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Anon Filly CYOA Part 3

rubyist Mar 23rd, 2019 (edited) 67 Never
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  1. BEGINNING OF SECOND STORY
  2. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  3. Guilt, regret, and anger. Three tidal waves of emotion flood your mind as you try to process what just happened. In your selfishness, you have single-handedly doomed all of Equestria to a fate of enslavement and likely starvation at the hooves of a communist, while simultaneously fucking over your own friends. What kind of idiot were you to-
  4.  
  5. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!" Twilight lets out a blood-curdling scream at the top of her lungs. She's been doing this for the past five minutes, interspersed with hyperventilating and striking Lyra and Daring when they try to cheer her up. She is not taking any of this well.
  6.  
  7. "GOD DAMMIT ANON, YOU FUCKED US. YOU ALL FUCKED US. DID ANY OF YOU WISH TO REMAIN PONIES WHILE WE WERE CREATING THE PORTAL? BECAUSE SO FUCKING HELP ME WHEN I FIND OUT WHO'S RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS SHIT. I'M GOING TO TAKE YOU TO A CIA FUCKING BLACK SITE AND GET FUCKING MEDIEVAL ON YOUR ASS!"
  8.  
  9. You've had enough of this shit. It is absolutely impossible for you to focus on how much of a miserable failure you are when Twilight keeps trying to blow everyone's eardrums off. You walk up to her and clock her in the face with a wind-up hoof punch, knocking her to the ground, but not unconscious. She looks angry, but not seriously injured.
  10.  
  11. "Shut the FUCK up Diana. Do you think I don't know we all fucked up? I'm trying to wallow in my own FUCKING misery here, and I can't exactly do that when you're SCREAMING AS LOUD AS YOU CAN!"
  12.  
  13. "Umm… guys?" Coco steps forward and attempts to position herself between the two of you. "I don't think fighting is going to solve any of our problems. And I mean, at least we're home, right?"
  14.  
  15. Twilight turns an angry glare to her and gets back on her hooves to start screaming again. "SHUT THE FUCK UP, COCO, NO ONE ASKED YOU. YOU'RE PROBABLY THE REASON WHY WE NEVER TRANSFORMED BACK. I BET YOU SECRETLY WISHED THE ELEMENTS WOULD LET YOU STAY A PONY SO YOU COULD GET THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. RETURN TO EARTH BUT STAY YOUNG AGAIN? I BET YOU'RE JUST FUCKING ECSTATIC WHILE THE REST OF US ARE SUFFERING."
  16.  
  17. "I…" Coco is speechless. Her attempt to defuse the situation backfired, and now Twilight has turned her ire towards her. The rest of your friends, likely not wanting to invoke the wrath of Purple Cunt, have distanced themselves away on a nearby park bench. You will have to fix this… somehow.
  18. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19. Coco doesn't deserve any of this. All she wanted to do was help, and now she's getting yelled at. She did what she knew was right, and now you feel you need to do the same for her. Using both of your front hooves, you grab Twilight's face and force her to look you in the eyes. She is not happy, but this has to be done.
  20.  
  21. "Diana, what the HELL is your problem? This is NOT how you are supposed to treat a friend. Coco never asked for ANY of this, and you fucking know it. I get that you're mad. I think we're all fucking mad, but right now you're acting like a spoiled fucking child. Daring is a literal criminal and she's behaving better than you right now. Yeah, we've fucked things up - royally. We'll fix it, somehow. I don't know how, maybe it'll involve some sort of rainbow magic like in that one episode. But you know what? If you're going to act like this, you'll get nothing, and we'll leave you. Element of Harmony or not, I am not going to work with you - ever - if you act like this again."
  22.  
  23. Twilight glares at you like she's about to kill you, but in the end, does nothing. The two of you are silent for the next half a minute, simply staring into each other's eyes. She sighs. "You're right, I am being a bit of a cunt. I'm still mad though… and I want to destroy something."
  24. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  25. You offer Twilight a hug, which she graciously accepts. As you stand together with hooves wrapped around each other's shoulders, you sigh and whisper into her ear, "I know you're angry. I'm angry too, partially at myself. But I think it might be wise of us to get out of here before someone sees a bunch of talking horses."
  26.  
  27. From this position, you can't really see her face, but you can almost feel her crack a smile. "Alright Anon. Although just give me one last second to vent out the last of my rage. I promise I won't take it out on any of you guys."
  28.  
