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Everything posted by SteelEagle

  1. Applejack was a mare who loves herself the truth but she didn't demand the same from others. If she had, she would have to punish Rainbow something fierce. She knew that not many ponies were pursuing her, not anymore. When she was a young mare she was rather...popular. She had her dalliances. But her rush into the fields and devotion to her work meant that at that critical age when other ponies were fooling about and making mistakes into miracles, her talks of farming, family planning, and life-long relationships scared a few away. Didn't much matter when it came time for the dances and fairs. She was attractive and friendly, a few dances never hurt anypony. But her as an actual dating commodity? Only...three serious prospects. Rainbow was the fastest. Couldn't get away from her! Probably why the fly girl won. By the time her wife made sure to tell her to flap in sync in sync she was already doing so, but it still helped her. She needed that reminder. A pegasus was born with certain instincts that while in need of refinement ensured that they had the necessary instinctual tools to succeed. Being lifted off the ground under her own power was a strange development and keeping Rainbow's advice firmly lodged in the forefront of her mind was oddly useful. "Together, together, together..." she repeated nearly under her breath, steadying herself against Rainbow as she got her wings in a rhythm that wouldn't task her attention too much. After a few more moments she felt confident enough to let go of Rainbow, who responded by hovering away from here. "Can't get away from me that easily, flygirl," Applejack chuckled as she started to breath deep. One thrust of her wings followed by another she pushed herself up, trying to hover and failing at times. Her altitude hampered by her bottom half dangling and sometimes kicking out of habit and no small amount of deep ingrained uncomfortable sensibility. In fits and starts though she managed to raise herself until she was nearly even with Rainbow. "See? No escape."
  2. Rainbow allowed herself back up with Twilight's help begrudgingly, mostly out of incessant embarrassment more so than any actual pain. "I'm fine. Well, except for my pride, heh," Rainbow responded as she was helped up, rubbing the back of her wings where a small pain had shot through her. She didn't know who would do this or why they would, she just knew that it frustrated her to no end to feel so humiliated by some magical barrier. Sometimes, and only sometimes, she hated Equestrian magic. Unless it was Twi, Dash was usually just awed there. Plus Twilight had very good reasons for doing anything she did. Rainbow, rather cruelly, did not ascribe such qualities to this newer, friendlier victimizer of pegasi. The stallion responsible for the barrier stepped forward. It was not a cool monster or villain but rather just an older stallion, a wizard, who should have known better than to put force fields where athletic pegasi were trying to impress very special ponies. "Yeah, nice force field or whatever. It stopped me so you know it's good," Rainbow laughed, though the mirth was inconstant and fake. Her eyes were still set hard. She didn't like being made to look the fool or weak and she had been made to look both. He better have damn good cause. "But why is it up in the first place? Other ponies do live close by and this could hurt them if they aren't as experienced in being awesome like we are!"
  3. Apple Bloom didn't rightly know what to say. Mostly she was just plum tickled by the concept of Tempest being a mama as if that has been on some bingo card somewhere. Who the hay was the father? She wasn't bringing him along now, was she? Abby wanted to know who the stallion was so she could do well by him and not get keel-hauled by an angry, pregnant Tempest Shadow. Which then brought her to the second part that actually brought her down no small amount. Had she been selected as a crewmember just to act as a surrogate child for Tempest to practice day to day life with? That wasn't part of the plan as far as Abby was concerned. She was here to work, work hard, and see the world as an adult. Still, despite her momentary feelings of being let down or even hoodwinked, there was a much greater sense of joy at the idea of two smaller Tempests running around. Tempests? Tempi? "Well, Ah didn't much expect ta hear that today!" She bellowed excitedly, hugging Tempest's forelegs. "Congrats! Who is that lucky stallion? Ah bet he's a real swashbucklin' fella, ain't he?" She asked with a laugh as she let go of her captain. Had to maintain some form of decorum, right? Wouldn't be a good idea to have everycreature else on the crew seeing that. "And ah'm totally down helping ya prepare for yer foals, no doubt about that! Yer gonna make a good momma just 'cause yer so worried about doing it right," She said emphatically before her brows furrowed ever slightly. "But...Ah'm a member of yer crew first and foremost, ain't that true?"
