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 The Long Way Home (Private)

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veryveryfluttershy

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PostSubject: The Long Way Home (Private)   Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:16 am

A knocking at the door drew Fantasy's attention from her scattered scrolls covered in notes and sketches. Her head turned toward the door, directly behind her from the writing desk. Immediately she set her quill down, making sure it was in the little ink pot so she wouldn't splotch any papers by accident, and trotted to the door and opened it with an open and curious expression, which to most ponies probably actually looked absent-minded.

Celestia, however, was not most ponies. Fantasy wasn't entirely sure, but she was confident Celestia knew her expression wasn't one of an airhead.

Celestia wore her usual warm, knowing expression. Well, most of the fandom, including herself to a certain extent, knew it was probably a mask. Unfortunately, she also knew she was unlikely to uncover what true emotions, thoughts, and intentions the mask hid, which kind of bothered her. But... perhaps she could find a way to uncover the secrets behind that mask one day.

"Hello, Fine Fantasy." Celestia greeted warmly.

"Hi." she replied somewhat shyly. Funny. she didn't realize she thought. She usually says that with air quotes. Must've forgotten.

"May I come in?" The question was more of courtesy, Fantasy was sure. She wasn't offended at all; she was just one of those people/ponies who didn't think it'd be polite, or logical, to deny the Princess. At least, for something as little as this.

"Sure." Fantasy opened the door all the way and side-stepped to let the Princess through. Celestia glanced about, and... seemed to approve. Of what, Fantasy wasn't entirely sure. That she wasn't just lying around in her room all day? Well, sometimes she did that. Everypony had a lazy day (teenagers more than most, usually). But... yeah. She seemed to approve of the apparent activity going on in here, even if it was all trapped in quill and parchment. And books. Fantasy had borrowed plenty of books detailing Equestrian history, magic, economics, past and current relations with other races, other races themselves, and really most of anything she could find and comprehend. All for the goal of spinning fanfiction out of what she'd (be forced to call) headcanon.

But there was something else in Celestia's eyes, and even a bit in her smile, that Fantasy all but completely missed. There was... something. Disapproval? How can a pony (person) approve and disapprove something at the same time? Maybe she was disapproving of the mess. That made Fantasy's neck grow warmer. She'd clean it up without complaint if that was it. Organization was a relatively simple matter. But... something told her that wasn't it. It was... sad. Somehow. Sad. Why? Was she even sad? Was Fantasy just misreading Celestia? Given her retardation, however slight, in social skills, and Celestia's near-perfect talent of donning her natural mask, Fantasy was sure she was getting it wrong. She still stared, though.

Celestia finished her light examination of the room with the messy blankets and sheets of the bed Fantasy had been using. She chuckled. "I see you've made yourself at home." she joked.

Fantasy's face turned pink. "Heh, s-sorry." She chuckled nervously, putting a hoof beneath her ponytail. "I'll clean up the mess."

"Oh, it's fine. I'm not upset." Celestia said, turning to her. "But you can if you want."

Fantasy smiled nervously.

Celestia simply smiled.

Then stopped.

She sat down. She grabbed a pillow from the bed in her golden magic aura and set it down in front of her, obviously meant to be Fantasy's seat.

What? Fantasy wondered, then her mind automatically jumped to the worst conclusion that could relate to her personally. She instantly discarded the thought. That wasn't it. And if she thought it, it would be it. She sat down on the pillow, looking up at Celestia like a foal who was sad from seeing her mother sad, but had not a clue as to why she was sad.




Why... Celestia thought. Just say it. Say it to yourself. Ignoring the possible won't make it impossible. Seconds ticked by, with Fantasy's expression wavering a number of times as she thought and discarded the thought again and again and again. Celestia's expression was constant, not changing constantly in minuscule ways most other ponies' might, but not set like a cold marble statue, either.

Celestia chided herself. She'd denied warning her about her chances at the start, and continued as time passed and showed more and more just what those chances were. She'd procrastinated warning her, she refused to at least prepare her for the worst should it happen, and now here she was, knowing certainly the facts, the chances of return, and that Fantasy had not been given, and refused to give herself, the proper armor in case the sharpest arrow was to be fired.

"Fantasy..."

Her lip and ear twitched. She knew what she was about to hear, even if she absolutely refused to admit it to herself. She was in Denial before she'd even heard the words.

"You've studied a lot about Equestria. Clearly." Celestia paused. "You know a lot about this land. Past, present, and maybe even the most likely future.

"Have you made any friends here?"

She couldn't have been more obvious. She could see Fantasy's expression shifting. Trying not to show any sadness. Don't assume anything. she was thinking. You're wrong. She's not about to say that. You're jumping to conclusions.

Fantasy shook her head.

Celestia nodded. "Understandable. You fear growing attached to other ponies in case you have to leave them to return home."

In case. She could see Fantasy replaying those words in her head, in a loop.

Why am I torturing her? Celestia thought. "Fantasy... you know wha- no. I'm not going to leave it to your imagination to torture you further than it has already. You can't return home."

Fantasy's face remained almost completely stoic. Most ponies would think she hadn't comprehended at all. Or even that she simply didn't care. Celestia could see otherwise. Tightening jaws to keep the lips from curving down. Eyebrows tilting ever so slightly like the top two lines of a triangle; showing how hard her heart had hit the floor. Her throat tightening on the outside, and constricting on the inside. All of this was subtle, but they were big neon signs for Celestia.

Celestia partially unfurled a wing, offering comfort.




