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SteelEagle

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  1. Apple Bloom finished the Running at little more than a healthy trot, breathing heavily as she sweated profusely. She had lost steam somewhere near the start of the final leg and just focused on finishing, along with avoiding that wyvern that decided to poke its head around. She never got close enough to it to see just who it was following but the lack of Princess intervention and Sonic Rainbooms and whatnot told her that it was a little less than dangerous to her. So she contented herself a distance away, running as hard as she could but with full knowledge it was little more than an excited trot towards the finish. It was hard enough to keep everything in her vision let alone try to more than what she was doing now. She had thrown up on the way towards the final stage and had taken a break because it was hard to make sense of things, but that's just the way it was. She trotted across the line and immediately continued to where the vast majority of the participants placed themselves. They all received a nice red ribbon for their participation and a good pickmeup from the mayor's aides as they stomped their approval for the ponies and likewise that got the bigger rewards for actually managing to place. She wobbled a little in place but still managed to stomp her hooves in approval and excitement for the other competitors. It was real good to see everypony and likewise giving their all and she was plum tickled to see a new winner this year. It was good to see the spirit of the Running of the Leaves remained as strong as ever! She stamped her hooves for the winner a few seconds longer than the rest, realizing she was the last one a few moments too ate to not make it awkward. With a wide, dumb grin masking no small amount of pain and a deep-seated desire to find a place to seat, Apple Bloom started trotting to the seats. And by trotting to she meat through, losing her depth perception and nearly falling into them before steadying herself and sitting down. It had sure been a fun race for her!
  2. Mayor Mare watched the end of the race with razor sharp eyes, or as sharp as they could be behind her glasses. It had been a close finish, a blizzard of dust and sound almost causing her to miss out who had won. She hadn't though. Neither had the race coordinator or the aides, who all saw enough despite the cloud of dust. They all had a pause shared between one another and nodded, with the Mayor approaching the podium after some time, allowing the initial jubilations to die off. "Congratulations everypony who participated in this year's Running of the Leaves! Thanks to your efforts, we estimate that more than eighty-two percent of the leaves along the route came down this time. This is a new record for the Running of the Leaves and it isn't something we could have done without all of the hard work you put in. Ponyville, and indeed all of Equestria, thanks you!" Ponies stomped their approval to and fro. "It is now time to give out the ribbons and medals for this year's Running of the Leaves," she said as her aides started to work on giving out all the participation awards. Everypony had helped complete today's event. While a small number of racers had indeed done a great deal of work, the vast majority came from the dozens and dozens of competitors who had not even sniffed the front of the pack. They were all important. But the top five would get something special. In previous years they would have ribbons and medals and the medals were of similar types. This year, each medal was different. The five winners were placed on an ascending podium for the Mayor to reach. She started at fifth, and what a contestant it was! The Mayor gave the first medal to Pinkie Pie, whenever she could find the time and moment to get it on the energetic mare. Such a delightful presence, even if she made the Mayor feel old! "To Ponyville's Party Pony Pinkie Pie, I award the Whitetail Medal. Made of the purest wood from the Whitetail Woods itself, it reflects the beauty and strength of these woods and the ponies who ran through it. Your energy and excitement truly inspired many to greater feats and you constantly brought a smile to everypony you ran across. I couldn't imagine this going to anypony nicer." The next one was harder if only because Tiger Blood had done one heck of a job getting this far and the Mayor was well convinced that Tiger could continue running for some time. "I award you the Copper Medal, Tiger Blood. Your physicality was exquisite to behold. Why, you look like you could run this whole thing again right now. Thank you for all your hard work today, and for spending your time and effort." The next medal went to Berry Punch. A shocker that she had done so well, but this race was as much about drive and willingness as it was athleticism and skill. "To Berry Punch, I award the Bronze Medal. May you wear this with pride: Evidence of your hard work and dedication to Ponyvile and Equestria, dictated in sweat and proclaimed in every action you took." She was excited to give the next medal away. He was a candidate to replace her- indeed, this was her last public event before the election- and he had made one heck of a case that he was no stranger to hard work today. "To Strong Copper," the Mayor began as she went to go give the Silver Medal to the very deserving competitor. He was well-sized, so the Mayor had to wait for the head to be bowed a bit before continuing, "...I award the Silver Medal! Your creativity, spirit, energy, and impactful running could be felt across the land. You are a credit to this town and a true friend to Equestria," she said with a smile, backing up so she could take full scope of her potential replacement. An impressive