Tattoo Anon (on Hiatus)

shukaku20 Feb 6th, 2013 1,760 Never
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  1. >Another day in magic tattoo pony land, another pony who wants another talent.
  2. >Today, it's a earth pony named Carrot Top, who wants another vegetable added to her skills.
  3. "So, miss Carrot, what are you wanting? Lettuce, potato what?"
  4. >She takes a seat in your custom chair, and relaxes.
  5. >"I was actually thinking of something above ground, preferably tomatoes."
  6. >Nodding, you grab the magic painkiller given to you by the Princess for this purpose.
  7. >Who would have figured she would be the first to test your talents?
  8. >Needless to say, after she found out she could suddenly control stars with the same proficiency as Luna, your skills were put to use enhancing all three princesses.
  9. >All of them now can control the sun, moon and stars with equal proficiency, but they stick to their primary roles.
  10. >Now, there were limitations, no giving any sort of empowering tattoo marks, nothing dangerous or degrading.
  11. >The needle releases its fluid into Carrot, and she slumps on the chair.
  12. >Grabbing your tools, you load red ink and get to work.
  13. >The mechanical needle's faint humming is soothing, and you soon zone out as you draw a perfect tomato on her flank, right beside the carrots already there.
  14. >Repeating the process on the other side, you finish in just over an hour, well within the two hours the medicine takes to run its course.
  15. >Removing the needle and ink cartridge, you set them to be cleaned and you hear the jingle of your door bell.
  16. "I'll be just a moment, I'm finishing up here," you call out.
  17. >Wiping the excess ink from her coat, you grab a cloth and give her a final wash.
  18. Picking her up, you put her in the finishing room before locking it on your way out.
  19. >Merely a precaution, with her barely able to move, it would be easy for someone to do things.
  20. Moving into the front room, you see a very familiar orange filly sitting on one of the waiting stools.
  21. "Scootaloo, no matter how much you ask, you know the rules."
  22. >She looks up at you with those big violet eyes, and whines "But, Anon..."
  23. >Patting her on the head, you point to the sign on the front desk.
  24. "The law is the law. I can't tattoo anyone without a cutie mark of their own."
  25. >She pouts a bit, before sighing "Alright."
  26. >"Hey, do you have any other customers today? I wanna see how it works, it's really neat."
  27. >There's a jingle as the door opens, Mayor Mare entering.
  28. "Mayor, what I can I do for you?"
  29. >She looks at Scootaloo, before stepping forward.
  30. >"I was wondering... I've been having... troubles, and I was hoping you could help solve them."
  31. "Head to the chair, we can discuss this there."
  32. >She does so, and you turn to Scootaloo.
  33. "I'm sorry Scoots, but I can't show you this time. I'll be sure to let you know as soon as I have one who doesn't mind having a spectator."
  34. >She groans, before saying "Fine... I'll see ya later, Anon."
  35. >As you head to the back, you hear the door jingle again and you take to your chair.
  36. "So, Miss Mayor, what can I do to help you?"
  37. >"Now, this is highly confidential. Not a word of this leaves here."
  38. "Of course, customer confidentiality is always important."
  39. >Leaning in close, she says "You see, recently, I have been having troubles with... *mumblemumble*"
  40. >Your eyes widen hearing her request.
  41. "You do realize that even with the medication, what you're asking will hurt for about a week after?"
  42. >She grimaces, but nods.
  43. >Taking your smallest needle, you set it into the tool and load up a black ink cartridge.
  44. "Last chance to opt out..."
  45. >"I'm doing this. For him."
  46. >Taking the medical solution, you give her the injection.
  47. >As with Carrot Top, she becomes limp and motionless, and you move her tail aside to begin work.
  48. "To think somepony wanted a sex tattoo..."
  49. >Working in the small patch of skin between her anus and vagina, you slowly draw out your best interpretation of her desire.
  50. >As you reach the halfway mark, you hear a knocking on the finishing door.
  51. >With a blanket you keep here just for this sort of occasion, you cover the Mayor before heading to the door.
  52. >Opening it, you escort Carrot to the front desk, before handing her the bill.
  53. "No rush with the payment, and I do accept portions over time."
  54. >"Thanks Anon, I'll be sure to save a little something extra for you next harvest."
  55. >As she leaves, you head back to your workstation and you notice the sheet flap a little.
  56. "Must be a stray breeze," you mutter to yourself before removing it.
  57. >Picking up the needle again, it hums to life in your hand.
  59. ~~
  61. >You are Scootaloo, and you are hiding under Anons tattoo chair.
  62. >After managing to sneak in and watch his work, you are really confused.
  63. >Why is Miss Mayor getting one on her private parts?
  64. >At least you understand how he does it now.
  65. >First, there is a needle of stuff that makes the pony not hurt, and then he puts on these little parts to a shaky quill stick.
  66. >Poking the tip makes the color go onto the skin, and from there you just draw.
  67. >You were startled when Anon came back, and you are stuck hiding under the chair, waiting for him to finish.
  68. >After what feels like forever, you hear him running water and you hear Anon grunt before carrying the Mayor down the hall.
  69. >Sneaking out, you do everything in your power to make sure the front door makes no sound as you exit.
  71. ~~Later that night~~
  73. >Sneaking in the door, you make your way to Anon's tattoo quill.
  74. "Let's see now..."
  75. >Digging through the cupboards, you find a needle and carefully put it in its place.
  76. >Finding a blue ink holder, you attach it as well.
  77. "Now, where was that not hurting stuff?"
  78. >Searching through the cupboards, you finally find where he keeps the medicine.
  79. >With some effort, you get the cover off one and poke it in your side.
  80. >Almost immediately, you get dizzy and fall over, asleep.
  82. ~~
  84. >Heading downstairs, you get ready to open shop, when you find Scootaloo, fast asleep in your workplace.