  4. Twilight allowed herself a smile as the Rose-Gecko moved its way up and spoke to her. Rose was a fascinating friend and a creature of unsurpassed magical peculiarities. She could have just teleported herself into the ship instead of being a gecko if she wanted to hang out, but no matter that. Maybe she wanted to just be set aside when other ponies came in, having Twilight when she wanted and none of the business awkwardness that would come with it. With all that said she made sure to wrap the sea snake around her neck like a scarf and stood up. "Your favorite Alicorn? Well, how many do you know?" She asked jokingly. It was a low bar to pass! She stood up and trotted over to an intercom that was near her bed. She entered a small combination and pressed a button and waited a few seconds for the ship to do the work. When she was certain it was connected, she spoke into it. "May I have some Mujadarra? I'm working up quite the appetite up here, so if you could make...hmm, six helpings, that would be satisfactory. Thank you," she said before releasing the button. She then flew over to a large couch in the center of the room and leaned back, half on the snake and half on the cushion. "The waters out there are great, yes. I was planning on heading out to the observation deck later, after the moon settles. Water watching is much better reflected in moonlight," she said matter of factly before sighing. "Besides, whenever you go on a state trip the hosts always want to show you the great vistas and views of their homeland. Grandeur and wonder become common and basic after a while. I'm always more impressed by the small details of a host, anyway. Every nation has grandeur within it, after all. You learn a lot more by studying the habits they forget more than the elements they know to show," she said as she made sure to orient her reptilian scarf correctly. "How's Aloe? Albedo?"
  5. Princess Twilight Sparkle had another great success under her proverbial belt. It had not been one she had expected to give her any appreciable issues to begin with but that never stopped potential issues from driving her mad in the preparation. There had been essential zero chance that the Saddle Arabians would have decided against signing the Century Agreement; it was mutually beneficial and the two nations were already fast friends in most areas. Now Equestrian magic experts from a wide variety of fields were set to work with the Sultan and his people to see how magic could benefit that nation, and in return Equestria would be given technology and access to a wide variety of resources it naturally lacked. Such an agreement had been proposed multiple times and neither nation had ever turned it down, but other events always came up and stole their attention. Now, they were finally going to cross that barrier and a hundred-year agreement had bee signed. She was certain there would be more signed as the centuries passed, but this would do for now. The full Equestrian delegation could have been teleported home but then they'd have to jump right back into courtly duties immediately. Instead, the REN Majestic, Flagship of the Royal Diplomatic Transport Squadron, glided through the skies above the Sparkling Sea. A staff of over fifty plus crew and guards made their way to and fro while Twilight occupied the Royal Suite. It was here that she found herself writing some letters and reading some dispatches, passing the time lazily for once. It would take about a week to arrive in Fillydelphia, where there would be a small function and some minor checkups before they continues to Canterlot. The second half of the trip would only take one day, aided by Equestrian weather. And then, well, back to work. No rest for the weary! She felt something try to teleport into a space close to her. Unfortunately it would encounter trouble. The Majestic was outfitted by a series of spell matrices designed by Twilight to counter a wide array of magic. Combined with the movement and the first element of the signature was phasing into the wood of the vessel itself. Very strong to get even that far. Even a cursory examination allowed Twilight to understand who it was. She disabled the spell matrix and reset the position of the ship as she finished writing a letter to Rarity. The chameleon that was Rose found its way into her suite, hopefully safe, sound, and none the wiser. Twilight would have to get Rose to stop surprising her like this! As she drank some tea and leaned back, Rose's voice entered her mind. Twilight didn't bother replying silently, however. "Nice to hear from you Rose! Getting into trouble or just coming for the company?"
  6. Apple Bloom allowed herself some choice words once she was in the bathroom. The glass was wedged in just so that it would be hard to remove, but remove it she had to do. She searched for some tweezers and slowly started digging to find it. Even when she did find the first of two pieces, pulling it out caused no small amount of irritation and pain. She dropped it into the bin and worked on the second one, gently pulling it away from the wall. Even then, some irritation remained. She washed herself up and got some new gauze- still a tiny bit of blood, no reason to be unsanitary. Luckily, she didn't hear the sounds of complete chaos and the destruction of the farm, so that meant they must be getting along. Best friends, even! After collecting herself, Apple Bloom made her way back downstairs. She didn't know what most of the day was going to be like. She was taking it moment by moment but really she felt like she was going to drown. Zap Apple was Zap Apple and he was wonderful but he was just that right age where doing the opposite of what she asked him to do was the right thing to do as far as he was concerned. After all, she was only the Aunt, right? As she moved into the kitchen she took a deep breath and was gonna put her front hoof forward. "So, how-" she began before she sighted the wings, the Alicorn wings!, in full display. She was mesmerized ever momentarily and something in her mind was awed. A click of a switch somewhere and she could almost feel herself subtly shift perspective on the Alicorn until her words were treated as far more than mere suggestions. She did hear what was asked of her pretty clear, though. "Yes, Yer Highness. Two cups'a'milk coming up," she said quickly, giving an ever brief bow before bounding to work. In just a few moments the slight fog vanished but by then she just completely agreed that indeed this was the best idea. "Here ya go!" she said, sliding two cups of milk over to the youngings.