stallion, no doubt! "I hope you take this Silver Medal and wear it wherever you may go with pride and satisfaction in a job well done." "And finally," she said as she approached the winner of the race. It was Tongue Twister, the competitor who ran like a mare possessed! The Mayor pulled the Gold Medal over Tongue Twister's head and allowed it to rest heavily on the mare, "I award Tongue Twister the Gold Medal as winner of this year's Running of the Leaves. You ran well and hard, with skill and stamina to match. Your victory today is not just a victory for yourself but also for Ponyville and Equestria, for anypony who saw you could not hope but to be inspired by such a wonderful effort. We are all humbled by what you have accomplished." A large cheer went up for the winner, and confetti seemingly out of nowhere dropped in celebration. If there was an orchestral score, it would swell to congratulate Tongue Twister, winner of the Annual Running of the Leaves! "Thank you all for participating in this year's event. Let us make next year's even better!" Final Standings:
  3. The alchemist didn't react too strongly to the presence of the Princess of Equestria being in her presence. It was a relief. Twilight loved speaking with her ponies and sharing in the pursuit of knowledge but she would never get fully used to the legions of prostrating ponies that imperiled her trotting paths and tried to lay low the humble firmament of her ponyhood. So meeting somepony who she didn't know and didn't seem to lose herself at the sight of? It was welcome, to say the least. And a little strange. Most ponies that visited the Royal Quarter were bound to have the desire and personality to engage with her, especially a pony who wanted to visit the Royal Gardens. Another strange little tick to keep in the back of Twilight's mind as she crossed the remaining distance as the mare spoke. She was working on a formula to use the positive effects of the Forget Me Not, perhaps for anesthesia? No doubt that would prove useful to many doctors across the land. There existed a whole raft of spells and remedies already but you needed unicorns or specific materials. Any time that list of possibilities were expanded it only made the medical profession's job easier, and that was always a worthwhile investment. It was rather weak raw which meat it still needed additional work to be done, but she was right to fear the memory loss aspects. While not necessarily a danger unto itself, the medical profession was rife with enough cross pollination- figuratively and literally- that mitigation of negative side effects was a primary concern of most developers. And, in this case, the alchemist. "The use of dulce somnii is a great idea! It could possibly counter-act the aether wipe of the memory that oblivisci me non causes. But you are right to worry about the overuse of it. When you have two competing magical affects within the same formula you always risk significant issues. But I would imagine in your line of work that you are encounter that quite often, miss...?" Twilight asked as she looked for a place to sit and furthr inspect her setup.
  4. Applejack didn't know how or why her instincts worked the way they did. Maybe it was years of living near the Everfree, where timberwolf attacks and weird magic meant an Apple pony grew up with a certain sixth sense and a knowledge of how to react in a threatening situation. Maybe it was her experience as a mare and a guard, that had seen her battle foes extreme and mundane alike. Or maybe she was just really, really, good but even as the pig was talking in her honestly somewhat charming way Applejack was already working on her plan. And when the pig was done talking sorry, Princess Porcina was done talking- Applejack made quick and good on her plan. She slapped the sigil on her armor as her other hoof shot out and slapped against Fire Walker's, and then immediately started galloping towards the temple, ignoring the screaming fury behind her. She knew Fire well enough to know that she wasn't gonna wait either and could only hope she was right behind Applejack. As she galloped towards the Temple she could feel the impacts of magic slamming against Twilight's protective barrier, dispelling whatever magic the porky princess had up her bacon sleeves. She leaped over a bush and found herself in the clearing that contains the temple, where an odd battle of pigs, illusions, and guards was taking place. She wanted desperately to stop and find the other guards, but they had their jobs and she had hers. So she continued her gallop towards the doors, leaping as arrows, illusions, spears, and explosions popped around her in ways she'd rather not. One guard stood in her way, and she leaped over him. She didn't use him just as something to leap over, however. As she flew over him her back legs took him by the neck and she did a cartwheel, using the momentum to throw him at high speeds towards the door to the temple- the door that was closing slowly, in any case. He went flying through the door and hit the pair of guards operating the mechanism. They tumbled into the darkness, and Applejack used the momentum to send her galloping even faster into the temple. She waited for Fire Walker to get inside before shutting the door- just as the Princess and her pigs started marching up the steps, the door closing on a vista of anger. Then silence. Applejack turned to the Captain. It had been an interesting start to this leg of the mission, but now they knew a lot. Whatever was attracting to both sides about this gem didn't matter to her as much as ensuring neither side got it. "Well, Ah didn't have 'piggy princess' on mah villain bingo card but Ah reckon Ah shouldn't have expected anything less weird. Figure we need to get ta that gem before tha pig or whoever else is inside?"