  85. >When you see the needle in her side, you suddenly become worried and pull it out, making her wake up.
  86. "Hey Scoots, what the hay were you thinking? This medicine is in doses for grown up ponies, not fillies like you."
  87. >"I just wanted a cutie mark, even if I had to make it myself."
  88. >Ruffling her mane, you carry her upstairs to your house.
  89. >Still dopey, she has trouble walking and you prepare some breakfast for her.
  90. "Scoots, I want you to promise not to try anything like this again. If you do, I'll give you a free tattoo when you get your own cutie mark. Okay?"
  91. >She nods happily, before tipping over.
  92. >Picking her up, you set her on a chair and set food in front of her.
  93. "Now, when you're done and you can walk again, come downstairs. I've got an appointment today, and they agreed to let you watch."
  94. >Her smile could split her face, and she digs into her breakfast.
  95. >Heading downstairs, you prepare for a new day.
  98. Lyra's cutie mark actually means she makes lyres, but can't actually play them. She wants a addition to hers that specifically shows she can play music instead.
  102. >With breakfast in your stomach, you hop of Anon's giant chair and onto the ground.
  103. >You're still a little wobbly, but with some quick practice, you get over it.
  104. >Practically flying down the stairs, you almost crash into Anonymous as you reach the bottom.
  105. "Hey, I'm ready to go. When's the pony gonna get here?"
  106. >He grabs you and picks you up. "They're gonna be here just after lunch, so you don't have to stay until then if you don't want to."
  107. "Nah, I can wait. How about you tell me about how you started this?"
  108. >"Sure, lets grab a chair from the front for you and then we can talk."
  109. >Hopping up on the tattoo chair, you wait while he brings a chair from the front of the store.
  110. >He sets it aside, before sitting in his strange armed chair.
  111. "So how did you learn to do this?" you ask, looking at him intently.
  112. >"Let's see now..." leaning back, he looks up a the ceiling, " I've always been a pretty good artist."
  113. >"Pencil, paint, ink, digital, I was always good, but none of it ever felt right."
  114. >"It's kinda weird to say this, but I first figured out I was good at it at a college party."
  115. >"I was nineteen at the time, and we were a bit drunk. My buddy wanted to look cool with a tattoo, but he didn't want a permanent one."
  116. >"Since I was the artist, he had me draw him one in ink, and when I was doing it, I could feel how right it was for me."
  117. >"Skin, its a strange canvas. It moves and stretches, but it retains its form over time."
  118. >"When I got out of college, I opened my own little tattoo parlor."
  119. >"It was rough going at first, but soon I was doing pretty well, and I had many happy customers."
  120. >You snap back to attention, your mind having what felt like a flashback, but as Anon.
  121. "Hey, how many tattoos do you have?" you ask curiously.
  122. >"Just one. You want to see it all?"
  123. >Nodding happily, you see him reach down to remove his shirt.
  124. >You've seen the chain bit on his arm and hand, but with his shirt off you can see so much more.
  125. >"It starts here?" he says, shifting his hair a bit, revealing a...
  126. "Ewwww, is that a brain?"
  127. >"Yep. The whole tattoo is symbolic. The mind is one end, where the idea starts."
  128. >Following the chain down his back with his finger, your eyes follow as well.
  129. >"The idea goes through my heart, solidifying my drive and desire to make it."
  130. >The chain looks like it passes through his heart and out the front, and there you see a ghost looking thing.
  131. >"Here is where I put my soul into it, making it mine."
  132. >The chain goes up, then down his arm, all the way to his hand, where it looks like the chain is attached.
  133. >"And here, is where it comes out, in my art."
  134. "Wow, I hope my cutie mark is as awesome as that, just maybe not so gross looking."
  135. >He lets out a laugh, before ruffling your mane.
  136. >"I'm sure yours will be just as cool as this."
  137. >You beam at him, and the door jingles.
  138. >"Looks like she's here early," he says, before standing and heading for the front.
  140. ~~
  142. "Good morning Lyra, are you ready for your appointment?"
  143. >She looks at you, and her eyes widen a bit and some pink crawls onto her features.
  144. >"Yep. Is Scootaloo here and ready?"
  145. >Escorting her to the back, you give a chuckle.
  146. "She was here, bright and early, she was so excited."
  147. >Realizing you haven't put your shirt back on, you quickly grab it and pull it over your head, and you see Scootaloo has moved to the chair you brought.
  148. >Lyra hops up onto the chair, and you bring over your side table with your tools on it.
  149. "So, what were you looking to get?"
  150. >She lets out a sigh. "Everypony thinks my cutie mark means I can play the lyre, but in truth, I can only make and tune them."
  151. "So you want it upgraded so you can play them, am I correct?"
  152. >"Yes. Just, can you try and make it look natural? Like it's part of my mark?"
  153. "Not a problem, I already have some ideas."
  154. >From the table, you pick up a medical syringe, and remove the cover.
  155. "I'm going to start now, just relax."
  156. >As she lets out a breath, you poke the needle in and release the magic medicine.
  157. >She's almost immediately out cold, and you load up a clean needle.
  158. "Scootaloo, can you grab the color sheet from that drawer over there?" you ask, pointing to one of the drawers.
  159. >"Sure, but what do you need it for?"
  160. "I want to make sure I'm using the right color."
  161. >She brings it over, and you flip to the yellows and golds.
  162. >Comparing them against her cutie mark, you note the colors that match.
  163. "Hmmm, maybe..."
  164. >Carefully opening her eyelids, you compare the color of her eyes as well, and compare those colors to the colors of her mark.
  165. "What do you think, Scoots, should I match her mark, or match her eyes?"
  166. >She squints, staring intently at the two colors against her coat.