  7. Her daughter said something terrifyingly accurate. "Ah am?" She said as she swiped her head and then took a dramatic whiff of herself, then made a grossly exaggerated face with her tongue out. "Peee-ewww! Ah guess ah am. Gonna have ta clean up real good when Ah get outta here," she picked her daughter up and gave her a big kiss. "Maybe get one of those nice smelling perfumes," she said, always threatening to take Ambrosia's favorite perfumes. Only when she acted like she didn't want it would Ambrosia give in. Sometimes. She adored the persnicketiness of her first daughter as much as she adored Zap's spunk! Her brother was as consistent as always and as she placed Ambrosia down she made sure to snag some hay fries, giving her colt a little hoof-bump on the way out. "Thanks a bundle, Big Mac. Ah'm famished! These fellas don't know when ta quit, do they?" She said with a laugh. He'd make a good Rugby player. The game was all about physicality and he was as physical as they come. Of course he had a certain gentleness to him that made him a little less than perfect in sports, but no matter that. She'd have to drag him into the pitch one day. Speaking of dragging somecreature, she felt the same about that Bucs player. He had a mean eye to him and a quick hoof, and did a lot in those scrums that she didn't find all that fair. She'd got a good hit in, though. She tossed her mane back and puffed out her chest. "Well, he's just jealous that Ah got tha best family ever and all he has is his stinky river team," she said with not a hint of a joke or irony. Why that, when you spoke nothing but truth? "Keep up that good eye and one day you'll be out there too, Ah reckon," she said with all the confidence that a mother could muster. As she stuffed her face full of fries she made sure to lean in and lean on her wife. "You ain't seen nothin' yet, flygirl. Ah'm just testin' theme. Second half?" She stamped her hoof on the metal railing, creating a loud bang as she winked. "Ah'm going to stampede allllll over their tired flanks! An-'" she tried to continue before a small tap on her one of her back hooves. She looked- it was the coach, who nodded to the tunnel. Applejack rubbed the back of her neck. "Alright, guess Ah can't spend tha whole break chatting y'all up. Stay safe out here an' get some cider, it's part of tha tab!" She said as she hugged them all once more, ruffling her kids' manes as she hugged them at once. While hugging them, she made sure to whisper. "Tell Dashie ta root harder, Ah can only *just* hear her over the roar of the crowd!" She said with faux sadness before releasing them and leaping off and into the tunnel.
  8. Yeah, little kitten Gallus was such a troublemaker. Not even a lie there, he was. They all were. You had to be, even if it hurt. "Yeah, kitten Gallus was a troublemaker. Replace the pictures with graffiti and the walls with...well, walls outside are still walls I guess. So scratch that, don't replace that," he said with a laugh. "But don't knock dumpster diving. When you're starving and the street-mice aren't plentiful, you'll be surprised how delicious a rich griff's toss-aways look," he said as he returned her tone with a smile. After all, what came from her in a mocking, playful tone was less abjectly annoying than his life had actually been. "I was always pretty handsome regardless, though. How cute was hatchy Silverstream? I bet I could ask your mom for pictures. I bet she has thousands of them," he said with just as much evil as Silverstream had once summoned. While she blushed and he thought to himself through a slowly beating heart Boreas she is cute, she managed to ask a question. It sent him backwards and knocked him out of his momentary stupor. Yeah, that would be easier than trying to do it alone, wouldn't? of course, she just as quickly came down to Earth in more than one way. Yeah, she was right. They would never have actually said yes to a twofer, would they? And not with her. Not here. Still, he would have fun with it. "Are you worried about something, Streamy?" He asked as he landed next to her and leaned. "It isn't like Professor Dash is gonna bust down that door any moment from now."
  9. Free food? Count him in. Never say no to free food. It was the best aspect of Professor Applejack's class. You could count on her having some apples and maybe a pie to share. He doubted that this would go as easily. The acrobatic displays were pretty damn impressive. They moved back and forth, flowing lazily and then moving like lightning to the point. They never made full contact however. The first time or two Gallus would admit to a little wonderment. Why weren't they hitting one another? Were they scared to hit one another? It wasn't cool enough to justify not getting the impact right. Then he realized it was more just of an athletic display than anything else, and then he got into it a bit more. They answered the calls of the crowd, barrel rolling and scraping against one another in a dazzling display of athletic prowess. This went on for some time before another armored figure hovered near the crowd. "Welcome and well met, Citizens and Friends alike! Do any of you wish to join in this mighty contest of skills, courage, and strength?" He asked the crowd at large, the enthusiasm in his voice leaking into the crowd at an accelerating rate as more than a few claws went up in an attempt to get his attention. Gallus did not raise his paw. Maybe if he knew who he'd be jousting but as far as he knew it was gonna be a guard or somecreature else that knew what he was doing. Behind the recruiter, the hippogriffs who had been pulling off the moves separated at a much greater distance before turning about and flying at one another at top speed. The smaller, thinner one was hit at the point of contact and went tumbling down into a strategically placed pool below, his jousting lance landing with a thick crunch against the ground next to the pool. Yep, he was fine not raising his paw just yet!