  5. Twilight Sparkle's fascination with fauna and flora did not develop as a byproduct of her upbringing but rather as an off-shoot of her academic obsessions. She didn't wander the streets of Canterlot as a foal, looking in the cracks to find the punished green earth down below. No, she knew them first by their scientific names and only as a byproduct of their alchemical properties. While far from an alchemist by desire or trade it paid to know things when you were Celestia's personal protégé. Ponies expected much from you and Twilight was nopony if not a pony who always wanted to deliver on the promises kept by her or in her name. So she learned. And after a while she had learned to enjoy the soft serenity of flowers, even the dangerous ones, aided in large part by some friends that were delighted to inform her of their many great (and terrible) properties. It was one of many reasons she found herself in the Royal Gardens. It was a nice respite from the doldrums and drama of the Royal Court and she often found herself enamored with the public tour that took place most days in the Gardens. She would rarely involve herself. Well, at least not anymore. Her Royal Gardener and tour guides had gotten somewhat annoyed at her unintentional upstaging. So she had learned to use her knowledge of the garden's layout to avoid the eyesight of the public during her excursions, even as she enjoyed their enraptured utterings and excitement at the mundane and special alike. It didn't hurt that when she wasn't speaking with excited citizenry she could take nice, deep sips of her tea as she perused the garden, taking in the ambiance as she read a book about Saddle Arabian courtship. As was quite common her ear perked up at the sound of somepony nearby speaking. The voice certainly had Twilight's curiosity. As she heard more, however, it got her attention. Her book vanished silently and she ventured a turn down a path to find who the voice belonged to. It didn't take long to find the source. A mare, a scientifically minded one at that judging by her setup, experimenting on some of the flowers. Twilight looked her over closely. There was something strange about her aetheral connection. A few possibilities, but that was for later. She had no reason to suspect anything was ahoof except an exceptionally inquisitive pony. She finished her tea and set it away in a flash, allowing the crack of energy to be heard. She smiled and approached the mare. "Oblivisci me non is certainly something that should not be used improperly, because you are right. It can be used for purposes both ill and good. Of course, it requires chemical or magical touches to actually be effective in an immediate manner. It would take a large number of raw specimens to have that impact, but I'm sure you know that. You seem to have a good base of knowledge on the subject in any case. Are you an alchemist?" Twilight asked as she approached, her warmth and excitement radiating from her. It was always so exciting to get to know new creatures, especially those of a scientific mindset!
  6. Stage 7- Ponyville, The Home Stretch After quite the journey and race, the racers can nearly taste the finish line. Friends, family, and fans line the home stretch, cheering for somecreature as everycreature has something to root for. Buoyed by this adulation, the racers prepare themselves for a mad scramble for the finish line.
  7. "I see. I believe you are right, Sombra. The stone is very likely the prize she sought. Based on our knowns and our unknowns when it comes to that artifact I believe we are right to be worried," Twilight said as her horn lit up once more, sending everything involving this discussion away. "We will have to prepare active measures and countermeasures while the Keepers continue to delve into the mysteries of the Stone," she nodded to Luna. "I am sure we will have a plan soon. Very soon, if I may borrow you tonight?" She asked the Princess, happy to see her engaged in this. She knew Celestia was the most powerful pony in the land but there was a certain decisiveness to Luna that would be well-needed for her plan. She turned back to Sombra. "But as ffor you, Sombra. You did something very kind today. You had no reason to bring this information to us, let alone to...humor us, or me rather, with these questions. Yet you did. For that, you have my thanks. But my thanks are likely not enough for you," she said as she pulled a box out of thin air, gently hovering it towards him. The box opened, revealing a single item, a staff that grew in length as it left the box. "This is a relic of a bygone era, the Staff of the Glacial Isle. It is a powerful defense artifact in its own right, and is rumored to be the key that opens an island castle in the Far Badlands. For helping us in this task, I offer this as thanks, and as a sign of our goodwill and growing friendship," she said with a soft end, hoping he would take it in good spirits.
