up and over walls.  It was a dance, a dance of life through a jungle of concrete and bricks, asphalt and cobblestones, steel and glass shining in the morning and evening lights.  And during the nights, you could take a boat out to the harbor and see that the very stars themselves had left the sky, clinging to skyscrapers to be led in a waltz through the city that never slept...

 

Were Flying Brick a poet, she could have made a decent living crafting these thoughts and feelings into words for those ponies who could only live through books.  But she was not, she was a dancer with a simple voice, who could only touch the sublime through movement, barely scraping by on the bits thrown by ponies brave enough to face the light of the sun intensified by a hot, bright sidewalk.  Her hooves, tough and calloused, cared not for the heat of the surface, dancing in the street where the musicians busked.  While she could feel the city through her hooves, more often she would dance according to the music being played.  Syncing up with her fellow street performers often ended in them getting more pay together, and hey, a mare has to eat.

 

Colored Dark umber and rawer red-orange, the colors of old and new bricks, the Earth pony mare could dance, jump, and flex like few could, in a free flowing movement for a measure, before breaking up into staccato steps, on four hooves and two as if it made no difference.  And so she did, pitching an ear to the sky for the next guiding strains of music...

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Ruby swooped in as the lights came on in the city. She'd been in Manehatten for awhile now, finding it's vibrant night life to be her kind of rhythm, though she had to be extra mindful, with the throng of ponies everywhere her table would get jostled and bumped if she walked down the streets, or if she wasn't careful where she slept. The pinkish Aerion loved music more than almost anything, aside from meeting new ponies, and Manehatten was known for it's clubs and such, even if they hadn't wanted an unknown like her. And so, she smiled as she glided down, wanting to add her voice to the symphony of the night that was starting on the street.

 

When she landed, she saw that there were a few musicians already playing, as well as a few dancers, and she could already feel the beat thrum inside her. Her grin widened as she slipped her table off her back and set it up, careful to pull a few records out from the inside, as well as change the settings so she'd compliment the others, not drown them out. Killing someone else's party? Not cool! With that, she started to play, her music a little rougher and more noticeable than that of the other musicians, though that was probably just because her's was amplified...

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The pounding of Ruby's base soon became the dominant rhythm guiding Brick's hooves, pulling them across the street as she danced around traffic, at one point taking a standing leap to clear a cab roof, rebounding off to stick the landing in front of her!  The stunt prompted a foul look from the cabbie as he drove off, but the audience loved it, tossing bits towards the now-paired up performers.  '"More where that come from, tovarich!"  The earth pony shot a grin over at the thestral, her tones betraying a far northern origin.  She was, as she would put it, "Stalliongrad built, strong like bull!"  Not fed well enough these days to bulk out, but the lack of any fat on her showed off lean muscle as well as a textbook.

 

"So, what is next number?  Bring the beat!"

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Ruby grinned back, her tail swaying in time with the thumping rhythm. It was great, and she couldn't keep her smile down, especially as ponies passing by dropped coins in the slot on her table. She narrowed her eyes when she was told to play another song, and switched her records with a totally practiced maneuver, not at all thought up on the spot. She took two new records out of her case and spun them using her wings, before tossing the two on her table up with her hooves before slamming the new ones down. She then caught the old ones with her tail before tossing them to her wings to put back. It was surprisingly smooth, and she let out a small cheer for herself. She changed some of the settings on her table before leaping over herself, her headphones popping off as she started bobbing and moving to her own beats. Soon, she grew tired though and went back to playing music, most of the other musicians and dancers had already left by then, as most of the passerby and crowd had focused on her and the strange, exotic earth pony who could move. Finally, her stomach growled loud enough for her to hear it over her music and she started to pack it up. She'd made enough to get a nice meal and a hotel room for the night, so no sleeping in a tree for her tonight... After she got the table packed up and slung across her back, she smiled as she went up to the dancer. "That was AMAZING! I've never seen a pony move like that! And I've never heard a pony that sounds like you! It's so Cool! Wanna hang? I was going to go get some food." She said, offering a wing. Her spoke slightly fast paced, and it was clear she still had some energy to burn. She then remember something, and gasped slightly.  "Oh, Ponyfeathers, I forgot. My name's Ruby!"