Fantasy sat in a warm, white, soft cocoon of fur on one side and feathers on the other. Her face was blank. Her eyes were empty and focused elsewhere, as if she'd simply drifted off in class. Her mouth was a small, set neutral line. It almost seemed like she really didn't care.

Internally, her mind was at war. She wanted to express nothing. She wanted her face neutral. If her face expressed nothing, she'd feel the same. She wouldn't bother to think about this other than on the surface: she was stuck. Simple fact. Small speed bump. Mole hill.

At the same time, she wanted to feel something. Feel a lot. She was gone in her world. They were gone from her world. Everything had been replaced by a world that should've existed only as a lighthearted cartoon: instead of a mother, she ha-... . Instead of humans (lets start there), she had ponies. Instead of a president, she had a possibly immortal Sun Princess-goddess. Instead of (most) technology, she had magic and wonder and a much greater possibility for adventure...

Fantasy started smiling.

Instead of a mother...

Fantasy stopped smiling.

Instead of a mother...

Um... father...

Family...

Friends...

...

Celestia? No. The probably-immortal ruler of an entire nation(?) could not be her only friend. She could be a friend, but not the only one.

Then...

Well, she could get friends just about anywhere. Friends weren't hard to find if you knew how to look.

But family...

Oh god... Fantasy leaned into Celestia's wing, which in response held her tighter. It started light, with one or two tears every several seconds or so. But it escalated. In just under a minute, Fantasy was sobbing.



Fantasy had spent a quarter of an hour simply crying her heart out, until she'd actually thought to ask some questions, which stopped the flow of tears with hope. She'd asked about the book and the spell, the gem, her gem, herself, and anything else she could think to ask before Celestia simply told her what she'd comprehend. Basically:

A. Reusing the spell that had brought her here was out of the option, because 1. the book had, as Celestia had admitted to severely understating, been "burnt" to a crisp in the raw power of the dimensional magic it, and Fantasy, had been magically dragged through, and 2. the goal of the spell was to make a trip to an alternate dimension and return. Which it did. Mission accomplished.

B. Rewriting the spell was even less likely to work. In Celestia's own words: "It was at minimal chance that Starswirl’s spell happened to find and connect to your world. To do that again, and not just end up in a similar world, would require rewriting the spell exactly as it was before.” Rewriting the spell exactly would've taken Celestia a hell of a long time. Fantasy would be long dead before any notable progress would be made.

C. Yes, she (and her crystal, and anything else she'd brought with her) carried the dimensional frequency of her home dimension. Yes, it was possible to use that to re-open the already-existing and even renewed "pathway" between this world and her own. But simply opening a portal out of thin air to another dimension was extremely dangerous. The resulting energy that leaked through the portal could be barely enough to warm a marshmallow, or enough to incinerate half of Canterlot. Opening a portal out of thin air was simply too unpredictable and too risky for everypony within a city-wide radius.

It had been a while before Fantasy was even ready to leave her guest room. Even longer before she could go outside.

Today was her third day simply strolling through the streets of Canterlot. Her eyes were puffy, red, and dark underneath from crying and lack of sleep. Her mane and tail were frizzy and partially tangled since she'd half-assed the brushing and pulling her mane back into a ponytail. She hadn't even bothered to clean up her face or put on makeup. She was hardly concerned with what other ponies thought of her right now; she assumed they'd assume she was just a college student, victim of high stress.

Right now, she was searching for some place that offered ice cream and smoothies. She'd at first thought she needed to choose between chocolate-vanilla swirl or a strawberry-something smoothie, but thought "Fuck it, I'll get both." So that was her mission for now.


Last edited by veryveryfluttershy on Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:19 am; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:31 am

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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:01 am

In the halls of Canterlot Castle, a door appeared. It looked much different than any door in the castle, and it had to be, since it just... appeared. It was an odd sort of door, as it was actually a set of double doors, made of a dark wood. Golden stained glass windows covered by a very curvy metal frame hid the interior, leading one to wonder what exactly lies beyond this door of wonder. Just imagine finding this magical door, or is it doors, considering there are two of them? I’m used to calling it one door, but oh well. They still look nice. But what exactly lay beyond this suddenly appearing doorway?

A Royal Guard was just passing by, eating a muffin because he was on break while his shift was being taken by the rookie. He then spotted the doors that appeared out of nowhere, and started to wonder to himself where these doors came from. Cautiously, he approached the door and put his ear against it to listen for anything on the other side. What he heard was… unexpected. There was a lot of crashing sounds, and sounds of clashing steel, like somepony was sword fighting inside. He also heard voices. One sounded feminine while the other sounded… piratey? A mare was sword fighting with a pirate in a strange room that just magically appeared in the middle of the Canterlot Castle? Okay, this off-duty guard needed to get to the bottom of this.

He was about to force open the doors when they instead burst open in his face, causing him to fall backwards with a grunt of irritation, and a twinge of pain from getting a door thrust in his face. Of course, whatever opened that door had to have planned to exit it, right? Sadly, yes, for the guard then found a hoof on his chest as the mare jumped back from her sword fight. She quickly got off of him, but then the pirate stepped on his face. He quickly got off too as the sounds of sword fighting started fading down the hall towards the exit of the castle. As the guard picked himself up off the floor, the doors had shut themselves. He tried to open them, but found that he couldn’t. He brushed the dirt off himself and found his muffin unharmed on the floor. “Well, at least it’s not my problem.” He said to himself as he picked up the muffin and started walking down the halls once more, trying to forget the crazy experience he just was an unfortunate witness to.