  8. Apple Bloom allowed herself to wallow in the sap of misery. It was an appropriate metaphor for the day. What had started off fun and a little exciting had ended up with her being hurt and not even close to winning, which was a double blow to the ego if she had anything to say about it. She had to admit it was a super disappointing first Running of the Leaves. That didn't mean she'd shy away from running again, though. An Apple didn't retreat from hardship. An Apple ran into, through, and over the challenges in their lives, not around them. Some called it stubborn but the Apples understood better than most that out there on the edge of civilization you had to be able to confront these problems and conquer them. Maybe that was naïve now that Ponyville was growing bigger and bigger. But it was part of her DNA. Luckily, she didn't wallow alone nor have to wallow long until somecreature decided to lend her a hoof. Or in this case, a stick. Tiger Blood had done her a solid and stopped on by to help her out, not that she hadn't heard Berry Punch throw over the attention her direction. She was stubborn, sure. Maybe not as much as her sister but she would have liked to run through this obstacle on her lonesome. But that wasn't in the cards, and she was in the sap. The solution seemed simple enough to her. She pushed her head forward, as much as she could at least, and bit down on the stick. She couldn't move her arm to reach it and, well, her tail was a mess. This was as good as it was gonna get!
  9. Apple Bloom ran well and true and fast as always, but she was coming down a little from that less than fully conscious mist that had aggrieved her none too much earlier. Truth teller that she wanted to be, a part of her would rather have been still lost in that fog. Now she had to deal with the onrushing fatigue that overran her sore muscles, the stings of pain where sharp and thin lines of blood drew against her coat due to the whipping branches from before, and the headache that boomed in her head. She'd rather the fog, yes. But she grit her teeth and endured because that's what she needed to do. She knew she couldn't win, so winning was no longer a priority. Finishing was, and finishing well. So her legs pumped even as she had to take heavier breaths and her head kept straight onto the path as she gamely made way for faster racers nipping at her heel like overhungry dogs. But this stretch was easier than most. No great danger, nothing to make her worried or concerned, and no little nephew making her think like her big sister. It was a nice gallop through a pleasant part of the race and she was willing to take full advantage of it, you betcha. It was almost enough to forget that it was a hyper competitive event and almost enough to get her to focus entirely on the swiftly falling leaves that were the real cause of the event. If it wasn't for the Running of the Leaves than autumn would never come, and no autumn meant no winter which meant a really bad snowless Hearth's Warming and she rather enjoyed her snowed-in Hearth's Warming Eves. Let alone how that would throw Winter Wrap-Up into chaos! She was examining the leaves so well that she almost stepped in a large pile of tree sap. Luckily, she saw it at the last moment and leaped over it, essentially pronking her way over it twice. She gave the sap a backwards glance. "Ha! Gotcha!" She said, not paying attention to where she was going. That proved to be a mistake. She pronked right into a tree, which ended up with her front half covered in sap, bark, and leaves as another bunch of leaves started to fall off the tree. She stumbled backwards and fell into the sap she had avoided before, just as the leaves from the tree fell on her, essentially covering her with leaves. She spit one leaf off of her mouth with great effort. "Gotcha..."
  10. Stage 6- Whitetail Woods Beautiful and majestic, the Whitetail Woods is finally allowed to be itself without any other geographical feature drawing your view. The trees, the songs of the birds, it all flows around you as it has this whole time, finally without distraction. Sadly, tree sap also flows around you. Can you keep yourself centered despite the beauty of the Whitetail around you and avoid the tree sap, or will this remain a sticky situation? OOC: After your first post, I roll a dice. There is a random chance you run into some tree sap! If you do, creative solutions may lead to you getting right back on track. Make sure to contact me after your first post so I can get back to you quickly!