  10. Tempest reacted to Apple Bloom's choice oddly, as if anything other than food was on her mind. As it should have been: She had a crew for food prep, a cook. She was the Captain. If the Captain was down below making food and not doing whatever it was that leadership did during the day. As she hemmed and hawed and showed no small amount of confusion and angst about her cooking capabilities, or lack thereof, it dawned on Apple Bloom that the filly had failed to communicate well. "Oh!" She rubbed the back of her neck. "Err, Ah can help ya when it comes ta cookin', Cap'n. Ah've cooked with mah sister loadsa times before, so we can do that together," she said cheerily, "an' Ah certainly love mahself some pancakes. Y'all have any good praline on board? They go so good with flapjacks or apple pancakes, let me tell you that for free!" She laughed before tossing her head back in the general direction of the rest of the ship. "But Ah meant head on down ta tha kitchen with tha cook ta help out with tha ship," she said with a trailing sensibility. After all, her hope was to become a good crewmember, Palling about with the Captain was a good way to look like a spoiled rotten filly on a ship full of hardworking crewmares and she would be mortified if that was what they got out of her. Not that she wouldn't have preferred seeing what it was that Tempest considered a good pancake. Probably had a ton of rocks mixed in with gravel. That was how you mad grit, and she was one gritty mare most of the time. That was for later inspection though. It was her job to make sure that the Captain of her ship was confident with what she was doing with a crewmare, after all. "But if you reckon you'd rather me somewhere else, Ah'd do it, Cap'n!"
  11. Gallus could only smile crookedly at Smolder's compliment to the good old fashioned value of teamwork. "You know what our professors would say about this?" He asked as he cleared his throat, putting on the best female voice he could. "Teamwork makes the dream work!," he said with a big splash of excitement. He sighed and looked around. He couldn't deny one thing, no matter his innate cynicism. "They aren't wrong," he said confidently before they made their way into the school proper and to their dorms. It was here that they would say their goodbyes. Truth be told he was too wired to really sleep, but maybe reading Professor Fluttershy's book recommendation- Filly Funtasia's Frollicking Fun Meadow Walk- would put him right to sleep. Or maybe he'd want to walk in a meadow. Either option suited him. "I'll try. All this excitement has got me wired," he said as he waved to two of the most important creatures in his life. "Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite," he said with a wink before slipping into his room and closing the door.
  12. Applejack wished she could join in the giggles and frivolity of the moment, but truth be told it was all she could do to not curse out very loudly the existence of onions at that moment. They stung her eyes and left a very bitter smell. It was a testament to her infinite patience created by the sight of her foals, nurtured, tested, and strengthened by their aging, that she didn't scream out. She blinked a few times and tied to get as much out with her hooves as she could. It worked to some degree. She was already having a reaction, her tear ducts starting to swell up and the irritation turning her eyes red and veiny. "G-good job thar, Ambrosia. Momma didn't expect it ta..." she sighed. "Explode. In her face," she said as she tried to wipe it off some more, only making it worse. "If Ah know yer brother, he's-" she sneezed as her tears started to fall, "-off'n where they were cloud bustin'. Let's go-" sneeze "-get'm before we move on ta tha Boutique." Muziki made sure to follow her rafiki as he bounded down, jumping from post to pillar to cart to ground with the sort of abandon most envied and few had. She followed him for a little while, making sure to put the bullfrog and the hat he lived in back on her head. "It means big green, because he is big, he is green, and one day he will be bigger than the Lukwata!" She said as she cast happy eyes at the large bulge in her hat. "I am sure you find something equally as good as big bullfrog to show. Not stick though! Does not look like it taste good. And makes you look like puppy!" She said with a giggle. "Boj boj!" She said in imitation of a dog baking. "You should see what the pegasus do late. I think, I think, you will like it. Yes, you will like it. One day you do it?" She asked hopefully. She still wasn't sure how all that worked, tell you the truth.
  13. If he had known that cooking created such a hard to cleanup mess, he wouldn't have done it. He'd have found a flower and shoved that down Zap's throat, would have been more successful than his cooking attempt. And probably would taste the same. How could you have lasagna without some salmon? High crimes were committed in the clouds above Ponyville. At least he got to shoot the billowing breeze with Silverstream while he continued to clean. Something she said make him stick his head into the living room. "You think so?" He asked incredulously. "How do you figure? Tonight was nearly a disaster. Multiple times. But I guess maybe that's how it always is. Almost a disaster all the time and then they're old enough tp fly away. I wouldn't know how that works," he said as continued to work on the kitchen. "Though if you do tell them and you do decide to let them know about the time he went missing, add in some foalnappers we had to beat up. A lot more interesting than just us panicking!"