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This vacation had been quite the strange one, but it was rapidly turning out to be Toboe's favorite. From the Nightmare Night Mystery, to the busy streets of Manehattan... Toboe had to think how she'd pay Nensho back for talking her into this. There were some aspects of Equestria this Neighpon native had trouble with, such as the climate and how oddly expressive some ponies could be. You'd not find someone as bouncy of loud as that pink mare from Ponyville unless she was someone important enough that they could get away with it. Then again she was supposed to be one of the lands' heroes, she'd likely earned the right to be eccentric. Maybe one day she could run into some of those strange characters from Ponyville again, but the way her job had been before she left... she wasn't sure when she'd possibly come by again.

 

Having managed to get some business done as well as pleasure, Toboe was quite pleased with herself as well. When she got back, that clean bar business idea of hers might actually be able to get off the ground. 

 

Thoughts of life back home were interrupted by music from the streets. Those beats were so infectious that just walking down the street, Toboe found her steps matching the Rhythm. Eventually she noticed this and looked over towards the source of it, just in time to see an excited red mare come down and start to dance. By the time she and Nensho could make their way over it seemed the music was dying down, at least until the mare with the Stalliongrad accent called out for more. It seemed that the batpony was already packing up though, "What's that saying again? Bravo! Bravissimo!" Toboe had managed enough to hold a conversation in equestrian but some of the other branching languages escaped her still, "That was quite the show! Are you two a double act?"

 

 

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A city like Manehattan may never rest, but mortal ponies eventually must, and nopony here was an alicorn.  It had been a bit of a strain on Brick, not so much the dancing itself, but restraining herself from pulling in the batpony DJ in for an impromptu number.  Granted, whatever number it would be was likely to be more "club" than "ballroom", though the earth pony's high kicks and leaps were almost 'ballet.'  Once one knew her origins, of course, that all made sense.  Stalliongrad was known for dance, both high-class and lowbrow.

 

Having finished with her signature cultural move of duck-walking high kicks springing into a somersault on top of the table, Brick took a bow in the shower of bits, shooting a wink back at the thestral.  "Is of pleasing day to meet you!  I am Flying Brick, name and nature in one."  The growl of her stomach in response to Ruby's food question prompted a laugh from the boisterous mare.  "Ahaha, will be glad to be joining!  We split check as we split profits, da?  To each according ability, from each according need."

 

The crowd was beginning to disperse as Brick dismounted, though as usual some individuals were coming up to meet the performers.  "Bwahaha, Of course we are!  Lifelong friends since three songs ago!"  She punctuated this paradox with a hearty slap on Ruby's back, which must have felt like a half-brick in a velvet sock.  "Stalliongrad mare makes friends quick!  Never know when might be needing, or if ever see again.  Time is not to waste."

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Ruby grinned widely, her fangs catching the light slightly as the dancer, Flying Brick apparently, even as her knees became weak from trying to keep her standing. "Really? Friends? Awesome! I mean, I travel a lot, so I'm not sure if I'll be hanging along, but yeah, I love new friends! We can hang all night!" She said, gladly taking about half of her bits and handing them to Brick. "Here's yours, Brickie!" She then carefully check over the table, stowing the records and the needles it used inside some of the compartments in it. The part with the bits had a little door that latched... Her whole life was that table, and it was clear with how careful she was with it even though it was clear she wanted to bolt off and go look for more fun. However, she had fun right here. "I... I actually only got here a few days ago... either of you know a good place to eat and lay down? Unless we want to keep this party going! I just need to refuel!"