Meanwhile, the mare, who you should all know by now is Sunshine, with her yellow coat, blue and pink mane and tail, blue eyes, mechanical right wing, and sun cutie mark, had just dashed out the front door of the castle with a pirate chasing her. She had met this pirate during her last adventure, but he snuck onto the Bardis and tried to steal it, sending them to this world. Of course, since this pirate is stubborn as a mule, he is still fighting her for it. Also of course, Sunny never thought she’d be using a rapier to defend her ship from a pirate in what is now the middle of Canterlot. This day was just full of surprises.

She flew onto a roof, to which the pirate then pulled out a flintlock pistol. She ducked, thinking it was going to be pointed at her, but the pirate merely grinned and pointed it at a passing mare. Sunny would have none of that. She jumped down from the roof a kicked the pistol out of his hoof, then parried a swing from his sword. She jumped for the pistol and grabbed it. Pointing it at the pirate, she grinned. The pirate dropped his sword and raises his hooves in surrender. Sunny decided to flip the pistol and hold it out to him. “Here. I’m an honorable mare.” She said, offering him the firearm. When he reached out to take it though, she jumped forward and pistol whipped him in the head, knocked the poor pirate stallion out cold. “Psyche! Dumbass.” She said, laughing a bit. “That’s what you get for trying to take what’s mine.” She then dragged him into an alley and dumped him in a trash can, keeping his sword and pistol for herself, to add to her collection. “Well that was fun. I could go for a treat. Maybe ice cream.” And with that, she went hunting for an ice cream store.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:42 am

'Vanilla.' 'Strawberry.' 'No, chocolate.' Were the first three thoughts in the head of a dark blue pegasus stallion as he wandered idly into an ice-cream shop, looking at the ice-cream flavours they had on offer and wondering to himself which ones he should have. 'Chocolate, strawberry and vanilla don't taste too good with each other. Vanilla goes well with either, and I am feeling more strawberry than chocolate.' He thought as he stood inside the shop, slightly off to the side of the doors to allow other ponies to walk in and out.

'And Cheshire, if you dare try to get the ice-cream on this suit again-' 'Yeah, yeah. I get it. Now stop standing there blankly and go get the ice-cream.' Wild Card then thought, making his way towards the counter. He took off his top hat and reached into it with a hoof, taking out a few bits and holding them as he once again looked at the options available to him in terms of flavour. "A vanilla and strawberry cone please... with... hm. Nope, just the vanilla and strawberry." Wild finally decided, waiting for a few seconds and then holding on to the cone with the tip of his wing, paying the pony behind the counter with the hoof-ful of bits.

Wild Card then trotted over to a booth next to the window of the shop, sitting down and giving the ice-cream a lick. "Mm. Now I remember why we liked this place last time we were here." The stallion idly commented, making sure to keep the cone away from his suit, shirt, waistcoat and bow-tie. "Yeah, nice to be in Canterlot again I suppose. But it's really more your cup of tea, what with it being all fancy-pants and upper-class stuff." "Yes, I do enjoy Canterlot a lot, and it's a pleasant change from the other places we end up in." He said, licking the ice-cream again and looking out the window to watch the world go by, with ponies walking up and down the streets, the outdoor cafes and the shops with their windows full of items that were generally overpriced in his opinion, even if he did have a lot of money to spare.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:46 pm

A short while after Wild went into the ice cream shop, a small group composed of another dark blue pegasi and a couple fillies turned onto the street. One filly was yellow with a two toned mane and tail that were red and purple. The 3 dark blue hooflets on her left hoof jingled lightly with every step and the large thick glasses that were over her bright red eyes almost threatened to fall off as she walked. The other filly was a little taller and older, with a white coat, and a purple and green mane and tail. She had a thick wrap of bandages wrapped tightly around her middle that were almost covered by the saddle bags she also wore.

As the trio turned onto the street, the two fillies caught sight of the ice cream store and there wasn't a force in the world that could have prevented what came next. "Can we get some ice cream dad?" the yellow filly piped up. "Can we?" the older one mimicked moments after.

Unable to resist the combination of both of his daughter's pleading stairs, Zen let out a sigh, "yeah, yeah, alright, we can get some ice cream," he replied as they entered the store. The two fillies rushed up to the counter the moment they were inside, looking at the various flavors and toppings while the older dark blue pegasi took his time in the approach.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:15 am

Fantasy walked into the ice cream shop, standing in line behind Zen. She'd walked slowly; her hoofsteps had been light, but not graceful either. She was slouching, but it didn't look lazy or grouchy (though she was kinda both). Her eyes were blank. The best description of her right now would be along the lines of "zombie". Second best description, probably sleep-deprived Maud.

She looked up at the flavors available, as if she might actually think about a decision. She'd decided beforehoof for a reason: she knew she'd be too apathetic to actually pay attention to what she was supposed to, and not hold up the line.

Whatever... whatever line there was. Fantasy looked behind her, and around. Apparently today was a slow day for this shop. She wasn't sure how she felt about that. On one hoof, she appreciated the smaller population of the room. But on the other, she'd gotten out because she needed distraction and spirit-lifters. Couldn't exactly distract herself and lift her spirits when the only things for her to focus on was an empty table save for bland, melting ice cream.

Hm. Maybe she should reconsider her choice. There were ponies in front of her, and none behind her. She had time to decide. But decide on what?