  29. Your heart almost seizes up at that suggestion. You're not quite sure what the hell she's going to do, but you hope it doesn't bring any attention to all of you. This fear seems to be realized quickly as the next thing she does is to fire a bright red laser at a metal plaque sitting upon a stone plinth that is supporting a flagpole. The plaque subsequently glows red and partially melts over itself, rendering it unreadable. She then collapses onto the ground.
  30.  
  31. Panicked, you shake her somewhat weakened body. "Twilight, what did you just do?"
  32.  
  33. She smiles again. "I just defaced a national survey mark."
  34. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  35. You offer Twilight a hoof and help her up. "Well done, Ms. CIA. Based and red pilled."
  36.  
  37. She rolls her eyes and shrugs. "Is that some kind of a meme, or did you just really like watching The Matrix?"
  38.  
  39. "It's… it's a meme. What year did you last leave Earth?"
  40.  
  41. "2015. You?"
  42.  
  43. "2017. Fuck, I wonder what year it is now."
  44.  
  45. "Hopefully not too far off. Anyways, we need to think up a plan. We have no money, no food, no car, we're in the middle of nowhere, and um… oh right, we're a bunch of talking ponies."
  46.  
  47. "We could always camp out in the woods."
  48.  
  49. Twilight stares at you for a moment, wondering how stupid you could possibly be, before using her hoof to point out the scenery around you. Most of the world around you appears to be grass, with a few small roads, and farmhouses spaced very far apart. There are some patches of trees, but you can generally see where those patches begin and end, so it would clearly not make for a decent forest.
  50.  
  51. "We're not in Equestria anymore, Anon. We're in Kansas. Does it look like there are any woods around here?"
  52. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  53. "Well then, let's go hide out in a stable!"
  54.  
  55. She stares at you yet again like you're some kind of idiot before eventually shrugging and walking over to the rest of your friends.
  56.  
  57. "Alright, so… first off, I should probably apologize for acting like a complete bitch back there. And second off… we need a plan to get out of this joint. Does anyone have any ideas?"
  58.  
  59. Your friends mostly twiddle their hooves together, not really sure of the best course of action themselves. Eventually Lyra stands up and tosses up a radical idea, "We could always hitchhike. There's got to be plenty of truckers that pass by here."
  60.  
  61. Twilight's jaw almost drops. "You are aware we're a bunch of talking ponies, and look like we come from a cartoon show, right? Are you sure it's a good idea to just expose ourselves to people?"
  62.  
  63. "Are you sure it's entirely a bad idea? I mean, if you saw the real Twilight Sparkle walking around in the middle of the DC area, what exactly would you do? Would your natural reaction be to shoot her or capture her or anything?"
  64.  
  65. "I'd probably assume I'd been drugged."
  66.  
  67. "Well what if you actually were on drugs at the time? Would you help your good pal Twilight Sparkle out? I mean fuck, she's right there, she's super cute, and she just wants a ride to the nearest airport."
  68.  
  69. "That is- okay, I just want you to know that I call not it on providing any sexual favors to truckers who happen to provide us a lift. Although even if we do manage to make it to a bigger city, what the hell are we going to do about money? And where are we even going long term? Much as I really want to go home right now, I'm not certain if Langley is exactly the safest place for me right now."
  70. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  71. "Well I, for one, if seeing the real Twilight Sparkle would attempt to restrain her and sell her on the Internet to some basement dwelling weirdo. And in fact, I think the most opportune time to do that would be right when she just burned through most of her magic defacing a monument."
  72.  
  73. You whisper those last words directly into Twilight's ears for greater emphasis, which causes her to shiver from just how creepy it sounded. "Oh God Anon, don't even joke about shit like that."
  74.  
  75. "You say it's a joke, but it's a real possibility to be concerned about. You said it yourself; we're not in Equestria anymore. I might be a good person, but it just takes one nutjob to-"
  76.  
  77. "Anon, cut your bullshit!" Blossom shouts, cutting you off. You're a little bit stunned by her boldness, but she continues. "There's a lot of bad people out there, but there's a whole lot more good people. When you're a kid, you get told not to talk to strangers, but as you grow older, you come to realize that that's more of a guideline than a rule. Most people aren't the type to just grab a kid and run off with them. Obviously you shouldn't take candy from random creeps and follow them into their van, but you can probably assume that most randos on the bus are just average Joes on their way to work. There's a lot of people who don't want to harm anyone, and I'd think Kansas of all places has got to be filled with good people."
  78.  
  79. She sounds like she has more to say, but the sound of a pickup truck driving by silences all of you. After it passes, you almost feel relief, until you hear the breaks squeal, and the car stops a ways down the road. It begins to turn around.