  167. >"I think... You should match her eyes. That way it will show a bit more compared to her normal mark."
  168. "My thoughts exactly."
  169. >Digging through your color cartridges, you find the matching color and load it up.
  170. "Now to start."
  171. >The familiar hum of the machine starts, and you begin slowly creating a small trio of notes coming from the lyre.
  172. >Finishing the outline on one side, you move around to the other, before swapping needles to a slightly thicker point.
  173. "This needle is for filling larger areas, and I don't use it for anything else."
  174. >She nods, wincing a bit at the size of the needle.
  175. >Humming to life, the needle fills in her aquamarine coat with the gold color, and soon the notes are ready and filled.
  176. >With half an hour to spare, you finish up and set the tool aside.
  177. "Next, we have to clean up the extra ink with a towel."
  178. >Passing her a towel, you remove the parts and move them to the sink.
  179. "How about you clean her Scoots?"
  180. >"You want me to help?!" she exclaims excitedly.
  181. "Yep. Just use the towels and wipe off the extra ink."
  182. >She eagerly rushes to work, and you set the dirty needles and ink cartridges in a special locked box.
  183. >Scootaloo quickly finishes, and you carry Lyra to the finishing room, and Scootaloo follows.
  184. >"Why do you put them in here?" she asks as you set Lyra down on the padded bench.
  185. "Safety reasons. When the medicine is working, she can't really do anything, and this is to make sure nothing happens to her while she is helpless."
  186. >"But why would anypony try to do anything?"
  187. "They wouldn't but its always better to be safe than to be sorry."
  188. >She nods, and you and her take a seat on the chairs.
  189. >"Hey, Anon. What kind of cutie mark do you think I'm going to get?"
  190. "I don't know, but like I said, I'm sure its going to be as awesome as you are."
  191. >You're suddenly interrupted by a jingle coming from the front door, and you quickly get up and head there.
  192. "How can I help you?" you ask the tan mare that just entered the store.
  193. >"Lyra asked for me to meet her here, she said she wanted to show me something."
  194. "She'll be a moment, she's still out because of the medicine."
  195. >The mare sighs, before taking a seat on a stool. "She got some sort of stupid tattoo, didn't she?"
  196. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised."
  197. >"Hey, Anon, where do I stick the dirty towels?" Scootaloo asks, poking her head over the counter.
  198. "They go in the basket under the sink," you call back, and she disappears from view.
  199. >"Is she working here?" The mare asks, and you shake your head.
  200. "She wanted to see how I tattooed, and I let her help a bit with the cleanup."
  201. >"I see... Well, as long as you don't let her do any actual tattooing, I think Ponyville is safe."
  202. >You let out a laugh, and sit down.
  203. "I'm not letting anypony do any tattooing. It's more dangerous than it seems, and one moderate screw up can leave a pony in the hospital or worse."
  204. >Her ears shoot up and she gives you a stare "And you are allowed to do this?"
  205. "I'm the only one in this world who could do this safely. If you didn't know, Celestia was the first one to try my skills, and she's perfectly fine. Trust me, its safe so long as it's administered by a professional."
  206. >"Okay... So, how much longer will she be?"
  207. "As a matter of fact, her dose should be wearing off soon, but make sure she doesn't do anything strenuous for the rest of the day."
  208. >The mare nods, and you hear a knocking from the back.
  209. "Scoots, can you let her out?"
  210. >You hear Scootaloo's little hooves scamper down the hall, and the door swinging open.
  211. >After a moment, Lyra comes out, a little wobbly, but no worse for wear.
  212. >"Bonnie! I want to show you my new mark!"
  213. >Turning to the side, Lyra shows off her musical notes, before wobbling a bit, and you reach out to steady her.
  214. >Bonnie looks rather pleased with the mark, and Lyra says "It's gonna give me the ability to play my lyres, not just make them."
  215. >"We'll have to go practice then." Bonnie says, and the two of them head for the door.
  216. "Just a moment. Your bill, remember."
  217. >Lyra's ears flatten a bit, until she sees the total.
  218. >"A hundred bits? Is that all?"
  219. "So long as the full amount is payed by next year, yes. Your addition was simple, and only required some tweaking to your normal mark, so it wasn't difficult."
  220. >Lyra gives you a big smile, before prancing out the door with Bonnie, and you head back to your chair.
  221. >"Hey, Anon?" Scoots says "I can see why you like doing this, seeing how happy you make ponies."
  222. "Yeah, its great, isn't it?"
  226. Part 1 of Pinkie gets seven different Party tattoos to try to reach her final form.
  229. >Traveling through town is still wierd, as many ponys are suspicious of the giant monkey who can give ponys talents, but for the most part, nop0ny is a stranger.
  230. >Today, you are headed for Sugarcube corner.
  231. >Seeing as you have the day off, you might as well grab a snack and visit your self proclaimed bestest friend.
  232. >Ducking under the low doorframe, your vision is assaulted by a vibrank pink blur taking it over.
  233. >"HINONNYWATCHADOINHERE?" Pikie exclaims, clinging to your face like an old horror movie monster.
  234. "Phnnkyy ggeofff mhhhh fssss" You mumble through a mouthful of pink fur.
  235. >She hops back, landing without a sound, before dissapearing and reappearing right behind the counter.
  236. >"So, Nonny, what can I get you?"
  237. "It's a free day for me, so I figured I'd pick up a snack or two before heading back."
  238. >Putting a hoof to her chin, she stands there, face scrunched in concentration a lightbulb quite literaly goes off above her head.
  239. >The bulb sinks into her mane before she shoots into the back.
  240. >A moment later, she returns with a box, and a bag.
  241. >"I got the rest of the day off Anonymous, how about we share the snack?"
  242. "Sure, sound fun Pinkie." You reply, crouching under the main door and holding it open for her.