Crap. she thought. Why did there have to be so many options? It was only more of a hassle for customers, and makes them less likely to buy the product being sold. At least, that's what she'd gathered from an article at some point when she still had access to the internet.

Nope! Stop it! Dammit, focus on the ice cream! Fantasy gave her head a small, lethargic shake, and turned her attention back to said ice creams. Maybe I could figure it out once I get there? She knew that was probably a bad plan, but fuck it. She knew she probably didn't know what she wanted, and wouldn't until she got a better look at her options, so she'd wait.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:04 am

Sunny burst into the ice cream shop joyfully. "Woo! Ice cream!" Perhaps a little too joyfully, considering she forgot she was heavily armed with two swords and a gun. And she was just waltzing into an ice cream store with this stuff. A few ponies were more than a little surprised, and one mother started to pull her filly closer, to which the filly pushed back, wanting to see the cool mare with the swords and the shiny wing. Somepony was probably on their way to report her to a guard, but Sunny was oblivious to it, caring only about getting her ice cream.

Sunny got into the line behind the zombie-ish Fantasy. Then... she started talking to herself. "Hmm... I wonder if they have Oreo's here... Nah, this isn't Cold Stone... Maybe I should go there instead... Nah, I'm already in line. I'll just get a chocolate. Maybe I should get one for Strawberry too... Does she like chocolate? Eh, it'll take too long to get it to her." She then looked in her saddlebag. "Okay, I remembered the bits this time. Good... I think I need to stop talking to myself... People are starting to stare..." Oh yeah... That is totally the reason, and the weapons you have on you, you crazy mare.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:32 am

The sounds of the door opening behind him drew Zen's attention as he glanced over his shoulder. The hourglass pupils of his eyes first locked onto the blatantly upset mare and then shifted to the considerably more hyper one with weapons. Before he could say or do anything however, a different voice drew his attention back to the store counter.

"Ooh dad, I want a chocolate cone with sprinkles," the yellow unicorn filly chirped happily as she happily hopped about.

"And I want some strawberry with chocolate sauce," the white unicorn filly said next.

"Hehehe, alright, alright," Zen said as he looked to the store clerk. "And I'll have a simple vanilla cone," he continued while hoofing over the bits to pay for the frozen treats. As the clerk hoofed back the ice cream, the two fillies were quick to find a booth where they sat down, already taking their first licks before Zen had even received his let alone gotten to the table. While the fillies became lost in the world of frozen sweetness, Zen's progress was much slower as his gaze drifted back to the two mares that'd come in after him. The upset mare raised a few questions, the hyper one raised considerably more.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:02 pm

Wild Card watched with interest as the stallion with two fillies walked in after him, most probably a father with his foals, a nice scene really. Though the next pony to enter the shop didn't seem all too happy at all, rather... down, as such. 'Probably here to get "feel better" ice cream.' 'It works though, I'm feeling much better already.' 'Now what did you have to feel better from, exactly?' 'I dunno, I just feel better because I have ice-cream now, which is better than not having ice-cream now.' The stallion thought idly, taking occasional licks of his ice-cream as he watched the line of ponies grow.

The third pony, the yellow mare, startled Wild slightly upon her arrival. 'Who in Equestria brings weapons to an ice-cream shop!?' 'Somepony who really, really doesn't want the vendor to skimp out on sprinkles, perhaps?' He mentally chuckled, viewing the apparent father and foals sit in a nearby booth and listening to the mare talking to herself, though the mare that looked sad caught his attention, and he wondered what it was she was sad about, along with why the yellow mare brought weapons.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:07 am

Zen and the two little fillies were odd in the clerk's eyes. They had... unique biological features, certainly. They unnerved him. But, they were customers, so he would sell. He was about to take their orders and bits and give ice cream...

Then a mare with two swords and a gun walked in, acting like she thought the whole world was singing "Walkin on Sunshine" in her ears. Distracted by the mare, the clerk barely paid the strange and frightening trio of ponies in front of him any mind, hoofing in bits and out ice cream, while making quick and brief hoof gestures to the more normal customers in the booths to get some guards in here fast.

When it was Fantasy's turn, the mare trudged slowly up to the counter, looking over the options. She looked again. And again. And again. She was looking, but it didn't look like she knew what she was looking at. Like her mind was looking at something her eyes weren't, and thus ignored what her eyes were seeing.

At some point, her eyes and brain did decide to look at the ice creams together. Cake batter ice cream. With sprinkles. Rainbow or chocolate? Chocolate is good, but just that one flavor... nah. But rainbow, rainbow sounds like too much. Both? Could balance out nicely. Both. Chocolate or caramel syrup? Hmmm... Chocolate sounded good. Her mother liked caramel... But she wasn't in the mood for caramel. A little bit of chocolate.

"Sorry I'm taking so long." Fantasy apologized to the clerk in a scratchy monotone. The clerk nodded, silently saying 'It's not a problem'; he didn't really care. He cared more about the royal guard getting here before that mare did something or left to do something.

And anything else? Lets see: cake batter ice- well, technically it's called Birthday Cake ice cream. Oh, now you remember it. Dope. Best insult you can come up with? At the moment, yeah; 3 guesses why. Shut up. Fantasy squinted a little, trying to bring her brain back into the world outside of her bickering with herself. Birthday Cake ice cream, with rainbow and chocolate sprinkles, and a little chocolate syrup,... Cone? Bowl? She'd probably eat it slow. But cones were yummy. And if she were forced to focus on eating it before it melted, she'd focus less on... other things. Sad things. Things that made her need ice cream in the first place.