  80. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  81. You turn your face to look at Blossom with a deadpanned look. "Really Hannah? You fucking jinxed us."
  82.  
  83. "Sure I did. As if there wasn't bound to eventually be a truck coming by."
  84.  
  85. "Whatever. Just be ready for a fight. There's six of us and only one of them."
  86.  
  87. As soon as you finish the sentence, the truck stops again, right in front of you. You can finally see the driver, who appears to be a black woman in either her late 20s or early 30s. The person in the seat next to her, however, is difficult to see, but they pull off their seatbelt very fast, and come barreling out the door. It's a young girl who appears to be around 7 years old, with skin slightly lighter than that of her mother's, and frizzy strawberry blonde hair.
  88.  
  89. "Oh my God it's Twilight Sparkle, it's Twilight Sparkle! Mommy mommy look! I told you, it's really her!"
  90.  
  91. Before you can react, she runs over and practically tackles Twilight in a hug. Almost instinctively, Twilight tries to hug back, only to loosen up somewhat upon realizing how awkward it must be to hug a complete stranger's kid. She shoots a glance over to the older black woman, and mouths the word, "help?"
  92. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  93. You feel almost compelled by the voices in your head to spout as many racial epithets as physically possible, like a Klansman with Tourettes. It's not that you hate these two strangers, it's just that you have an almost supernatural compulsion to say the absolute worst possible thing you can for this scenario. And yet… your willpower is almost supernaturally strong. You keep your lips sealed and sit back to watch cautiously what happens next.
  94.  
  95. "Mommy, she's so warm and soft. Can we keep her?"
  96.  
  97. Twilight's muscles seem to tense up at the girl's suggestion, but fortunately, the mother has other ideas in mind.
  98.  
  99. "Oh hell no, we can't afford a pony, let alone six. What would we even feed her?"
  100.  
  101. "Steak!" Twilight shouts, earning a surprised look from both of the two humans in front of her. "Cooked medium rare with a side of onions, some portobello mushrooms, and maybe some bearnaise sauce."
  102.  
  103. "You- you can talk? Jessica, I don't think we should be keeping talking ponies as pets. And I think this one is way out of our price range."
  104.  
  105. The little girl looks like she's about to cry, so Twilight offers her another hug. As she does, she turns back to the mother to speak to her again.
  106.  
  107. "I don't think I'd want to be your girl's pet anyways. If you don't mind letting me and my friends ride in the back of your pickup though, we could keep you company until you get to your destination. Right now we're kinda stranded, so to speak."
  108.  
  109. "Stranded? How'd a bunch of colorful talking ponies end up stranded in… literally the middle of America?"
  110.  
  111. "It's a long story."
  112.  
  113. "Well this is gonna be a long ride. We're driving all the way up to Fargo. It's gonna be a 9 hour drive, probably longer if I have to avoid the interstates with you lot in the back. You sure you alright with that?"
  114.  
  115. Twilight turns her head towards you and the rest of your friends with somewhat pleading eyes.
  116. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  117. The voices return, and they will not relent. Nigger. Coal burner. Porch monkey. Every possible word you shouldn't say in this situation is running through your head faster than a jiggaboo on the run from the law. There it is again! There's no end to it. You need to say it, just once. All of the suffering will be over if you can just call a black child a nigger to its face.
  118.  
  119. "Nn- nih-" You are fighting back the words as they try to escape your lips. Twilight gives you a slightly concerned look as you appear to choke on your own speech.
  120.  
  121. "Something wrong, Anon?"
  122.  
  123. "Nig-" You begin to sweat bullets. This is inevitable.
  124.  
  125. "Anon, what are you trying to say?"
  126.  
  127. "Nicker! It's… it's a horse thing. It's what you call it when a horse does a sort of soft whinny, and it's kind of ironic that this word suddenly popped in front of my head because we're surrounded by a bunch of…"
  128.  
  129. You hold your hooves over your mouth and start to hyperventilate. Not now. Any time but now, when you need these people the most. Your heart starts to race incredibly fast, and everything around you begins to feel incredibly hot. You could almost pass out at any minute. Your eyes start to well up with tears. Why can't you just say it once? You can barely hear anything except for your own thoughts and… is someone casting a spell?
  130.  
  131.  
  132. You look up. There appears to be a mostly colorless bubble surrounding you. Lyra is mouthing some words at you, but you can't hear what she's saying. Did she put you in a soundproof bubble? You point to your ears, but she simply shakes her head and pretends to scream, then points to you. Does she want you to try to scream? Here goes nothing, you suppose…
  133.  
  134. "FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGG NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGEEEEEEEEERRRRSSSSS!"
  135.  
  136. You scream as loud and as long as you can until you feel as though you'll run out of oxygen, and then suddenly collapse…
  137.  
  138. And wake up in the back of a pickup truck with the rest of your friends, still inside a bubble. Clearly your hosts must not have heard you. As soon as you wake up, you see Lyra with a pad of sketch paper and a crayon. It must have been Jessica's. She writes a message on it and passes it to you. It reads, "What happened back there?"
  139. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  140. You take the crayon and try your best at mouth-writing an answer on the paper, silently wishing that you had opposable thumbs, and thinking about how difficult Earth will be for you in a pony body. Okay, probably about as hard as Equestria in terms of manipulating things. Nonetheless, you manage to write out "the voices" on the paper and pass it back to her.
  141.  
  142. She looks a little bit confused when she reads it, and you realize how relatively little you've interacted with her compared to Twilight and Blossom, so she likely doesn't know about the voices in your head. Actually, you can't remember too well how much Twilight knows about them. You first mentioned the voices back in a time that was technically erased from your memory and then forced back into your head through her magic. You're not even sure how much of that is even real when you think about it.
  143.  
  144. The notepad and crayon are back in your hooves with a new message, "Care to explain?" You shake your head as you write your response, "Long story. Let's just say I feel like I've had a weight lifted off of my chest. You might want to keep the bubble up for the rest of the ride though, just in case. In the mean time, what's the plan?"
  145.  
  146. Lyra scratches her head with her hoof a bit and starts talking to Twilight. You can't tell the exact words though, since her soundproofing spell seems pretty decent. After a few minutes of talking, Twilight takes the paper from Lyra and starts scrawling out a message:
  147.  
  148. . . .
  149.  
  150. 1. Get to Fargo.
  151. 2. Expose our existence to as many people as possible to keep the government from being able to cover us up.
  152. 3. ????
  153. 4. Profit!
  154.  
  155. In all seriousness, I'm stuck on the part where I have no idea what our story should be. Should we even mention the fact that we're a couple of transformed humans? I really, REALLY would like to get back to my old life, but I don't know if that's even possible.
  156.  
  157. Honestly, I'm a bit torn. Any thoughts?
  158.  
  159. . . .
  160. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  161. You think for a moment about the best course of action, but nothing seems to come up, at least not immediately. The paper and crayon are still within your grasp, however, so you scrawl out a bit of a joke, "So I've got an idea, how about we jump out the back of the truck on the count of three? If we die, great! We don't have to deal with this anymore. If we live, I say we look for an abandoned nuclear silo and nuke Australia."
  162.  
  163. Twilight looks like she's giggling as she reads your suggestion, and quickly writes out a witty response. "So are those voices in your head Australian?"
  164.  
  165. You nod, and so she writes out another response. "How about we get you some anti-psychotics? Having a panic attack after trying to hold yourself back from shouting out a racial slur (yes I know what you were trying to say, thank God Lyra had a silence spell), and wanting to jump out of the back of a pickup truck are not exactly things a sane person would do.
  166.  
  167. Ha! Says the pony who was screaming bloody murder at everyone around her just a few minutes ago. Or, well, maybe not a few minutes ago. You don't really recognize the fields around you, so you might be out of Kansas already. Is this Nebraska? Or have you traveled even farther? Has anyone noticed you on the highways yet, or have you been ignoring the main roads? The road you're on seems to only have two lanes, and cars rarely pass you, so maybe you haven't been exposed yet.
  168.  
  169. This gets you thinking a bit more about what to do next. You grab the paper once more and start writing. "Pills aren't going to do a damn thing, although if I tell you why, I'm going to break the spacetime continuum in the process. No that's not me being crazy, you already know I've time looped once. Though I'm not in any mood to try and do that again, we probably should try and find our way back to Equestria if at all possible. I've got a bad feeling that something really fucked up is going to happen back there, and if we don't save them, it's going to bite us over here. As for what our story should be in the mean time… tell the truth I guess? It's far-fetched, but so's being a bunch of talking horses. Besides, some autist online will probably realize we aren't the real versions of ourselves pretty quickly."
  170.  
  171. Twilight takes her time reading through your note, and as she reaches the end of it, rummages through some items behind her to find a small bag. Upon closer inspection, it is the very saddlebag she left Ponyville with. She produces from it the shattered remains of the Elements of Harmony, which you suppose she picked up before she left. She then scribbles out one final note on the paper, "Pretty sure there's no going back, Anon."