  14. The meat and heat of the issue finally came up. It shouldn't have been entirely a shock to Applejack. Coloratura had discussed the touring schedule with her before, proposed dates and venues. Sure, sure sure! She had never outright asked Applejack to come with her and had never said she was, but the dates started before Applejack was supposed to end helping Rara. You know, she just figured it was better left unsaid. That way, Applejack couldn't say no. "Yes, yes, I know you said that buuuuttt...." Rara said before she hopped over to Applejack's side. "You wouldn't be doing it alone! It's just a few shows to start the tour near the Heartland. Not really all that big of a deal. Really!" She said with enthusiasm born from desperation. "Plus, it will be a lot of fun!" She added as an afterthought, searching for more positives. "And you're gonna look great too, I promise." Well duh.
  15. If she hadn't experienced Twilight and her teleportation all the dang time in her formative years, Flurry's precise and instant entrance would have sent something flying. Instead, Appple Bloom took a reflexive step back and then regained herself. It was no time at all before the Princess made seatfall. "Oh, don't worry Yer Highness, just a little bit o'glass," she said, nodding to the window that had a new shape in it. "Reckon-" she started up with gauze in her mouth as she continued to wrap it, "ahhhh gosh it. Ain' grow'n uhp in-ah fahm wiihot learnen' tah tahk cahr yerself," she said as she finished. "As for magic?" She shrugged and got to work cutting the pie, the first piece being the biggest given to the Princess. "Applejack ain't as opposed ta magic as some ponies think. An' even if she was, Ah'm not," she said as she delivered the piece. "Here ya go. Dig in!" She said with a big smile as she started cutting two more pieces. Didn't take much for the second younger participant to show up. Zap Apple didn't even pay his aunt much of a mind, didn't even ask about the window, didn't look to make sure a fat p[iece of glass hadn't been laying in ambush for him. Nope, he just flew right in and sat down immediately despite knowing what he had done. Right then and there Apple Bloom realized that foals could be a little too crazy and swore off having them forever. For not. While she had glass in her hoof. She had half a mind to not give him a piece of pie as punishment but that would be an awkward conversation to have in front of a Princess, so she gave him his piece. "Here ya go Zappy," she said with as much cheer as the growing pain in her hoof would allow. "You two feel free ta chow down. I'm just gonna go wash up real quick!" She let off easy as she trotted, limping lightly on one hoof, out of the kitchen and left the two youngins alone.
  16. Twilight laughed. "Believe me, a lot of times ponies just need to see what you're capable of. An entry position in Emergent Weather Response might be what you call a clipboard job but when a winter storm is raging beyond control from the heart of the Everfree to threaten Vanhoover, somepony with your talents will be front and center in stopping it. You can be sure of that: In fields where excellence is required, if you truly have what it takes you won't be found wanting for advancement," she said confidently, though she didn't shy away from answering the second part of the question. "Kastrot is always looking for powerful unicorns but I doubt you'd enjoy it there. Whitescar would be great, but they shun magic. The Crystal Empire- much of it falls under many of the same advantages and disadvantages, opportunities and likewise as Equestria. However, the weather patterns there are certainly more your style," she said as she finished her tea. Pouring another- and topping her guests- she tittered. "Yes, weddings. Avoid them at your pleasure. They are...wonderful events, don't get me wrong. But everypony I even vaguely know invites me to officiate. I understand why, of course, and I do enjoy it. But I wish I could have a wedding where I could be a simple guest. Well, maybe not simple. I'm fully aware of what will happen. But at least one where I don't have to work at the wedding!" Twilight said as she leaned back. "How far along are the preparations, by the way? I assume Swift already has lined up at least fifteen thousand ponies to work it. That or zero, some Avant Garde affair. You never know which way with him: Over the top and extravagant, or over the top in its simplicity," she said with a hearty laugh. "How many foals is the plan, again?"