Actually, now that she remembered: Fantasy looked around a bit for a vending machine for water bottles... only to remember this was Equestria and vending machines and machines in general were far less common because magic was an adequate substitute most of the time. So she simply decided to ask the clerk if they sold water bottles while she made her order.

Birthday cake ice cream. Uh... choco- rainbow and chocolate sprinkles. Chocolate syrup. What else? Why do I keep thinking banana? I don't want a banana. I'm thinking banana split sundae. I have no interest in that. Um... I think that's actually- WAIT. "I think I'll have birthday cake ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate bits and brownie bits, a little bit of chocolate syrup. Oh, in a bowl- cone! In a cone, I meant!" Suddenly this mare had gone from sad and lethargic to nervous smiling and talking quickly. She never wanted to keep ponies waiting, and never wanted to make mistakes in the first day of talking to anypony, even if she'd never see said pony again. She didn't entirely get it herself, but that's what happened.

She hoofed some bits, got her cone, and walked over to a rightmost center-ish booth, generally off to the side and not very noticeable unless deliberately searched for. She saw the mare with the swords and gun, and didn't think much of it. "Ponies will be ponies" was a good way to describe what she thought of it. Perhaps America had desensitized her to things like people just carrying firearms into a public building, even though she'd never actually seen that in person. That, and she expected oddity in Equestria. Guns and swords were not close to her Top Ten Equestrian "What the Fucks", and probably never would be.

And now back to the real world again: Fantasy sat down in the most private spot available in the booth she'd chosen and gave her ice cream a small nibble/lick. It was nice. She took a bigger lick, smiling at the sprinkles and brownie bits and the quickly-hardening syrup and the general, cheerful flavor of Birthday Cake ice cream. Did lift the spirits, even if just a little and part of Fantasy didn't want her spirit lifted.

Outside the ice cream shop, several blocks away, a pony had dropped her ice cream cone sprinting to the guards about a crazy mare with three weapons about to massacre innocent ponies in an ice cream shop. The guards were fast, but chance was faster: the ice cream had caused a chariot to spin off the road and crash into the front windows of a jewelry shop. Luckily, nopony was hurt, but it was causing a lot of commotion a ways away.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:41 am

While the two unicorn fillies continued to happily enjoy their treats, Zen's gaze continued to linger back and forth between Fantasy and Sunny. He was so distracted that he didn't notice his ice cream beginning to melt.

"Dad, your ice cream's melting," the little yellow unicorn said nudging her father's hoof. The action was more than enough to rip Zen's attention back to his treat and in a moment of panic, he tried to slurp up the melting trails before they dripped off onto the table. A feat that earned a open giggle from the yellow filly, and a quieter chuckle from the white one. Chuckling back, Zen continued to tend to his ice cream until it was back to a more controlled state, but then his eyes once more began to be drawn to the two mares from earlier.

"Dad, what's distracting you?" The white unicorn spoke up next.

"Oh, uh, nothing Mythic."

"Don't lie dad," the yellow unicorn spoke up with a stern look on her face.

Unable to stand against the stern look of the little filly, Zen let out another chuckle and raised his hooves in defeat. "Hehehe, you two Scarlet?" Zen asked and received a quick nod from the respective filly. "Alright, I'm just keeping an eye on the weapon bearer," he half-lied in a much quieter voice, though the grin hinted that he wasn't too concerned. "Don't worry though, I,"

"We're not," the two interrupted before Scarlet continued. "If you can't handle it, we can. We might even be able to beat you. Me and Mythic have been practicing and are getting really good."

"Oh, really now? You two think you're up to challenging me?" Zen said in a mock build up and deepening his voice in a comical way which once more earned a giggle from the younger Scarlet and a grin from Mythic. "Well, we'll just have to see later then won't we, hehehe." Receiving nods and challenging grins from both fillies, the trio went back to relative silence as they continued to enjoy the frozen treats.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:10 am

Sunny smiled brightly once it was her turn, and obliviously hopped up to the counter. The weapons jingling around in their holsters and against her sides. "One scoop of chocolate please. In a cone. With sprinkles!" She said cheerfully, not noticing the nervous expression on the clerk's face as he got her the ice cream. She paid for it, of course, hoofing over the bits as she accepted the ice cream. She was just gonna leave and be on her way once she got the ice cream, but something stopped her. She noticed an upset, almost depressed looking mare sitting alone, eating ice cream. Not like she'd be eating anything other than ice cream in an ice cream shop. If she was eating something like a two-faced chocolate snarglepuss, there would be problems.

Sunny trotted over to the booth that Fantasy sat at and sat across from her without even asking. It was just, "open seat, now it's not." She started nomming on the ice cream, getting chocolate all over her muzzle rather quickly. Then she looked over at the Fantasy. "Hey there young mare. You look a little down. I know ice cream helps cheer up ponies, but I get compelled to help beyond that sometimes. Care to share?" She asked. Looking at the mare a little further, something else seemed off to her. Just another reason to help, she figured.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:44 pm

Wild Card continued happily eating his ice-cream, though nothing quite like how the yellow mare ate her ice-cream. That was something, this mare, brandishing weapons and looking like she was about to be at the forefront of a war, had just sat down beside the sad looking mare and started up a conversation, with chocolate covering her muzzle. 'Odd. I wouldn't say cheering up somepony would be wise if you're holding swords.' 'If anything, you'd be forced to be cheerful lest you be cut.'