  172. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  173. Having to talk through writing is starting to get annoying. Just for a second, you'd like to be able to speak naturally. You move your head forward a bit, in hopes that you can stick your head out the bubble, but unfortunately, you only succeed in moving the bubble slightly. Naturally, the bubble can't be fixed in one place, or else it would fly off while in a moving vehicle. Hell, it would fly off just because you're sitting on a giant ball that spins at 1000 miles an hour because there's no one to lift the sun up every morning. In this state, you don't feel like you could write much more, so you mouth the words, "I wish I could talk to you." It's not like anyone could hear them, so you don't even try to voice them.
  174.  
  175. Twilight rolls her eyes and flashes you a smile just before climbing into the bubble with you. Admittedly, the bubble wasn't too small, but the rest of your friends were all sitting on the opposite end of the truck from you, and it had somehow never occurred to you the exact mechanics of how the bubble works.
  176.  
  177. "Was wondering how long it was going to take for you to try to move the bubble."
  178.  
  179. "Twilight, I…" You struggle to think about what you want to say, but the first thing to come to mind is, "I think we're gonna need a lot of glue."
  180.  
  181. "Glue?"
  182.  
  183. "The elements. Maybe we could fix them? Or, barring that, since you and Lyra can still use magic, maybe we could find some other way to get back? Maybe Earth has magic too? Hell, maybe the CIA's been suppressing some supernatural science of their own?"
  184.  
  185. "If they have, I haven't heard of it. And I probably won't ever hear of it, because I can't exactly get my old job back as a pony. Or maybe I will, I dunno. I could always try and re-apply or something. Would that be crazy, trying to get a security clearance as a pony?"
  186. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  187. You look Twilight straight in the eyes with as serious a face as you can muster. "Twilight, if there was ever a job that would be easy to get as a pony on Earth, it would be with the CIA."
  188.  
  189. She pauses for a moment and puts a hoof to her chin, and then slowly smiles. "You know what, Anon? You're right. I have intimate knowledge of the governmental and military structure of a kingdom on another planet, and I'm the only person on Earth with this level of expertise. I could sell myself as a consultant"
  190.  
  191. "Uh… not to burst your bubble there, Twilight, but since we're literally from the world of My Little Pony, wouldn't they just be able to ask Hasbro?"
  192.  
  193. Her smile widens. "Now when has the government ever been known for doing things efficiently. The very fact that I'm here and not there means there's just enough of a difference in narrative that the government will pay top dollar to hear things - literally - straight from the horse's mouth."
  194.  
  195. "Twilight, it's minds like yours that make me glad I got paid so little that I never owed any taxes."
  196.  
  197. "Yeah, well if you play your cards right, that won't necessarily be the case, now will it? Got any plans now that you've got basically a new shot at life? Well, sort of."
  198.  
  199. You suddenly realize how quickly the CIA psycho-analyst has changed the subject from returning to Equestria to future plans here on Earth.
  200. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  201. Again, you look Twilight in the eyes, and make sure she is looking back at yours. She seems a little confused, but you push back on your earlier point. "Don't think we're done with Equestria for good. We still have to go back and save them. Otherwise, we might as well just kill ourselves for all the doom we've brought to the universe."
  202.  
  203. She rolls her eyes, clearly annoyed by this matter. "Fine. If we find a way back, I'll go back willingly and curb stomp that communist once and for all. I'm not going to kill myself if we don't succeed in returning though. And I don't want you talking about suicide with the others. Lord knows Blossom's still at an impressionable age."
  204.  
  205. "Hrm…" After a bit of thinking, you spit on your hoof and offer it forward. "Shake on it, Twi. Swear you'll help Equestria to the best of your ability."
  206.  
  207. "Fine." She spits on her hoof and gives you the grossest hoofshake you have ever done before (and now that you think about it, the only one).
  208.  
  209. "So…" With the awkward tension still lingering around, you look to see if there's anything around to change the subject. You begin to notice that the volume of cars around you has increased recently, as well as signs of real civilization. To the side of the road, you see a sign of interest:
  210.  
  211. . . .
  212.  
  213. CITY LIMIT
  214. Grand Island
  215. POP 48,520
  216.  
  217. Home of the
  218. Nebraska State Fair
  219.  
  220. . . .
  221.  
  222. Twilight seems to notice the same sign as you and starts to smile again. "Think we could convince them to stop for lunch?"
  223.  
  224. You shrug. "Hopefully, I'm fucking starving. I want a truck stop burger with the works."
  225.  
  226. "Ha! I knew I'd get you back to eating meat. I don't know why you'd associate 'truck stop' with 'good food', but it's a start."