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Nensho was... actually kinda lost... kinda surprising given where he grew up, but he wasn’t used to this city. It was different enough to be throwing him off here. At least he could still pick out Toboe’s scent on the wind, so he was trying his best to navigate towards that. 

 

As he got closer, the music started to make him bob his head to the beat, smiling to himself as he ignored the strange stares from those with less sensitive hearing. Eventually, he found himself standing next to Toboe, realizing he had been continuing the song in his head since it had ended. 

 

“Oh, hey Toboe, who’re your friends?” He asked, rubbing the back of his neck a bit and chuckling. 

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Toboe couldn't help but crack a smile at Brick and Ruby's antics. She could tell just by looking at the mare from stalliongrad she was a strong one, and judging by that dance: Fit too. Attention was drawn by ruby's question, "Sorry to tell you I'm just a tourist with a close friend as my guide. Where is h-oh!" She perked up as Nensho's presence finally reached her. She turned to him as he came up to the trio. 

"Glad you could still find me in this crowd!" She gave the 'stallion' a side long hug with her hoof before looking back to the duo before her, "This is Flying Brick and ... Ruby was it?" She asked, not having been able to hear what the batpony had said before when she approached. When she got the affirmative she gestured to Nensho, "This handsome stallion is Nensho: my closest friends since we were tiny." She'd been getting a little worried she might have lost him earlier, Nensho's nose worked better in this land then hers it seemed. Maybe she was still acclimating to the environment, maybe it was the spring air? Who knows.

 

"So! You ever been around this city before, Nen-san?"

 

 

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"Traveling?  Is great coincidence!  Flying Brick has no roof to call her own, and scarcely ever shares that of others.  Save when it rains, then sharing commences!  On note, would be grateful for sharing over the night, as rain is imminent."  Indeed, the sea breeze was already carrying clouds from the vast ocean where weather pegasi did not patrol.  The mare's spirits remained undampened by the threatened weather, however, sweeping up her half of bits with one sweeping bow.  "And there is nice cafe three blocks down which piles on the stroganoff like Mount Canterhorn!  You are following, da?"

 

The question was directed at Toboe and Nensho, who seemed inclined to stick around, even as the crowd had dispersed back into the chattering, scattering masses.

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"Cool! We could get a room then! Always more fun to be had when with other ponies, that's what I say!" Ruby said, smiling widely. She couldn't help it, even with the others there, something about Brickie, about this dancer who easily kept up with her music held her attention, which was quite a feat. She wasn't easily distracted, it was just that there was so much she'd never seen and done before, and she wanted to see it all. However, the mention of her name did get her attention. "Yep, DJ Ruby! Though, Everyone calls me just Ruby right now, haven't really had a gig yet, but that doesn't matter, I kinda like being able to see all of Equestria, even want to go beyond it some day..." She said, starting to offer a wing before seeing the weather clouds. Dark and heavy, from the looks of them, and so, she swept her wings over her table, and instead offered a hoof. "So, We should probably be moving this party to it's next venue, water and electronics don't mix well, and this thing is amazing, as well as amazingly expensive to repair..." She said as she gestured to the folded table strapped across her back...

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Nensho waved at the two ponies as introductions were made, returning Toboe’s friendly hug. He smiled a bit as Toboe spoke, though her calling him handsome raised a slight blush to his cheeks for a few moments before fading. 

 

“Y-yeah, nice to meet you two.” He smiled at them, looking over at his friend’s question first. “Definitely not enough to really remember anything about it, so probably not.” He chuckled, giving a shrug before gesturing to Flying Brick to lead the way. 

 

“Sure, I’m up to get some grub, and we definitely should get that table away from any rain.” He nodded, looking between the two. “Lead the way, whenever you’re ready.”