  11. Apple Bloom ran and ran and ran and ran. Her head swam and there was this fierce pounding that made everything feel unreal, her vision blurring on the edges and small spots of space beyond her understanding crashing through every once in a while. Words and sounds seemed delayed and loud and hit her like icepicks. But that didn't stop her from running. Couldn't stop her from running. Nothing could, it seemed. And so she ran. Her legs pumped intensely as she left one part of the race and entered another at a gallop, unable or unwilling to chain herself to any setting lower than full effort. And so even as every rational mind turned to wanting her to end her part so she could get help, all she could do was run. And run hard. It didn't take long for her to come to the fork in the road. Or did it? She had lost track of time and even if she didn't she likely wouldn't have wanted to track it much anyway, for all the good it was doing for her. She ran and ran and that fork vanished in the blink of an eye as she ran underneath. She had taken one look at the hills and nearly threw up. The idea of going up and down and up and down? It didn't much appeal to her, as it already felt like she was going up and down a lot even as she just walked and ran forward. Plus, a deep, dark cave would do her well. Less light glaring her vision up mighty quickly. Maybe it would help with the pounding, crushing headache too. And if not, it certainly couldn't make it feel much worse. So she ran through the dark underground forest. It didn't take long for branches to whip across her galloping body. She was heedless of whatever warnings existed and slammed through the pain as best she could, and the best she could was really good as she could hardly register it for large portions. Still, after a bit even her dulled senses started to get her attention as one branch and vine after another whipped her due to her speed. It was almost enough to get her to slow down, but then more stimuli came in. A danger. Sounds. Colors. Other racers and dangerous activities abound underneath. It just seemed to happen all of a sudden, without warning, and something inside her started to break. Between the newly registered pain of the branches and the fear that was welling up inside of her, aided greatly by her confusion. She started to cry as she galloped even faster now, fear overtaking her as she didn't understand what was happening down there and din't want to. She felt movement nearby and bucked and screamed at it and continued to gallop, and she continued to gallop and gallop and gallop and gallop until she was clear of the underground, even if the small red lines of blood that marked her told her straight and true that she needed to get her head back in the game.
  12. Moonlight nodded. If Rainbow wanted help, Rainbow would get help. That mare looked like she needed refreshments and some calm. Besides, it wasn't like the foal was about to be born or anything. It had been such a long labor that she knew they'd have time. "Sure, I can help ya with that," she said with a smile as she started trotting alongside Rainbow to the delivery room, a glass of water held in her magical grip. As they approached the door, it opened- and a nurse, her mane frayed- looked quickly for Rainbow. "Missus Dash, you're needed. The foal is coming!" She said, taking Rainbow by her foreleg and pulling her in. Moonlight laid the glass of water in one of the nurse's open hooves and trotted back to the waiting room, a smile on her face and giddiness heavy in her step as she tried to hide what she knew. The end of the labor was as loud and intense as any other period, with one final effort from Applejack needed to finally give Ambrosia the light and air of this world, which she used to scream and scream loudly. Applejack had felt it long before she had seen it, but the first thing her bleary eyes saw was a tiny little horn standing proud. The magic that helped two mares conceive could take some twists and turns at times. While much of the process was the same as any other couple, the love they shared an the intimacy of their love helped create fertile aetheric conditions for a magical pregnancy with the aid of a spell. In the overwhelming majority of cases the resulting child was a direct and obvious byproduct of the mares. But like with any other birth, oddities could occur. The Apple family was overwhelmingly represented by Earth ponies, but there were certainly some unicorns in there, even pegasi. Rainbow Dash's family was wholly pegasi, but that wasn't always the case. Deep in their shared bloodlines was a unicorn. When Twilight had first gotten the pair in contact with the right specialist, she had laid it out: There was about an even split of a chance between an Earth Pony and a Pegasus. A unicorn? Possible, the Princess said, but about a one in a hundred chance. So when the bundled evidence of shared love came out with a fire poker on her head, it was unexpected. Unexpected, but not unloved. "It's a filly," the doctor said calmly as the foal was taken into the waiting arms of multiple attendants. Applejack's head hit the pillow in exhaustion, her whole body caked in sweat. She took one deep, ragged breath after another as she looked at Rainbow Dash with the eyes that only a wife could have, soaking in her own heat. "Ahwan...see..." Applejack muttered in her total exhaustion, her yees fluttering to the end of her vision as the doctors cleaned Ambrosia up. She was swaddled and was eventually hoofed on over to Applejack. She was held tight to the mare, who looked her over with a mixture of deep devotion, endless love, and a decreasing level of consciousness. "Rain...she looks...perfect...little..Ahmmb..roo..." Applejack muttered, then whispered, and then finally stopped speaking entirely, and falling unconscious after her long labor. Even when asleep though Ambrosia was held tightly against her mother, as protected and loved as she would ever be.
  13. Nope. Back in the day when we had only a limited number of people who could play any given cast character, yes. But since we don't have any limits we will just judge the app, not the player. If it is good, then you can apply for and get accepted to use a cast character.