  17. "That's just it: We no longer know!" That was the start of it. Fact was that they always had a handle on who led the Triad and large parts of the organization. Like many things, you had to deal with some harsh realities and one of them was that organizations like the Triad often kept a lid on more violent crime from down below. So as long as it had kept its crimes quiet and self-contained they had been content to only slowly grind against it, forming cases against its leaders over time while crushing the foot soldiers when their crimes were discovered. That was safe and sustainable for the Kirin of the land. "We knew for a long time that the old snake himself was the leader of that organization. We just lacked that final piece to really nail him down. At the very least though, we knew him, and we knew what to expect," She started as she cupped some water from the fountain and drank it. It wasn't pure and perfect drinking water- it was imperfect. She loved it for that reason. "As you can guess, that is no longer the case. The Triad has changed. Da Jian-yá has not been seen, but we have not been able to ascertain if he is dead. We also have reason to suspect Yu Kinokawa is out of the picture as well. We have reason to suspect the hierarchy is in such chaos that not even their Grass Slipper is in action!" She said with increasing exasperation. Then she turned around, honest worry painted. "That isn't the end of it. In just the past month, every informant that we had in the Triad have gone missing and the Long Kong police are reporting no known Triad activity." She rolled her eyes and turned back around for a moment, before turning back around to him, angry. "I mean, really? Do they take us as fools?" She said as she shook her head and took a deep breath. "Somelin has compromised the Triad and the Long Kong Police. Whoever has control of it wields more power in greater darkness than Da Jian-ya ever did."' She wanted to unleash dragonfire all over her beautiful garden in frustration. Her self-control won out. "This...I will not stand for this," she said as she approached him. "I am authorizing you as an agent of the Throne to do whatever is necessary to find and remove this individual. Here," she said as she unleashed her dragonbreath, summoning to her side one of the two golden seals of the Imperial Throne. She placed it in his hooves. "The Dragon Seal. There are only two. I hold the other. No one may deny you. You carry the weight and authority of the Empress of Long Guo," she said, nodding with as much stoic excitement as she could. It was hard to do continue the facade as she reached in to touch his face. "Find this person and deal with the Triad. Do it, and I may ennoble you. And when that happens, you will have me, and I will have you."
  18. Applejack was very proud of her daughter's determination. She was young and had a long way to go but how many unicorns were ever really capable of trying to explode an onion? She didn't know many. Maybe only a few tried, but that didn't change the facts of the situation. Applejack stared at her daughter, then at the onion, then back at her. What a proud heart beat in this mother's chest. She had the best son and the best daughter anypony could ask for- something was smelling good- and she was plum tickled- hmm that was onion, wasn't it? She looked at the vegetable as it glowed. "Huh, well lookie-" she started off in puzzled amazement before the onion detonated like a bomb right next to her eyes, sending chunky bits of onion everywhere. Muziki didn't like shouting. It hurt her voice. Her voice was best used for song and performance, so she decided to get closer. She followed much the same path as Zap Apple had, jumping over him at the end to make room over to his side, laying out on the roof. "They have been doing their cloud-magics all morning," she said lazily as she tried to make sure her space-making didn't send one of them vaulting down below. "I asked the nahodha if this is all they do today. She said, nini, no, it is not. They do the bigger of the work later," she said absently. Oh! What she wanted to show him. She remembered because it moved. "Oh! I wanted to show you something, yes!" She said excitedly as she pulled off her hat "It is for Missus Cheerilee's Show and Tell tomorrow. What do you think?" She asked as the bullfrog that had been riding on her mane under the hat gave a big ol' ribbit. "I name her kijani kibichi!"
  19. Applerich Stadium was the newest feature in Ponyville's burgeoning landscape. It wasn't as big as some of the giant stadiums that occupied the larger cities of Equestria but it was a big as Appleloosa's stadium and much grander in intent. It could host any number of sports and events than just the local buckball team and the ponies (and town) behind it had attracted quite a lot of attention. It was built on Rich family land and while the Apple family had no direct hand in its funding, it shared their name on account of the historically close ties between the family. That same connection meant that when the stadium was announced it was quickly feted by many events. From the Heartland Wrestling Federation and the Equestrian Buckball Association to the Heartland Hoofball Alliance and Canterlot Football Conference, many large and famous organizations wanted to use it. It was going to be well-used by the local Buckball team and Schoolastic Teams (should they ever exist, Chancellor!) and a legion of smaller events. But who was gonna be the first? Turned out it was the National Rugby League, who had made a bold move by signing some local talent ages ago to try and secure the spot. Most teams in the League were barnstormers. A few professionals who traveled around playing games by, at best, a loose schedule, supported by locals and temporary players. One such team was The Roundbottom Roughriders, a mainstay in the Heartland who often traveled to and through Ponyville and had a healthy rivalry with the Bucephalus Buccaneers, who also laid claim to the area Ponyville. It was known for having ponies with good, strong hooves and strong backs who could outwork most others. A nice solid place to pickup some supporting pieces for better players. And there was one mare who they had both signed at different times. Often times for a few games to be played in Ponyville. On rare occasions, for a short timed stint. They never regretted signing her, only that she allowed the seasons to determine when and where she'd play- that and family matters, in any case. So when she agreed to play for the Roughriders months before the stadium's opening, it was enough to get the Mayor to decree that the first event to take place in Applerich Stadium was Applejack's return game: The Roundbottom Roughriders vs the