  227. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  228. "Hey, what better way to get back to eating meat than with the messiest, greasiest slab of meat possible? Fuck my filly heart, it should get acquainted to some damned fine American cuisine!"
  229.  
  230. Twilight hugs you as she hears those words. "Spoken like a true American. Alright, I'll see what I can do."
  231.  
  232. She exits the bubble and starts talking to the driver. You're not quite sure what all she's saying, but from the looks on their faces, there seems to be some disagreement, although neither seems particularly irate. At some point in the conversation, Twilight reaches into her bag and pulls something out. It's a bit hard to see, but you can make out that it's an Equestrian bit. A gold coin that she levitates and places on the dashboard of the truck. She seems somewhat surprised, and takes a brief look at it, but not with enough focus to get distracted from the road. Then Twilight says something more afterwards, and the driver shrugs her shoulders and pockets the coin.
  233.  
  234. A moment later, the driver passes her smartphone to her daughter and says something to her. The daughter then starts searching on Google for something, and within a couple of minutes, as the truck turns on to another road entering into the city, the daughter says something. Eventually, the truck comes to a stop at a four way intersection, and the daughter hands the phone back to her mother, who takes a look at the phone and seems to approve.
  235.  
  236. You aren't entirely sure what all was said back there, but you are now suddenly aware that people at the intersection are taking pictures of you and your friends.
  237. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  238. Since you still can't speak, you quickly grab the notepad and scrawl upon a brand new page, "No one cared who I was until I put on the mask." You have just enough time to flash the message to everyone else before the light turns green again, and the truck continues on its way towards… wherever Twilight bribed them to take you.
  239.  
  240. You end up traveling deeper into the downtown area, occasionally waving at people out and about. Many of them seem a little bit surprised, but most are friendly and wave back. Eventually, the truck seems to pull off one of the main roads that seems to bisect the city, suggesting that you are relatively close to your destination. Given that you passed a number of fast food restaurants along the way, you can safely say you won't be eating total garbage. Your suspicions are confirmed as the truck seems to stop in front of a somewhat hip looking hole in the wall restaurant called the Sin City Grill.
  241.  
  242. Before anyone gets out, Lyra pops her way into your bubble and asks if you can manage to behave yourself, or if the voices are going to be plaguing you the entire trip.
  243. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  244. You shrug. "The voices will plague me no matter what. It's just a matter of if they will behave."
  245.  
  246. "And will they behave?"
  247.  
  248. "I think they say yes. I just have to do one thing first."
  249.  
  250. "What's that?"
  251.  
  252. "NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER! Okay, now you can drop the shield, I'm hungry."
  253.  
  254. Lyra winces as she hears you casually drop n-bombs, but eventually lets up and drops the shield. You can now speak freely, no longer confined by the need to write things down. Thankfully, everything seems to be out of your system. With the feeling of a weight lifted off of your shoulder, you walks straight into the restaurant and look for a table.
  255.  
  256. As soon as you enter, you are met with stares from a few patrons. Many of them seem to stop eating, completely mesmerized by just how otherworldly you look. Finally, one man, a somewhat heavyset gentleman who looks like he drives a semi truck for a living, decides to speak up. He asks, "So are you all in costume or something? Because it must be really uncomfortable walking like that."
  257. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  258. You take a seat in a nearby booth and face the man as the rest of your friends pile in to wait to be served. With a heavy sigh, you shake your head and say, "Buddy, do I wish it was a costume."
  259.  
  260. He seems a bit surprised by your remark, and you find it hard to blame him, given that both your facial mannerisms and your vernacular do not quite match your relatively high-pitched and feminine voice. Nevertheless you continue, as you feel that telling the truth may be your best option; the situation being insane already as it is.
  261.  
  262. "Yes, I really am a cartoon pony. No, you're not on drugs. And for what it's worth, my friends and I all used to be human. I don't know if we're cursed or what, but I just spent the past month on another planet in this… weird body, and right now I'm just looking for some grub."
  263.  
  264. In a bit of uncanny timing, a waitress stops by at this exact moment and proceeds to drop the three glasses of soda she is carrying in the shock of seeing you. Some of the soda splashes on you, and reflexively she begins to apologize profusely. "Oh my gosh I am so sorry. I hope I didn't stain your uh… those are costumes, right?"
  265.  
  266. "No. We are honest to God, real talking ponies. And it's fine. Could we get some menus?"
  267.  
  268. She seems a bit taken aback. People not believing their eyes may just be something you'll have to get used to for the next few days until you get called in for an interview on CNN or something. After a short pause, she stutters out, "I- uh… I don't even know if we're allowed to serve animals."