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Toboe had to take a pause when Brick Mentioned 'Stroganoff'. It took a second of thinking, but eventually she remembered where she'd heard the term before. It was some foreign dish but it had become a fairly common dish back in Neighpon: Most often served alongside rice. If she recalled correctly it had meat in it... sweet, sweet Protein! Could only have been made better if it had salmon or peanut butter in it. With a grin she nodded her head, "I'm happy to do some following. Nensho's been leading me around most of this trip after all."

 

She looked over to Nensho and grinned, "If I remember right, Stroganoff is pretty good. Feel up to getting some?"


"Beyond Equestria, huh? Well Miss Ruby if you ever visit Polohama in Neighpon I can see what I can do about getting you a place on me." She looks up to the sky as the DJ brought her attention to the darkening clouds above, "Oh my. I should've taken a closer look at the weather schedule in the travel booklet." Toboe wasn't a big fan of rain, she never learned what about it exactly bugged her. Probably the after effects when all the pollen and spores went into the air. Dealing with all the unfamiliar scents in this city was already a hassle, more allergens in the air wasn't going to make her or even Nensho's day any easier. She called out to Miss brick, "Lead th--!" she chuckled as Nensho beat her to the words, "What he said!"

 

 

 

 

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Despite the overall jovial nature of their conversation, Flying Brick couldn't help but click her tongue over Raven's concern about her equipment.  "That is problem when you not by Stalliongrad-made!  In my city, can send any table for swim in arctic ocean, and still will work!  Plus, they spark and zap for most entertaining of light shows to go with the musics!"  Brickie, it seemed, was clearly a mare with a strong, near-chauvinistic affection for her home town, though it was so over-the-top to be more funny than offensive.

 

Hearing assent to going to the cafe, she shot back a grin to the two foreigners.  "Hoping you are catching up!  Hunger waits for nopony!"  In truth, even if they had lost her, the walk was short enough for them to have found the cafe anyway.  The quick pace would help them stay ahead of the pedestrians now looking for shelter in the rain.  "Table for four, garkonski."

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Ruby smiled widely as she headed down the street, her steps hurried, but her manner friendly. "Really!? That would be soooo cool! Though, not sure if I'll ever be able to go... don't really earn much money busking... Maybe if I get a gig... or if I keep playing with Brickie! Best bits I've ever made!" Once they were in the restaurant, she let her wings drop to her sides as she finally realized what Brick had said. "It would be nice to have one that was a bit more durable, but it was a gift from my first friend. She was a great unicorn from Canterlot, like I am... From Canterlot, I mean, not a unicorn, obviously!" She answered with a giggle as they got a table....

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Nensho hummed to himself quietly as he followed the rest of the group to the cafe, simply listening to what the others were saying. He offered a nod in agreement to Toboe’s question about food, but not much else. He was a little distracted by trying to figure out what else they could do around here once this impromptu group disbanded. Maybe they should visit a club, he was in the mood for more music like what Ruby was playing earlier. 

 

“Well, if you ever do end up going, maybe Toboe could get you a gig or two at her bar.” He chuckled, tuning back in during that part of the conversation. “Some live music could really liven up the place.” He added, giving Toboe a friendly nudge. 

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Despite these unfamiliar paths, Toboe managed to keep pace with the group well enough. While she'd mostly been in a more managerial position back in the business home, she'd not neglected to keep herself in shape. If anyone back home heard the boss was getting sloppy she'd be tossed out in a heartbeat for sure. Once she arrived in the cafe she breathed a sigh of relief as the group narrowly beat the rainfall.

 

Just as she got in she would smile at Nensho's suggestion, "That's actually not a bad idea. Ponies seem to be especially rowdy an enthusiastic whenever I keep the bar open late... maybe some of Ruby's music would be perfect." She looked over to Ruby, "Do you know much Neighponese or should I provide an interpreter?" Now that she had arrived at their table she took a seat and smiled over to Nensho, "We try and teach you sometime later but for now. let's eat!" She said as she lowered her eyes to the small menu on the table.

 

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