Bucephalus Buccaneers. She played no less than ten games before then and she had never felt better. She had been Ponyville's premiere athlete her whole life, after all. She was as fast and swift as the crack of a whip, as enduring as the mountains and rough as leather. She could kick the dang ball from near across the whole field and then some: Nopony could stop the Roughriders from scoring at least a goal kick when she was playing, but her strength and pure power meant she would much rather cream somepony and run her way down the field for more. The first few games were just on the radio. Some real scrub teams that the Roughriders walked all over. Then they started to face stiffer and stiffer competition, real tough customers. A rainy affair near the Velvet Strand with a reporter able to snap pictures was cable to catch Applejack dragging no less than four others in for a game winning score moments before the game ended. And her heroics against the Cloudsdale Steelwings were heard across the Heartlands, as she was responsible for every game in the second half en-route to a thrilling come from behind victory. By the time the Roughriders made their way to Ponyville to face the Bucs- who had toured the Strand and faced some top dollar teams to prepare- Applejack was one of the brightest stars in the sporting constellation. Just ask her family. **************************************************************************** "That is the end of the first half with the score the Roundbottom Roughriders 20 and the Bucephalus Buccaneers 15!" Said the announcer over the stadium's loudspeaker, which could be barely heard over the excitement of the crowd. Applejack had ended the half by drop-kicking the ball for three just as time was expiring. She was also responsible for an earlier drop kick and both after-try kicks, as well as a legion of hard hits. The fact the Bucs were so keyed up on her meant she was able to get the ball to the stallions who scored both tries, to boot. Yep, she was having a heck of a game and it showed. Her mane was damp with sweat- though compared to others she was as dry as a flower in a heat wave- and she had no few cuts and bruises, but she was no worse for wear than the others. The teams broke for their respective locker rooms for the half, but she made sure to first trot to the 'home' side's stands, where the first row was placed just a few hooves lengths above the stadium ground. It wasn't the VIP seats that ringed the top of the stadium behind glass enclosures but it was close enough for Applejack to get what she wanted, which was some time with her family before she had to head in. They were seated front row you betcha, right next to the tunnel. She trotted there and even jumped up so she was on the railing next to her family. "Woo-eeee! Talk about a tough team but it's a lot of fun. How y'all handlin' it out here? 'joying tha game?" She asked, beaming with pride at her work for the day as she searched for some hay fries. There better be some hay fries.
  20. The deal was done. Bits exchanged, and soon she had all the turnips she would need. Turnips were the most boring of all the vegetables but just enough recipes required them, so you had to get them. What a wonderful produce racket. One of them was on the ground and, judging by the small sparks that fizzed around her daughter's horn, it didn't take much for Applejack to put the pieces together. She looked around- yep, Zap was watching the pegasi. Well, as long as he stayed around she reckoned she could allow him some freedom. She dusted the turnip off and tossed it in the cart, leaning in and giving her daughter a peck for good measure. "Well, look at that!" She said as she examined her daughter's horn impulsively "Yer horn is gonna pull off some amazin' stuff. Ah bet yer gonna be headin' ta that magic school and doing all sorts of powerful things with it!" She said proudly before re-attaching the cart and getting a mosie on. The next few veggies and fruits would be easy. Carrots came cheap to her, as did stalks and celery and root and flower. It would remain, however, pretty boring work. Very boring. When ehs reached the potato stand however the mare who ran it wasn't there- a small sign told her to wait until he returned. She knew how she could pass the time. First she unattached the cart and stretched. The she picked up an onion and turned around, leaning on the cart. "Alright. Wanna try an' levitate it? Remember what auntie Twi said!" -------------------------------- "Zap Apple! Zap Apple!" The voice was carried on melodic wind towards Zap Apple as he was looking up at the sky. It came from a taller filly, a zebra, clad in loose fitting green fabric, a blue bardic hat, carrying a lyre with some bells attached to the ends of her fabric. She came in nearly skipping through the crowd, still humming the end of a song that was on her mind as she approached. She was Muziki, a new zebra to town, and a student-friend of Zap Apple. Or at least she imagined it so! She imagined she was a student-friend of many though. She was as curious as a cat and at least five times as bright eyed and bush tailed. "It is good to be seeing you! How the, how has the farm life been, rafiki yangu?" She asked warmly as she she looked up at the sky. The pegasi hads been doing some of their cloud magics and athleticisms today and it had been a good backdrop for the show she and her parents were putting on. She was mostly just playing some music and singing in their chorus. A light day. No real performance performance but she was okay with that because it was a good, bright day with a happy sun in a happy town. And she saw one of her student-friends!
  21. His joke fell flat. That was almost as good as the joke hitting. The fact that the both of them apparently were so pure and naïve to not get the joke was pretty funny. That or he knew too much too early. Hmm...nah, he'd fall in under that first flag. Of course the fact that neither one got it also meant he felt a little flustered, since the lewdness of the comedic implication would be difficult to explain. So he just waved it off. "Eh, no biggie. Not every joke lands. Not even Pinkie Pie's jokes always land. Well, they always land but sometimes they just give you a concussion instead of making you laugh. I think Yona still has a knot on her head from last week..." he trailed off in thought as he followed them into the water and in a few moments, a few terrible moments mind you, back out again, coughing up water as quietly as possible in the night as he emerged alongside his fellow students. "Well, tonight turned out...productive. Yeah, productive. And even more productive next time. More hooves...and tails...and claws...and wings...make the work go faster."