  14. Howdy! You don't need any further permissions to make your application for any character you desire. Once a character is accepted, your profile will be updated so you can then make RP posts, but at the moment you do not require any additional tasking to make that app.
  15. Apple Bloom's head told the story better than her failing words ever could, a cloudy recollection of phrases and feelings that despaired in their attempt at translating what she felt into recognizable language for this brief time. It would pass as all things would with the passage of time, moments rather than seconds, but in that snapshot of existence she was glad to be around other ponies, larger ponies, who could help pull her head out of whatever negative space it seemed to occupy. As the matter turned into solids rather than the soupy texture that it had been, she found herself virtually surrounded by pnoies who showered her with attention. And for a brief moment in time she wanted to smile, because finally somecreatures were given a rat's tail about her. That moment passed too, and even quicker than the larger mental fog: The first of her mental processes to fully reboot was her deep sense of familial pride, and that rocky fixture of pride that lay as a bedrock for all Apples whether they admitted it or not. "Ah'm..." she began as she scuttled her way up unevenly, sending herself careening slowly and unevenly into the rockside. It proved a benefit, as she could steady herself against the unfailing earth with more grace and skill than before. "...fine," she finished as she forced her head wobble to end, setting her jaw strong and sharp, taut against her her snout. With that as a base she regained her balance. "Ah see..." she began as she narrowed her eyes. Truth was she saw somewhere between four and twelve lights but she reckoned that the nice mare who helped save her wasn't gonna risk a simple farm filly missing her numbers- or even just being lazy- and so went down low with what she believed was a reasonable guess. "Four. Yep, that thar's...four light sticks," she said confidently, mostly to prevent herself from admitting that she needed to throw up. The sound of the rockslide had finally subsided and she took a deep breath. "Tha slide is over, everycreature! Let's get..." she trailed off as she started a gallop, forgetting the final word but not the pulse pounding feeling that a gallop gave you as she raced off to try and regain some of this lost space!
  16. Stage 5- Roundbottom Hills The Running of the Leaves takes in a new route this year, as the leaves on the trees in the hills and in the underground forest in the Roundbottom Range have lacked care for years. This hilly terrain is far from as dangerous as the Ravine, but steep inclines and declines at times going over the hills can tire you out, while the distraction of seeing Baltimare and Canterlot as you turn your head is a real threat! Or maybe you decide to head into the hills themselves, where large underground forests languish in darkness, with only faint rays of light and the few magical lamps set up by race coordinators for coverage of the giant caverns the forest impossibly thrives in. This route is much shorter, but can you navigate the confines and the darkness without issue or will you get lost, slam into trees, or even eaten by a strange creature that you didn't even know was there?! Likely not, but the dark is always terrifying... OOC: Say which path you are taking, over the hills or through them. If you are heading over the hills, one of your posts must involve the steep inclines and declines. Each pony who takes the top route must declare in bold their 'strategy' for dealing with the hilly nature, and the best gains bonus points. If you go through the hills you must contend with the dark and terrifying nature of the location. The pony with the best 'solution' will gain bonus points. As before, state what the strategy is in bold before, during, or after the main body of the post. Whether you gain bonus points or not will depend on how you handle these problems.
  17. Apple Bloom's energy had spiked at just the right time as they made their way into the ravine. On that straight path that they had just exited he was able to filly stretch her hooves out and get a good filling of excitement. But there was a reason she had chosen to go all out just then. It was one of the few places in the whole race she felt safe in fully letting loose. She'd seen this race often enough to know that hidden in its beatific nature and wonderful cause was elements of danger, enough to set your teeth on edge. The Ravine was less dramatic than the Brook this time of year but some drama was still dramatic, and as she rounded the corner she thought back to years past and wondered what she would do at the bridge. So she was pleasantly surprised when the bridge this year was a nice, solid stone bridge over the gap that meant nopony was gonna have to risk their bacon on a big jump like last year. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all, and the ghosts of yesteryear were being excised from this course one gentle gallop at a time. It was as well as the Running deserved as far as Apple Bloom was concerned. Who and why made it so this course had become so treacherous over the years? It was like galloping into a wall of razors. So any reprieve was welcome and any sign of the course's weakening was taken by her as a sign of good times to come. Maybe nopony'd need to risk doom and gloom more than once this year? RUMBLE RUMBLE RUMBLE Well, she should have known better. Of course something would happen. She looked around and saw boulders and rocks tumbling down the cliffsides towards the path. It made sense in a terrible fashion. All of these powerful ponies and whatnot hammering the earth with their stampedes was bound to cause trouble at some point, and here was that point. Some of the rocks were small but there were honest to goodness boulders. She was a bold filly but boulders were too bold for her to boldly bite back against the boulders. She tried to do the math in her head. Could she run through this? She was fast and agile but she had put a lot into that straightaway. As the first of many boulders started to land next to her, she decided to go with her gut instinct and dive for cover. She started to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge the boulders to the best of her ability. She almost made it to a spot where several other racers were when a boulder finally connected on her side, sending the Apple filly shooting into cover and into a rock face upside down, sliding off of the ident she made and finally falling on her head. She was nearly knocked out and could feel her head try and swivel about in confusion, but was stopped by the rest of her body laying on it. Finally she fell over completely, landing with an audible oomph on her stomach. "Anycweatah cahtch rowk laights?" She asked, her mouth full of gravel and her head full of little.