  243. >She giggles, though with her, its such a common occurence it means little more than her amusement.
  244. >The moment you open the door to your shop/house, Pinkie is all over, looking at everything.
  245. "Be careful Pinkie, there are some dangerous things in here."
  246. >She hardly aknowledges your warning, instead suddenly becoming interested in the locked box of dirty needles.
  247. >"Hey, Nonny, whats in here? Is it treasure?"
  248. "No, its dirty needle that have to be cleaned and sanatized before being used again."
  249. >After putting it back, she hops up on the customer chair and opens the box.
  250. >"I was wondering, could you give me a tattoo? I can pay."
  251. >She holds up the bag, which is full of bits.
  252. "Pinkie, you didn't have do all this just to get a tattoo. I'd gladly give you one."
  253. >Giving a cheer, she jumps up, before shooting over and hugging you.
  254. >"Thanks Nonny. Lets have cake first!"
  255. >Out of the box she pulls a cake, a knife, a fork and two plates.
  256. >She cuts out two slices, setting them aside before stuffing her face with the rest of the cake.
  257. >Letting out a laugh, you grab a slice and start into it.
  258. >Somehow managing to finish the rest of the cake before you can finish one piece, Pinkie takes the other piece and vainishes up to your house.
  259. >Finishing off your slice, you set the plate in the empty box and Pinkie comes right down and hops into the chair.
  260. "Tell me, Pinkie, what kind of tattoo could a fun party pony like you want?"
  261. >"A cake! I'm good at making parties, but I want to be better at making the things for parties, so a cake is the best first choice."
  262. "First choice?"
  263. >Pinkie giggle, before waving her flank at you as she lies down in the chair.
  264. >Letting out a slow breath, you shake your head before grabbing and pulling the side table over.
  265. >Pulling out a number of inkwells, you grab a tray of needles as well.
  266. "Alright Pinkie, Its time to put you under."
  267. >Flicking the needle once, you poke it into her flank, and she quickly succumbs to the medicine.
  268. >Sorting the needles and colors into lines for quick switching, you load the first and get to work.
  269. >A silver plate, a tan body, pink icing and red strawberrys.
  270. >Slowly, the image comes to life on her flank, when you are interrupted by the door opening and the bell jingling.
  271. "Just a moment." You call out, turning off the tattooing pen and giving your hands a quick wipe.
  272. >When you head to the front, you see Scootaloo and her friends there, all sitting and waiting in chairs.
  273. "Hey all, whats up?"
  274. >"Scootaloo told us you had the day off, so we wanted to come visit." Sweetie says, waving.
  275. "As much fun as that would be, I got a job I'm in the middle of right now. Afterwards though, I'd be glad to go."
  276. >They all nod, before sharing a glance.
  277. >Without a word, they run past you and into the back.
  278. >"Can we watch?" Scootaloo asks, and you nod.
  279. "Sure, just remember to keep out of the way and stay safe."
  280. >The trio nods, and you take your seat and resume work.
  281. >They seem interested by the sound the pen makes, and you can see Sweetie has her eyes closed and is humming, nearly in sync with the pen.
  282. >Out of curiosity, you pull the pen away and start pulsing it.
  283. >She hums in sync with it, and Scootaloo and Applebloom look at her amazed.
  284. >"Sweetie, thats amazin. You're such a good singer!" Applebloom comments, and Sweetie looks around, as if snapping out of a trance.
  285. >"Huh, What are you talking about Bloom?" She says, looking over.
  286. "Not gonna spoil it for you, but your friends might know your talent now."
  287. >Her eyes open, and she looks at her friends, and they nod.
  288. >Before you can react, the three of them rush out, leaving you to your work.
  289. >A quick glance at the clock reveals you have thirty minutes left before the dose wears off.
  290. "Alright, lets get to work."
  291. >Grabbing the pen, you lead up the new cartridge, and move to Pinkie's flank.
  292. >Time starts to blur as you get into the zone, you pen moving with precision and effect.
  293. >In this state, you don't notice the faint light flowing down your arm, more specifically, your tattoo.
  294. >Two minutes left, and the last of the glow slips into the "Hole" on the back of your hand and you finish Pinkie's tattoo.
  295. >With barely a moment to put away the dirty needles and ink well, Pinkie soon pops to life on the chair.
  296. >"Nonny, why does it look messy?" She asks, looking down at her new marking.
  297. "That's because I haven't cleaned it yet."
  298. >Wetting a cloth, you scrub her flank clean, revealing the good enough to eat looking cake on her side.
  299. >Speaking of looking good enough to eat, Pinkie's tongue is stretching for it, but you block it with a hand.
  300. "It's not safe, while the tattoo is still fresh. Give it a week before giving it a taste, though it shouldn't taste like anything."
  301. >"Okie Dokie Anonie" She replys, before hopping up off the chair, and immediatly sprawling out on the floor.
  302. >After you help her up, she immediately trys to bounce again, and on landing her legs give out.
  303. "You're gonna have to be a lot more careful for the next day or so Pinkie, your body is a little weak from the medicine. Take it slow, and you'll be okay."
  304. >She nods energetically, before her eyes go spinning, and she falls over, dizzy.
  305. >Picking her up, you manage to flip the open sign to closed as you carry her back to Sugarcube corner.
  306. >Mrs. Cake greets you, and helps you get Pinkie to her room.
  307. "Just try and keep her calm and not hyperactive for the next day or so, and she should be fine."
  308. >She laughs, and on realizing the imposibility of your statement, you join her.
  309. >"I'll try. I may not succeed, but I'll do my best."
  310. "Take care, Mrs. Cake, I'll see you around."
  311. >"Take care Anon." She replies, and you head back to your home.
  312. >Today was an interesting break day, even though you ended up working anyways.