Wild mentally chuckled at this idea, being forced at sword-point by a random pony to smile, sounded rather backwards to him in most regards. But either way, he did keep his ears up and ready to listen to the mares' conversation, mainly out of curiosity of how this "sunny" mare would cheer up the saddened one. 'And yes, that stallion is the father of those two. I told you so.' 'I never said he wasn't, Cheshire.' 'Wait, you didn't?' 'Nope.' 'Huh...' He thought, licking his ice-cream thoughtfully.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:51 am

It hadn't taken long for Fantasy's focus to drift off and scatter into nothingness, letting her ice cream grow warmer and closer to melting all over the table by the minute. It took a few seconds for the bits of her focus to re-emerge into existence and collect themselves like a magnetized puzzle as she realized somepony was trying to talk to her. Her eyes followed suit, and her vision focused on the real world. Right now, they were focused on the ice cream in her hooves in the real world; her gaze lazily shifted to the mare in front of her.

First thing she registered: bright. This mare was bright yellow. Blue and pink mane. Second thing: she was smiling at Fantasy, with chocolate ice cream all over her muzzle. Third thing: metal wing, and two swords and a gun. Being from 'Murica, even if she'd rarely seen that sort of thing, and her mind was foggy and slow-moving right now, so Fantasy barely reacted initially to the weapons. Really, the ice-creamed muzzle and metal wing took more of her attention.

In response to what she'd actually said, Fantasy was sort of at a loss. What should she say? "Um..." Tell the truth, or simply tell her "everything was fine", which most ponies knew was actually a phrase for obviously sad ponies meaning "please go away; I don't want to talk about it". Maybe talking about it would be good, though. She certainly couldn't bother Celestia with it; she had royal duties to worry about, not to mention over a thousand years of sadness from her sister's banishment and probably many, many more things Fantasy, or really anypony, would never know about.

Then again, why drag some random pony into her problems? A random pony who knew nothing about her or her situation, would have no way to help, and probably wouldn't even know how to react to such a thing.

Something cold hit her hoof. Fantasy looked down and realized her ice cream was starting to melt already.

She wanted to say something about her situation, but knew anypony other than Celestia and Luna, and possibly Cadance and Twilight, would not be able to help her at all, at best. She was about to tell the bright yellow pegasus that everything was fine and not to worry, when she felt something odd in her stomach. It wasn't nausea, or a burp, or... any other biological thing, really. She... she couldn't really name it. It was just... a feeling. A really strange feeling. As if one could "feel" a red flag waving frantically, trying to tell her TURN LEFT!

Fantasy looked up at the yellow mare again, and this time with a sharp, new clarity. She noticed with finer detail the mare's metal wing, and the weapons she carried. She was clearly an adventurer. Ponies didn't get stuff like that from sitting in an office or living room all day. At least, as far as Fantasy knew. She could tell this mare. She had to, even. Just... the "why" escaped her.

"Um..." Fantasy repeated. "It's... it's difficult to explain." Her voice dropped to a hushed whisper. "Especially in public. This is kinda one of those things that if other ponies knew about, it'd confuse and probably scare them."
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:42 pm

Sunny listened to what little the unicorn said. She knew ponies sometimes had weird hobbies. Just look at herself. She had a huge collection back home of things she found during her travels. Yeah, it was kind of a weird hobby. Though, Sunny felt it was more than just a strange hobby in this mare's case. It was kinda faint, but there was a trace of something different about her. She ignored the feeling in her gut for now and instead focused on helping her. She noticed that she was looking at her wing and spread it out, giving her a better look. "Cool, huh? It's not that special really. It just allows me to fly like any other pegasus. You know, just a wing. It's just... metal." She found she was rambling and stopped. Though, she sometimes thought it was good to talk. To her, talking was a good way to make friends.

She then noticed she still had the weapons she looted off the pirate. "Oops. Forgot I had these. Well, I'm probably gonna be in trouble for this. How about we walk and talk?" She offered. "We can finish our ice cream on the way. It's starting to melt anyway." She took another bite out of her ice cream, preferring not to lick it since now someone probably reported her. "Ponies... So jumpy..."
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:38 am

Zen continued to off-hoofedly eat his ice cream while listening in on the conversation between the the two mares a few booths away. Luckily, when the weapon bearer suggested that they'd leave, Zen's two fillies were almost finished with their ice creams. Letting out a mental sigh, Zen reclined back to continue eating him ice cream at a fast pace so that when the mares left, he'd be able to tag along. He was a curious sort after all, and this seemed interesting to say the least.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:41 pm

Wild Card listened to the brief conversation of the two mares, only getting more curious as one went strangely quiet while talking. 'Ooh, something secret.' 'We shouldn't poke our muzzles into other ponies' businesses.' 'But it might lead to something interesting.' 'Possibly adventure!' The stallion thought as he started to eat the cone of his ice-cream.

'You and your insatiable desire for adventure, Ace...' Wild rolled his eyes, shaking his head slightly as well. 'Well we do the same stuff all the time. This might break the tediousness of it all.' 'He's got a point, we do the same stuff pretty often.' 'And besides, worst case scenario, we're led to something worthless and we find our own adventure.' Wild Card smiled to himself, before adding in the additional thoughts. 'Or we're accused of stalking two mares.' 'Act casual, make it seem like you're simply heading in the same direction as they are.' 'You seem to have planned this out before-hoof, Ace...' 'You don't come into my domain often, do you? I'm a master at plans to get me into adventure!' The pegasus happily thought. 'So you say.' He thought sarcastically, but in a joking manner.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:37 am

Fantasy blinked. She only now realized she'd just walked into an ice cream shop with a small arsenal on her back?