  269.  
  270. "Ma'am, we're a party of 8, and we're all hungry; you can make an excuse. And technically, humans are animals too if that's the rules."
  271.  
  272. "Okay… I guess I could say you're all service animals if anyone asks?"
  273. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  274. "Wow, first contact with an extraterrestrial species and we're 'service animals'? Smooth"
  275.  
  276. The waitress seems even more flustered now. "Hey, I only started working a few days ago, and I wasn't expecting to serve a bunch of talking ponies. Cut me some slack, alright?"
  277.  
  278. "Alright, alright. I'll try not to be an asshole. Just bring us some menus when you can, yeah? We're customers like any other."
  279.  
  280. "R-right."
  281.  
  282. The young waitress scurries off to fetch some menus and a broom to clean up the broken glass on the ground. While she's gone, the trucker-looking man you were talking to earlier asks if you could continue your story. You oblige, and proceed to tell him a more or less abridged version of what happened while you were in Equestria, leaving out a few of the less tasteful parts of your adventure that would not belong in a good Christian community such as this. A few others start to listen in alongside him, and very soon, you find yourself once again playing the role of storyteller to a bunch of strangers. Fortunately, you won't have to be talking for several hours straight, just until your meal arrives.
  283.  
  284. When the menus come, you glance over them for at most a minute before you figure out what you want. You order a "Texas hold 'em" - a sort of bacon cheeseburger on Texas toast with onion rings - and a $5 chocolate shake. The prices are a bit off-putting to your two human companions, but Twilight assures them that if the solid gold coin she paid them for their trouble doesn't cover the cost of their meal, that she will reimburse them when she gets back to DC. How she plans on doing that, you're not quite sure, but you suppose accessing her bank account as a pony is going to be her problem.
  285.  
  286. With your orders placed, you return to your story, and get around to the point where you were performing "Stan" in Dodge by the time your meal comes around, and it smells quite heavenly. The others around you would love if you could finish the story, but you're not quite sure what's the best way to put your decision to abandon Equestria to go home.
  287. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  288. You sink your teeth into your burger, and it is amazing. You haven't had cow for your entire time in Equestria, and now that you're back, you can't help but savor the juices as they slide down the inside of your cheek with every bite, coating the bottom of your tongue with their delicious flavor. The crunch of the toast and the crispy bacon actually makes a nice contrast with the absolutely perfect patty, despite the complaints of a certain Australian voice in your head calling you a degenerate. You were going to nuke Australia anyways, right?
  289.  
  290. "'Ah gotta know," says the trucker man as you find yourself halfway through your burger, "how'd you end up back here?"
  291.  
  292. You suppose you might as well come clean about that too. In between bites of your burger, and sips of your very thick and delicious milkshake, you begin to tell how you made the trip from Dodge back to Ponyville, and then from Ponyville to Manehatten soon after, and how just a few hours ago, you stood in a secure room in the Bank of Manehatten and used the elements to return your friends home. You described it as a "moment of weakness," and that now with the elements destroyed, you're going to have to find a new way to get back, and somehow save them.
  293.  
  294. The man takes a while to process the story, which you gladly use to finish off the rest of your meal and sip up the last few drops of your milkshake. Finally, he takes a deep sigh. "That is… quite a story. And if it's really true, I'm not sure what I could say t' ya. It's moments like these, I'd turn to the Lord. Would you like a Bible for your travels?"
  295. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  296. "May the Lord be with you, brother," you say, nodding.
  297.  
  298. The man pulls a small Bible out of his jacket pocket. It reminds you of those pocket Bibles you often see people passing out in front of public schools. You feel relieved at its light weight as the man hands it to you.
  299.  
  300. "Oh good, I was hoping it wouldn't end up weighing as much as me!"
  301.  
  302. He laughs. "Nah, I keep pocket Bibles around for people who need 'em. You meet a lot of interesting people when you travel around, and you never know who needs the word of the Lord. Although I must say, you are by far the most interesting. I'll keep you in my prayers, alright?"
  303.  
  304. "Thank you, kind sir. If I may ask, what's your name?"
  305.  
  306. "Ha! It's Jeremy."
  307.  
  308. Okay, that's like the third J-name you've encountered today. Fate is being weird today.
  309. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  310. If fate is going to be weird, you might as well test it. You close your eyes and try to focus on the future. What will happen in this world, something crazy? Something boring? You focus on the man who just gave you the Bible. Will he be okay? You see him traveling on the freeway for nine hours, only to come home to his wife and kids who love him.
  311.  