  316. A changeling sneaks into town to get a tattoo, and in getting it, loses connection to the hive.
  317. The magic needle medicine causes them to lose their disguise, but Anon doesn't care.
  321. >Approaching Ponyville, you give one final look over your form.
  322. >A simple, deep blue unicorn stallion with no cutie mark.
  323. >Sure, it's not the best disguise, but the only one you truly have to fool is the rumored power granting tattoo monkey thing.
  324. "Blech, what a mouthful"
  325. >You remember the order from your queen.
  326. >"Test its abilitys. If it works, we can gain more power. Do this, and you will be well rewarded, my child."
  327. >With excelent restraint, you walk through town, resisting the urge to feed on all the ambient love.
  328. >You get a few strange looks, but when they see your destination, they roll their eyes and look away.
  329. >When you reach your destination, you pause outside, looking up at the massive door.
  330. >Pushing it open is surprisingly easy, and you hear a bell ring overhead.
  331. >"Just a moment." You hear a deep male voice call out.
  332. >The monkey that steps into view behind the counter is tall, taller than a minotaur.
  333. >"How can I help you?" He asks, and for a moment, you have trouble gathering your thoughts.
  334. "I came here to get a tattoo." You say, turning to your side "I could use one, as you can see."
  335. >"I can't without a special notice from Celestia or Luna, sorry." He points at a sign on the desk's front.
  336. >Ponys without Cutie Marks are not allowed to recieve a Tattoo*.
  337. >*Without explicit permission direct from Princess Celestia or Luna
  338. >'curses, there's no way I'll be able to get close to them, let alone get permission...'
  339. "I see... I'm sorry to bother you then."
  340. >"If you weren't a pony, It wouldn't be a problem. Sorry, I didn't make the laws."
  341. >With no other choice, you turn on your trump card.
  342. >Your horn glows, and a green light spreads from it, and his eyes change to match.
  343. "Now, you will give me a tattoo, just like a cutiemark. Something that will let me have perfect disguises."
  344. >He nods, and you follow him to the back.
  345. >He lifts you up onto a chair, before moving around, grabbing things from drawers.
  346. >Brinking a needle to bear, he inserts it into your flank, and you immediately loose focus and slump over, before falling asleep.
  348. ~~
  350. >Feeling yourself regain control of your body, you remove the needle from the flank of he pony, who suddenly transforms into a black, bug looking pony.
  351. "Hmnnn..."
  352. >Poking around, you quickly determine it is not a pony, and it has a bag of bits to pay, so you shrug and get ready to work.
  353. >The black base makes it harder to work, so you chose to go for something similar to your spirit.
  354. >Even with lighter colors, it barely appears, but it is enough.
  355. >Just as you finish and take it to the finishing room, you hear the door ring.
  356. >"Excuse me, did a blue stallion happen to stop by? I saw him enter, but never saw him leave."
  357. >Coming to the front, you see a royal guard.
  358. "Yes, but he was embarrased that he couldn't get one, so I let him out the back."
  359. >"I see. I'm glad to see you are following the laws, despite being a new citizen."
  360. "I'm glad you are doing your job as well. Where I was from, civil police and guards and such were often corrupt or lazy."
  361. >He laughs, and says "It may be a small town, but that's no excuse to slack off."
  362. >As he heads out you give him a wave, and he waves back.
  363. >Cleaning up the dirty needles, you wait until you hear the knock on the finishing door.
  364. >Giving them an hour to stew, you finish your cleaning and put all the supplies in a second container to be sanitized.
  365. >Finally ready, you go and open the door.
  366. "Look, I don't like to be messed with. I've already finished and taken your payment."
  367. >It looks at its flank, before smiling at you.
  368. >"Thanks. Sorry."
  369. >It transforms back into the pony with no mark.
  370. >"If you can keep this a secret, I'll not bother you."
  371. >You nod, and he exits, before vanishing from view.
  372. "Strange fellow."
  374. ~~
  376. >Focusing, you try to establish a link to the hive, but for the first time in your life, you hear nothing.
  377. >No idle chatter, not even any static from other hives.
  378. "Whats wrong? Why can't I contact my queen?"
  379. >A crude scan over yourself reveals nothing different except the tattoo.
  380. >With no other choice, you start back home on hoof, a long but quiet journey.
  381. >The hive guards, without being able to link with you take you into custody, where the queen came to examine your results.
  382. >"So, my child, it appears you were successful in your duty." She says, looking down at you with a small smile.
  383. "Yes my queen, but in the process, it seems I lost my connection to the hive."
  384. >She focuses, and you feel nothing.
  385. >"So it seems. Well, it is a shame, but you have proven yourself quite capable. As of this moment, you are now part of my personal unit."
  386. >You can barely contain your pride, and you bow for her.
  387. "It is my pleasure to serve."
  388. >She sets a hoof on your head and gently rubs. "Please, show your queen what you can do."
  389. >With no hesitation, you transform, first into a pony, and then stretching your powers to their new lenghts, you vanish from sight.
  390. >"Wonderful. You will be a most useful servant."
  392. ~~
  394. "I wonder if I should be worried?"
  395. >After having consulted with some books in the local library, you very few instances of magic that can maipulate minds, but several more that can control movement.
  396. >Nothing came of the encounter, and you have found none of the aftereffects that show any signs of latent magic.
  397. >The cash helps, but with how hard working and effective these ponys are, they often pay for their marks within three months.
  398. >You are sitting on a small fortune, maybe 2.5k bits, and nothing to spend them on.
  399. "Ugh, I'll figure out something to do with it eventually."
  400. >Opening your safebox, you toss in todays payment, the coins clinking off the rest.
  401. >All the gold hurts to look at, reflecting light like a disco ball.
  402. "Disco ball..."
  403. >A smile plays on your face, and you lock the chest before siding it back into place.