Whatever. That was hardly important -- ponies were amazing at forgetting about things that disturbed their peace, which, given the kind of world they lived in, wasn't too surprising but still somewhat concerning. What was important at the moment was getting a move-on, and sharing her story- er, no. Calling it a story sounded... weird. Melodramatic. Sharing her... situation? No. Whatever, she'd come up with a suitable synonym later.

"Sure." Fantasy pushed herself up a little bit in the booth and scooted her way out of it, her ice cream wobbling in her inexperienced magical grasp. She looked at her ice cream, and licked it, preventing an entire side of the scoop from plopping onto the floor. As she waited for Sunny to get up, she couldn't help looking around the small shop, looking at how various ponies were reacting to this; almost everypony was staring, almost everypony staring looking at the very least concerned.

Yeah, they may end up having some trouble with the guards. Maybe. Possibly. Then again, for as many episodes of MLP that she's watched, she's seen just about everypony except the royal guard take down the threats; it was understandable, since most threats to Equestria were at least demigods, leagues above the royal guard in terms of power. Hm... how long has it been since Equestria was regularly threatened like this? A thousand years, possibly. That would explain the royal guard's apparent lack of ability to deal with such threats: because everypony thought that that kind of defense had become unnecessary as of a thousand years ago,-

Fantasy slingshot her mind back to her local real world. She looked to see if Sunny had gotten up yet, and would start moving as soon as she did.

Hm. Now that she thought about it, she had no idea what she was going to tell this mare, even though she would tell her something about her... predicament. For... some reason. Yeah, she should totally trust ponies who carry deadly weapons on themselves at all times. Yeah, this pony would totally be able to help her, even though Fantasy didn't even know what she'd be able to help with. Seriously, what would she even do? Unless she was a therapist of some kind, Fantasy didn't see what this mare would be able to do.

Then again, she certainly didn't seem like any other pony, what with her metal wing and weapons. And... something else. Something told Fantasy she needed this pony, even though she was completely clueless about why she needed her. She waited for her to get up and lead the way.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:37 am

Fantasy blinked. She only now realized she'd just walked into an ice cream shop with a small arsenal on her back?

Whatever. That was hardly important -- ponies were amazing at forgetting about things that disturbed their peace, which, given the kind of world they lived in, wasn't too surprising but still somewhat concerning. What was important at the moment was getting a move-on, and sharing her story- er, no. Calling it a story sounded... weird. Melodramatic. Sharing her... situation? No. Whatever, she'd come up with a suitable synonym later.

"Sure." Fantasy pushed herself up a little bit in the booth and scooted her way out of it, her ice cream wobbling in her inexperienced magical grasp. She looked at her ice cream, and licked it, preventing an entire side of the scoop from plopping onto the floor. As she waited for Sunny to get up, she couldn't help looking around the small shop, looking at how various ponies were reacting to this; almost everypony was staring, almost everypony staring looking at the very least concerned.

Yeah, they may end up having some trouble with the guards. Maybe. Possibly. Then again, for as many episodes of MLP that she's watched, she's seen just about everypony except the royal guard take down the threats; it was understandable, since most threats to Equestria were at least demigods, leagues above the royal guard in terms of power. Hm... how long has it been since Equestria was regularly threatened like this? A thousand years, possibly. That would explain the royal guard's apparent lack of ability to deal with such threats: because everypony thought that that kind of defense had become unnecessary as of a thousand years ago,-

Fantasy slingshot her mind back to her local real world. She looked to see if Sunny had gotten up yet, and would start moving as soon as she did.

Hm. Now that she thought about it, she had no idea what she was going to tell this mare, even though she would tell her something about her... predicament. For... some reason. Yeah, she should totally trust ponies who carry deadly weapons on themselves at all times. Yeah, this pony would totally be able to help her, even though Fantasy didn't even know what she'd be able to help with. Seriously, what would she even do? Unless she was a therapist of some kind, Fantasy didn't see what this mare would be able to do.

Then again, she certainly didn't seem like any other pony, what with her metal wing and weapons. And... something else. Something told Fantasy she needed this pony, even though she was completely clueless about why she needed her. She waited for her to get up and lead the way.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:23 pm

Sunshine smiled and got up from her seat, taking the ice cream she had in her metal wing. She stretched the wing out so the wing could hold the ice cream and she could still lick it without turning her head back. It was useful in that regard, more so than her normal wing. “Right, let’s get going.” She trotted to the door, holding it open for her. She did notice the stares from more than a few ponies, most of them worried about her weapons. She smiled and waved to a filly and waited for the mare to exit so they could talk.

When they finally were outside, she realized something. “Right, introductions. I can’t help if I don’t know your name. My name is Sunshine. Now you can tell me your name and the problem you have.” She said, giving a small joking bow. “Also, where are we walking to?” She added, casting a glance towards where she came from, the big castle down the road.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:46 pm

For the moment, Zen was trying to finish up his ice cream as his two daughters were steadily beating him. They were almost finished, and he still wasn't even at the cone yet. Throwing caution to the wind, and possibly just to entertain his daughters a little more, Zen took a big bite out of the remaining ice cream along with a bit of the cone. He was chewing happily and after swallowing, Zen started to go for another but then it hit him. With a hiss and a clench of his teeth, Zen's free hoof went to his head as pain exploded right behind his eyes. "Gah, brainfreeze!" he called out slumping to the table in defeat while the two fillies burst out laughing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:07 am

Wild Card finished off his ice-cream happily, though the realisation that he no longer had ice-cream hit some of him, making him pout slightly before retaining a straight face again. 'Aw, it was so good as well.' 'Well you should have enjoyed it more instead of diving right into it, Cheshire... You only have yourself to blame.' He thought to himself, hearing the mares stand up and leave the building, or more to the point, no longer hearing their conversation and assuming they had left.