  312. Okay, maybe you should focus on something less boring. You try to narrow your vision to the most important event that will occur anywhere in the world in the next week. Unsurprisingly, you find yourself in the oval office. You look up, and see two aides standing confused looking at a blonde horse with an impressive mane cut. Is that…?
  313.  
  314. You are snapped back to reality with Blossom's hooves waving in front of your face. "Hey, are you there?" she says, somewhat frantically, "Jasmine says we gotta go. You've been spacing for like the past ten minutes. Did you fall asleep?"
  315. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  316. Well that's just lovely, your arrival might be turning more people into ponies. Fan-fucking-tastic! You think you'll just keep secret what you saw in the oval office. It's probably better for national security that no one knows at this time. For now, you should probably deal with your current problems.
  317.  
  318. "Hmm? Oh, I was just checking into the future to see if I still can. Good news is yes, I can. Mr. Jeremy, I can assure you your 9-hour drive home will be safe and uneventful."
  319.  
  320. Jeremy nods and thanks you for the sign of good hope. He leaves the restaurant with his tip on the table. Meanwhile, Blossom continues to urge you about how you have to leave and that yes, Jasmine already paid for everything. So naturally, you head on out and get in the truck again.
  321.  
  322. The trip ahead is obscenely long and also incredibly boring. It takes a little over 7 hours to get from Grand Island all the way to Fargo, and most of the areas you pass through are sparsely populated farmland. The highway is narrow as well, and there aren't many cars to wave at to cause massive freakouts. Probably for the better, since it would not be in your best interests to cause a traffic accident.
  323.  
  324. You manage to pass at least some of the time talking amongst your friends, and with the little girl Jessica. From her, you manage to learn a few things. Firstly, it is March of 2019. You seem a bit surprised to hear this, as while you spent a month in Equestria while around a year and a half passed on Earth, Twilight spent 2 years in Equestria while 4 years passed on Earth. Unless you ended up spending much more time in the time loop than you actually perceived, time in Equestria must be erratic. Twilight notes that this might not be the case, however, as from what she learned from Fizzlepop before dropping her, she had literally been from the Soviet Union. Despite coming to Equestria after Twilight relative to Equestria's time, she had come from Earth earlier, relative to Earth's time.
  325.  
  326. In the last couple of hours, you end up taking a nap to conserve some energy from when you have to leave. You are woken up a few miles out of Fargo as Jasmine asks where you and your friends would like to be dropped off. As she mentioned before to her daughter, she can't keep you all as pets, although she did enjoy the company during the long trip.
  327. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  328. You turn your attention to the rest of your friends. "What do y'all think?"
  329.  
  330. Most of your friends turn up nothing but shrugs. With the exception of Blossom, none of them have even been to North Dakota, and in Blossom's case, it was while passing through on the move to Manitoba. Twilight remains pensive, but eventually pops up a question.
  331.  
  332. "Hey, Fargo's a big city, right? So there's gotta be a university campus there, I presume?"
  333.  
  334. Jasmine answers pretty quickly, "Yep. North Dakota State."
  335.  
  336. A mischievous smile forms on Twilight's face. "Oh goody, a state college. Anyone else feel like crashing a dorm party, getting stupid drunk, and falling asleep in the library at 3 in the morning?"
  337. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  338. "A-a party?" you stammer, "a-as in, social interaction?"
  339.  
  340. Twilight raises an eyebrow with intrigue. "Oh? The pony who only a few weeks ago invited practically half of her class to a party just to trick her crush into kissing her at truth or dare is concerned about social interaction?"
  341.  
  342. "Look, you are heavily overestimating my social skills and my ability to hold in my spaghetti."
  343.  
  344. The grin that has been developing on her face widens. "You mean the same pony who, while completely sober, has no problem rapping in front of a live audience of complete strangers; AND who on the very next day proceeded to entertain an entire train car of ponies with a random story she seemingly made up on the spot? If this is what you call poor social skills, then all the better to crash a party with, dear."
  345.  
  346. She's starting to get on your nerves with this, but she does have a point. Still, you don't feel like backing out of an argument so easily. "Twi, those were ponies, these are humans. I was never good at socializing as a kid, and I'm still not that good at it."
  347.  
  348. "You had no problem waving at random strangers while in a bubble and writing up cute lines on your notepad to make them laugh. And back in the cafe you were practically a social butterfly with that trucker. Are you sure that you becoming a pony hasn't made you a more sociable person? I don't think any of us are really the same person we were when we came to Equestria, even if we discount the physiological factors. I know I'm certainly not…"
  349. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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