  404. >Closing shop, you head out to find the Premier Pink Party Pony of Ponyville, to set up a party that will help lighten your load.
  408. Epic weekend party funded by Anon.
  409. Vinyl maybe gets a tattoo, and pinkie gets her second.
  412. >Everything is coming together for the massive party you and Pinkie planned.
  413. >Streamers and balloons are tied to buildings and stalls, and all the stalls have been bought out for the day.
  414. >your fortune is down to just under 800 bits, since you paid for all the food, drinks, snacks, entertainment and everything else.
  415. >Of course, its going to be free for everyp0ny who comes, local or not.
  416. >There have even been rumors of Celestia, Luna and the royal couple coming.
  417. >"Nonny, we're needing to get the Apple family Cider brought in soon, its got to chill for the right ammount of time."
  418. >Giving a salute to the mare who has literaly been doing everything, you head off to tell Big Mac to start brining in the wagon.
  419. >On your way, you see Fluttershy approaching.
  420. >"Ummm Anonymous, the music, will it be loud?" She asks quietly.
  421. "It will, but I made sure to get a sound shield, so the music will only be heard in one area."
  422. >She smiles "Oh thank you. I was so worried the mommy animals wouldn't be able to put their babys to sleep."
  423. >Giving you a quick hug, she flutters off back to her house, and you continue on your way to Sweet Apple Acres.
  424. >Reaching Sweet Apple Acres, you find Applejack out front, loading a cart.
  425. "Hey Applejack, are you just about ready for the party?"
  426. >She nods and steps over. "Ah know we haven't always seen eye ta eye, what with you givin talents like that, but I'm glad ta see ya do something like this for the town."
  427. >Big mac comes ot from the barn, lugging a pair of barrels.
  428. >Helping him get them into the wagon, you can see they are Apple Family cider.
  429. "You sure you can spare this? I know how fast this goes during cider season."
  430. >"Eeyup."
  431. >"With what you're payin us, this is the least we can bring Anon."
  432. >She hitches herself up to the wagon, and you escort her into town.
  433. >"Big Mac's got some work ta finish, but he's gonna be joining soon."
  434. "Glad to hear. Word around town is he doesn't get out enough."
  435. >After helping detach her from her cart, you head off to check on other proceedings.
  436. >Twilight, the local librarian and powerful unicorn is setting up the sound shield along with a white unicorn you don't recognize.
  437. >Making your way over, Twilight waves to you, and the white pony looks over as well.
  438. "Hows it going?" You ask.
  439. >"Everything is almost ready." Twilight replys "Once the sound barrier is up, Vinyl here can party as loud as she wants, and nop0ny will be bothered."
  440. >"I heard this party was being hosted by a friend of the princess, so thats why I took the job, but I certainly wasn't expecting something like you."
  441. >Crossing your arms, you look at her.
  442. "And what were you expecting? Some, snooty upper class pony?"
  443. >She snorts, bbefore saying "Nah, those guys are so uptight ya couldn't stick a needle up their plot."
  444. >The two of you share a laugh, and Twilight looks a little offended.
  445. "I like you vinyl, you seem pretty cool."
  446. >"Pretty cool? You obviously don't know much about me then."
  447. >You quirk an eyebrow.
  448. "Is that so."
  449. >She looks at you through her purple goggles, before laughing.
  450. >"I think we'll get along just fine dude. Out of curiosity, how many bits did you shell out for this party?"
  451. "Eighteen hundred at last count. Why?"
  452. >Her jaw hits the floor, and even Twilight can barely believe it.
  453. >"There's no way man, you would have had to rent out the whole town to spend that much."
  454. >Twilight chimes in "She's right Anonymous, there is no way you could have spent that much. In fact, I doubt you had that much to begin with."
  455. "Go ahead and ask Pinkie. For the entire weekend, I essentially own every shop in Ponyville, and everythings free."
  456. >You turn to move on, and pause to throw an extra comment back.
  457. "And just so you know, I still got about eight hundred still saved."
  458. >Heading off to find Pinkie, you spot Lyra who is practicing with her lyre.
  459. >She spots you also and waves you over.
  460. "Hey Lyra, how's it going?"
  461. >"Amazing since you gave me my new Cutie Mark. Its helped a ton, since I can play to advertise or just for money, and my sales have increased too."
  462. "Thats good to hear." You say, rubbing the top of her head.
  463. >She smiles at you and waves as you move on.
  464. >Pinkie shoots by, heading towards the sound area, and while you are distracted by her you get bowled over.
  465. >"Sorry Anon, we're trying ta keep up with Pinkie and help her with the big party, but it aint easy."
  466. >Applebloom, Sweetiebelle and Scootaloo help you back up, and you see something on Sweetie's flank.
  467. "Looks like your friends were able to help you find your mark, Sweetiebelle." You comment, and the three of them give you a big smile.
  468. >"Yeah. It took a little practice, but with their help, and yours, I was able to find my talent."
  469. >"Now just Applebloom and I have to find ours, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders will have crusaded successfuly."
  470. "Well, best of luck to you. If you want to catch Pinkie, she was heading towards the sound stage last I saw."
  471. >The three of them thank you and run off towards where Pinkie went, leaving you to continue on your walk.
  472. >Nothing is going wrong, and with nothing to do, you head home for a quick nap.
  473. >The door jingles as you enter, and you head straight for the tattooing chair.
  474. >Despite being built for ponys, it's still incredibly comfortable, and you lay out on it, arms dangling from the sides.
  475. >It isn't long before you drift off, the muffled sounds from outside almost a soothing melody to your ears.
  476. >You have no dreams, and are awoken an hour later by the bell to your shop ringing.
  477. >"Hey, Anonymous, are you here?" Vinyl's voice calls out, snapping the last of the sleep from your eyes.