  22. Twilight would give her ascent to the to unspoken question. It was a minor gift and it would reap minor rewards, though the spell in question had many possibilities. She wondered if Rose was perhaps hoping for too much again, but decided to let her innate concerns rest at this moment, the moment of supreme joy that they were all sharing. Her blessing was mostly ceremonial yes but she was not a mare who was willing to let ceremony itself stand without cause or reason. In her words spoken in Ponish and Other were true words of magic woven into the very being of Albedo. The blessing was not full of empty words but a small measure of honest magical influence. Under Twilight's blessing Albedo would find herself put upon by no less than the good fortune of the cosmos. Not in large ways, mind you, but small victories in small moments would be hers as long as she held true to the promise of her birth. And with those small victories forming the foundation she would have every chance to experience the grandeur of existence successfully, if only she would hold true to Harmonic principles. It was then that she felt it. The egg- Albedo was going to be born. It was clear on the expressions worn by the parents. Twilight took a few steps back, giving everyceature space. Last thing she wanted to do was get in the way of this most joyous of occasions with her nosiness. As she fell back she popped a notebook and quill into existence. Just because she was going to be quiet and off to the side didn't mean she wasn't going to use this opportunity to learn!
  23. "Oh yeah?" He asked rhetorically as he made sure Zap Apple got in his bed. He wanted to make sure that when Zap Apple went down for the count he was down for that count. Boreas knew Gallus already had quite the mess to clean up, best to make sure he was asleep. When Zap Apple was clearly in bed and settling in, Gallus gently pulled the blanket over him. "Alright, well, you rest up and dream about that bigger bed. I'll be downstairs if you need anything, trying to take a nap," Gallus said as he started to hover away, waving as he did so until he was out of sight. Once there he took a deep breath, sighed, and turned to Silverstream. "Well, that was exhausting," he said with a smile. "Thanks for being here. Wanna help me clean up that mess down there?"
  24. She didn't want to fight Zap Apple on it and this also meant he was out of her mane, at least for a little while, so she didn't fight his interpretation of her statement before much. If he did what he needed to do then she didn't quite think it mattered just what the cause behind it was. He ran off and she was content to have him do so, which allowed her to focus on getting the Princess all set up. She seemed to warm up to the house mighty quickly and that was a relief as well. It was the best house in the world no doubt but a house and a palace were very different games. Of course, the prospect of not having a gaggle of critters popping about your home was something she couldn't quite cotton. "Well, Ah'd take yer tutors 'round back and give'm a right kick in the haunches. Ah bet you could get yerself tha perfect pet an' that'd bring so much love and fun into yer life, you'll never understand how you got by without one! As fer yer room, well, it's all we really got. 'Sides, it's tha best one, and Ah'm sure AJ wouldn't think nothing of it," she said with a smile. She then gave a bow and worked away from her, giving the Princess space. She went head to work on the pies. She wasn't the same cook AJ was but through experience she knew how to make herself a killer apple pie, one that the Princess would be proud to have. Or at least she hoped so. There was always the possibility that she was about to make a foal out of herself but she had long ago ceded the space in her that would allow that to paralyze her. Piece by piece she assembled her pie and she could smell the wafting deliciousness as it grew moment by moment. Soon the aroma would start to infiltrate the house en masse, fresh apples and crust and a nice mix of the right flavorings and ingredients to give it all the right texture. It was almost done when a window shattered nearby in the kitchen, a stick flying in. Her ears momentarily pushed themselves flat against her skull in alarm as she walked delicately over towards the window and looked out, seeing one (1) tail wagging pup and one (1) sheepish looking colt. "Zap! Really, Zap? Uggh!" She ended with rolling eyes, inspecting the damage. Grumbling, she immediately went to work cleaning up the mess. She had to move quickly because the pie was almost ready and Twilight above if it didn't require precise- DING! TIMING. She hurried, hurried, and hurried some more, sweeping up the last of the mess. As she put the broom away and made sure the pan and the glass was safely away, she took a deep breath. Everything was okay. Okay! Okay. She reached down to pull the pie out and a small, sharp pain shot out from her hoof. There was a small piece of glass wedged right in between the wall and her peddy, which she couldn't remove just then. It wasn't gonna go too far in but it would be a heck of an irritant until she could focus on it later. "For Land's sakes..." she muttered as she used her other hoof to pull the pie out and gave a quick look around- no, no more glass. Darnit Zap Apple. "Got some Apple pie ready!" She yelled loud enough for both to hear her as she got out some gauze and started wrapping the end of her hoof.
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