  18. Applejack's first task was cake. And her first task was sharing the cake with Rainbow Dash, and likely making a mess. She puled her wife- that felt good to say- over to the large chocolate cake that was waiting for her. "Open up yer big mouth, flight girl. Yer stuck with me now," she said as Twilight cut the cake with her magic. The piece was given to her- same with Rainbow. Applejack grew a predator smirk with an arched eyebrow as she went in for the delicious kill. Apple Bloom moved in a little slower, her emotions heavily mixed. Her eyes were wet with tears of joy. Her sister had found her perfect pony forever and the APple family was growing. That was easily one of the best things to have ever happened in Apple Bloom's young life, and she didn't want to think anything else. But she couldn't help herself. She hadn't a role to play in this entire affair. She felt old now. Was she old? Well, she wasn't old enough to experience life just yet. She was happy, she was over the hills with joy, but frustrated. It was weird and selfish and it made her feel all the worse for it as smiled her way into the reception. Moonlight trotted excitedly into the reception, eyes and ear and heart on point. It had been soooooo romantic but this was just the start of it! "Oooh, that was sooooo romantic like oh my Celestia. Makes you think, right? Like, wow I hope my wedding is just as radical! Go get us something to drink, sweetie," she said to her little Remington, happy to have him around. Octavia took her position, having moved quickly from the ceremony staging area to the reception area. She, her quartet, and many of the other musicians were working dual roles today, even though the first part was far less exciting than the second. She set herself up on stage, taking her bow out and giving it a few quick cuts before she nodded to the first entertainer of the evening: Coloratura. Rara herself was dressed down rather than up, knowing that Applejack didn't really appreciate the glitz and glam that came with the Countess. Her playlist was one of a few as other entertainers were bound to perform, but had been carefully chosen for this night. She would ignore the sting in her heart for tonight and perform as best she could. It was the least she could do for the married couple. She returned the nod to one of the musicians who was going to provide the backing instrumentation for her. They had a minute or so before the signal for the first song was due to come in, so she ran over the list in her head and took some deep breaths, prepared as best she could be for the night.
  19. Like all Royalty, Twilight Sparkle had a vote in every democratic race in the nation. They were rare enough that it hardly mattered and they were prohibited from using their positions to influence any of them. As far as Twilight was concerned, she could hold her opinions to herself and keep them contained to her ballot. Unlike many, she had to recognize that regardless of who won she'd still have to give them final approval at a ceremony in Canterlot and would have to deal with them at a higher level. It was true that she could decide to replace the winner if she decided that was best as well; Celestia had used this right often. She arrived with her escort and spent her time hobnobbing with the ponies of Ponyville, a town that had done so much for her that she felt obligated to make sure it ran well and honest. Both candidates had their strengths. Both had their weaknesses. Neither seemed as if they would be hard to manage from the standpoint of a Princess, so she had decided to vote based on the candidate who she believed would be able to best lead these ponies in matters great and small. Who was that? She wasn't going to say. That would be more than improper! She made her way inside in time and as her guards flanked her outside the booth- and she desperately tried to get ponies to stop bowing so they could do their jobs. Finally she made her way inside the booth and made her vote. She did her civic and royal duty and once outside greeted her little ponies. What a wonderful town this was, and what a wonderful leader it was bound to have! Now if only she could find some time to get some of that fine cart action up front...
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