  478. "Yeah, just in the back. I'll be there in a moment."
  479. >A splash of water and a quick tidy of your hair and you come out to the front of the shop.
  480. "What brings you here Vinyl?" You ask, leaning on the counter.
  481. >She looks around the front where you have numerous sketches pasted into the walls.
  482. >"You do some pretty sick art, but whats with all the rules?"
  483. "I guess you haven't heard then." You say while stepping around. "My tattoos, getting one is like getting a new cutie mark, except you get the talent, rather than having the talent and getting the mark."
  484. >"You're bucking with me, right?"
  485. "Honest truth." You say, holding one hand up and the other in front of your heart. "You could even ask the princesses, they were the first ones to get tattoos."
  486. >She stares at you, trying to detect any levels of bullshit, but you are being honest.
  487. >"So, how much does it cost to get one of these magic tattoos?"
  488. "Prices vary, depending on the complexity. one of my more recent customers just got a few little details added to her mark, and it only cost a hundred bits, while a whole new one would cost upwards of two hundred and fifty."
  489. >"I can't tell if thats cheap, or expensive."
  490. >You shrug, and move back behind the counter.
  491. "So, is there anything you want? I wouldn't suggest getting a tattoo right now though, it takes a day or so for the effects of the medicine to wear off."
  492. >"Nah, I was gonna come and call your bullshit about spending all that money on the party."
  493. >There is a small scrunch to her nose, but her cocky smile makes you laugh, and you head into your house.
  494. "Come on Vinyl, I'll show you."
  495. >Getting some distance ahead of her, you pull out your safety chest, and as she enters the room, you open it.
  496. >Her jaw drops at the sight of the pile of gold.
  497. "You were saying?"
  498. >Her mouth opens and closes, unable to formulate a thought.
  499. >"Thats... Thats just what's left over?"
  500. "Yep. Like I said, I spent about eighteen hundred bits already on this party."
  501. >Closing the chest and locking it, you see the magic shield flux over it, and you put it aside.
  502. >"So... Uh, you coming to hear my playing tonight and tomorrow?" She asks, slightly shaken, but still keeping up her strong front.
  503. "I wouldn't miss it. I'm hosting this party, and I plan on trying everything, even your two bit music."
  504. >She socks you with a hoof and gives you a glare, before you crack a smile.
  505. >"You best come with a pillow on your plot then, cuz I'm gonna blow you away."
  506. "Well, you better do well, since Pinkie was the one who recomended you, and I trusted her to get the best."
  507. >Vinyl lets out a laugh "You made a good choice, letting that mare set everything up. This isn't my first Pinkie Party, and every time it has been a blast."
  508. >Speaking of, Pinkie suddenly pops into the room and says "Vinyl, you're needed down at the turntables. Lets go."
  509. >She grabs hold of Vinyl, and dissapears out the door.
  510. >Putting your chest away, you make your way downstairs and back outside.
  511. >The party seems to have started, explaining why Pinkie suddenly took Vinyl away.
  512. "Applying logic to Pinkie, who would have thought."
  513. >Scootaloo and her friends run over, and you kneel down to their level.
  514. "Hey you guys, hope you enjoy the party."
  515. >"When has anyp0ny not liked a Pinkie Party?" Sweetie asks with a grin.
  516. >Patting her head, you smile in return.
  517. "Exactly, that's why I chose her to get everything going."
  518. >You notice Scootaloo has wandered off, and the three of you hear her call out "Girls, come check this out!"
  519. >Applebloom and Sweetiebelle run off to her, and you rise, before heading to the park.
  520. >Games and food stands are set up everywhere, the vivid colors and calling voices reminds you of your childhood, when your parents took you to street fairs.
  521. >The sounds of laughter, the colorful ponys running this way and that, soft music playing in the background.
  522. >Stopping at one of the stalls, you pick up a still warm caramel popcorn ball.
  523. >Taking a bite, you continue on, until you get stopped by Pinkie.
  524. >"Nonny, I need your help, a shipment of stuff that needs the host's signature just arrived. Hurry!"
  525. >She drags you behind a building, and you somehow come out around the other side of town.
  526. "I'm not even going to ask."
  527. >Pinkie pulls you over to a pony pulling a wagon, and she passes you a clipboard.
  528. >Signing your name, you pass the clipboard to Pinkie, who passes it and a bag of bits to the pony with the cart.
  529. >He goes over it before saying "Everything looks to be in order. Have a nice day and enjoy your cart full of rubber chickens."
  530. "Pinkie, what do we need a wagon full of rubber chickens for?"
  531. >She casps as she looks at you. "What are you talking about Anonymous, you can't have a party this big without a cart full of rubber chickens."
  532. >With no proper response for this, you just shake your head before heading back into town, munching on your popcorn ball.
  533. >It takes you nearly half an hour to get back to where you were, since along the way you pause to chat with ponys you know or have tattooed.
  534. >From where you are, you can see the big transparent dome that is the sound barrier, and you idly wonder what kind of music Vinyl plays.
  535. >While trying to decide what to do, a pony sneaks up behind you and jumps on your back.
  536. >You instinctualy try to spin and grab hold of them, but since they are holding on around your neck, you just end up spinning to no effect but making you dizzy.
  537. >"Hey Nonny, you don't look like you're having fun. Its a party, you're supposed to be having fun."
  538. "Pinkie, I'm having plenty of fun, I'm just taking my time, we have two days to party."
  539. >She climbs onto your head, grabbing your hair to steer you. "Two days is nowhere near enough time to party. WE GOTTA GO!"
  540. >With some crazy Pinkie magic, she starts steering you through the crowds, stopping occasionaly to pick up a snack or play a game.
  541. >After only half an hour of running around Pinkie style you are pretty much dead tired.
  542. >"Come on Nonny, I know you can keep going."