Wild subtly turned his head and saw the two mares outside, so his assumptions were correct at least, though he couldn't leave just yet. 'Wait till they've gone, then leave. We'll be able to see where they went at least.' 'Yeah, I don't think it will be too difficult to lose that yellow robo-wing weapon wielding pegasus.' The stallion thought, looking back at the father and two fillies and trying hard not to laugh at the sight of the father succumbing to brain freeze. He then shook his head with a smile on his face, before turning around to keep an eye on the two mares outside just to be able to follow them as soon as possible, without seeming too suspicious.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:23 am

Fantasy walked beside Sunshine, trying to ignore the stares they were getting from the ponies in the shop. They didn't have to worry about them for long, though, because now they were out of the shop and walking to... wherever their hooves went while they talked.

And to Fantasy's ignorance, they continued collecting stares. Some were whispering to one another about the weapon-wielding pegasus about to do who-knows-what to an innocent young unicorn mare-- even though none of them actually made to intervene in any way. However, they were also whispering about the commotion several blocks away; some of the guards were with the ponies involved in the crash to make sure they were okay, but most of them had finally gotten around it, and one of them had spotted Sunny. Now about a dozen or so guards were running toward the duo, shouting at them to "Halt!" and "Drop your weapons!"

Fantasy managed to get some words in before either could hear the guards, though. "I... didn't think we were really walking anywhere." she admitted. "Also, the name's Fine Fantasy." She smiled. She didn't risk a hoofshake fearing she'd fall flat on her face if she attempted that and walking at the same time. "And about my problem... well..." She couldn't help but look away and blush. What was she going to tell this mare? Why did she agree to talk about this? She really hadn't thought this through- what was that?

Fantasy turned around to find six spears pointed at her and Sunny. Mostly at Sunny, though. What? Oh, crap. Fantasy stood frozen, not knowing what the fuck to do now. Were they going to be arrested? Was Sunshine? Was she? Was Sunshine some sort of high-priority criminal? If she was, surely she'd be smarter than to wander into an ice cream shop in a densely-populated city in broad daylight, bearing weapons and a very distinguishable metal wing.

What was she gonna do?

"Ma'am, we're gonna have to ask you to come with us." one of the guards said, looking Sunny right in the eye, giving her a 'fucking try me' look.

Well, I guess that's what we're gonna do. Fantasy thought. She hoped they were being taken to the castle, and not an actual jail. At least at the castle she could talk with Celestia and get things cleared up. At least, she hoped so. If this "Sunshine" mare didn't turn out to be an extremely dangerous convict. What the buck had she been thinking? Just walking off with her and telling her a mini-memoir? She didn't know this mare.

Fantasy then remembered Sunshine had walked into an ice cream shop like everything was normal and dandy. Maybe some ponies had called the royal guard as a precaution. How did she forget that possibility? Bleh, stress took energy out of a pony. Fantasy needed that energy for her brain to work right.

The duo were escorted by royal guards, who surrounded them both six in the back and six leading, away from the castle, to Fantasy's dismay. Well, she was sure she could contact Celestia somehow. Eventually. In the meantime, cooperation was key, and Fantasy hoped but doubted that this yellow mare was the cooperative type.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:20 am

Zen was quick to finish his ice cream, only having to suffer through one more instance of piercing pain right behind the eyes, much to the amusement of the two fillies that were also seated at the table. "Hehe, alright, enough laughing at your poor old dad. It's time to go home," he said ushering the to suddenly protesting fillies towards the door and out of the shop.

"But dad, we didn't get to see the princesses yet," Scarlet complained.

"Yeah dad, you said we'd get to meet them," Mythic chimed in next.

"Hehe, I know, and I'll make sure we do. It might just have to be in a little bit. Now c'mon, you two've got homework to do," Zen continued as he led them out of the shop the rest of the way and down the block. Or well, at least to an alley opening, where they took an abrupt turn into the dark and slightly out of sight area. The sounds of tearing fabric echoed out once and then echoed out a second time before the red coated pony took to the sky. From the air, Zen began flying about in search of the two ponies from earlier. And sure enough, a group of guards does tend to draw attention.

Flying overhead, Zen kept an aerial view for the moment, not wanting to antagonize the guards just yet.
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PostSubject: Re: The Long Way Home (Private)   Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:30 am

Sunshine smiled and didn't stop smiling as the guards surrounded the two. Most would be nervous at the very least about this situation. Sunny, however, looked almost joyful. "Congrats. You found me. Good work. I'm guessing a concerned citizen called you guys. Well, I wouldn't be surprised. Kinda made it easy. Anyway, if you think arresting the good guys will win you any points with the princesses, you are so wrong." She said with a hint of smugness to her voice.

She turned to Fantasy with a calm smile. "Well I'll see you in a bit. I gotta put this stuff away. Then I'll come back for you." She said. her wings then spread and flashed a brilliant golden light before blinking out, along with the rest of her. Sunny had just bent the light around her, making her almost invisible, but with a slight shimmer so a good eye could find her. She then immediately flew above the guards and into a nearby alley, out of sight.
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