  543. >Despite her shaking, you just relax on a bench while ponys have fun around you.
  544. *Sigh*"Like I said earlier Pinkie, I'm fine sitting back right now. Everyp0ny is having fun thanks to me, and it makes me happy."
  545. >She hops onto the bench next to you in a way immitating you.
  546. >"I know how you feel, thats why I love hosting partys for ponys. I guess we can wait a while before going back to party."
  547. "Thanks Pinkie."
  548. >As you sit there, you start swapping stories, and soon there is a small group of ponys who are listening to them as you and Pinkie take turns.
  549. >"...And then I said, that's silly, everyp0ny knows you need a cart full of rubber chickens to have a party like this."
  550. >Despite the apparent wrongness of that statement, you can see almost everyp0ny gathered nodding in agreement.
  551. "When in Rome..." you say to yourself.
  552. >"... Do as the Romans do." Pinkie says, finishing your statement.
  553. >You look at her, and she just smiles back innocently.
  554. "Well Pinkie, shall we get back to partying?"
  555. >"Aprez vous, monsieur." She says in a very french accent while still wearing that innocent smile.
  556. >Getting up off the bench, you take a quick look around before heading towards the sound barrier.
  557. >Reaching the edge of the translucent dome, you take a deep breath and step through.
  558. >The power of her music almost knocks you back out of the bubble, but you push through.
  560. >You can feel each beat pass through you, and despite it's power, the sound is pure and clear.
  561. >Ponys by the dozen are packed into the small bubbled off area, and you wade through the throngs to get to Vinyl's stand.
  562. >The levels of tech you have seen in yout time here has varried, and in some respects, the ponys were medival, while in others, they were near human levels.
  563. >Vinyls Dj stand was definetaly at human tech levels.
  564. "Hey Vinyl, nice setup you got here!" You yell out over the music.
  565. >She raises a headphone onn an ear "Hey dude, what brings you here?"
  566. "Just came to check on how many ponys ran screaming from your music."
  567. >"Heh, funny. I'm just surprised that this many ponys even came to your lame party."
  568. >The two of you bump fists/hooves, and Vinyl uses some magic on her turntable.
  569. >"So, How long have you been here, in Ponyville I mean?"
  570. "Four months maybe... I'm still not used to the Equestrian calender. I spent maybe two weeks before that in Canterlot, and everything before that was back home."
  571. >She pulls up her goggles to look at you with vivid red eyes. "So, where are you from anyway? I've done work all over Equestria and I've never seen another, whatever you are."
  572. >You look at her with a serious stare and she pulls back down her goggles.
  573. "Can you keep a secret?"
  574. >"Of course."
  575. "I'm an Alien."
  576. >As you say this, the needle on one turntable skips out of its groove, letting off a loud scratching noise that causes everyp0ny to cover their ears.
  577. >Vinyl scrambles to fix the problem, and you push the power button.
  578. >"Sorry everyp0ny, slight technical issue. Give me five minutes to check it out, and we'll be back in business."
  579. >The ponys are really understanding and seem quite content to wait while Vinyl and you problem check her equipment.
  580. >"Huh? I can't find anything wrong." vinyl exclaims and you report the same.
  581. "Wierd, well lets get this music back on track."
  582. >She kicks the machine back on, and the music starts back up full throttle.
  583. >"So, what were you saying before?"
  584. "I can't remember. Must not have been very important then."
  585. >With a shrug, she says "I guess you're right. So, you busy later tommorow?"
  586. "Not that I can think of." You say, scratching your chin.
  587. >She gives you a cocky grin before saying "Good, because I'm going to get a tattoo to prove that your skills are fake."
  588. "I'll be looking forward to that, then."
  589. >Hopping off the stage, you head for the back of the sound barrier, just behind her setup.
  590. >Passing through the barrier leaves your ears ringing, and makes you feel lightheaded.
  591. >A sudden blur of pink in front of you sends you spinning, only to be caught by said blur.
  592. >"Hey Nonny, whats up? You look Dizzy. Areyoudizzy?IoncewentonamerrygoroundbutthespeedthinggotbrokenanditwentfasterandfasterandIwentWEEEEEEEbutthenIgotrealdizyandwhenitstoppedIfelloverjustlikeyoudid."
  593. >Lying on the pink mare, you stare up at the white clouds, everything dancing and shaking.
  594. "Ugh, I need to clear my head, all that loud music... Urp.."
  595. >Containing a gag, you slowly sit up and shake your head clear.
  596. >Pinkie, the friendly mare she is, helps you up and dusts you off with her poofy tail.
  597. "Hey Pinkie, did you ever taste your tattoo? I realized I never asked."
  598. >She looks at her flank, turns back to you and grins.
  599. >"Yuppers, but it didn't taste like anything. Too bad, maybe I can get Twilight to make it taste like cake."
  600. >You laugh along with her, before Pinkie gasps.
  601. >"I forgot, I was looking for you Anony, I need your help later. Your house."
  602. >Before you can respond she runs off, leaving you mildly confused and with nothing to do.
  603. >Choosing a random direction, you head off back into the party/fair and look for something to do.
  604. >A large, long stand catches your attention, a game of some kind.
  605. >The pony behind the counter waves at you as you come closer.
  606. >"You want to give it a try? Everything is free."
  607. "Sure, so what do I have to do?"
  608. >The pony pulls out a couple fuzzy spider plushies and sets them on the counter, next to a built in slingshot.
  609. >"All you have to do is shoot two of these spiders into the nets in the web back there. Do that, and you win a prize."
  610. "Seems simple enough." You say, fitting the first spider into the slingshot.
  611. >Your first shot goes high and to the right, getting caught in the back net and rolling down into a basket at the bottom.
  612. >With your second, you manage to get it into one of the baskets, but your third and fourth miss.
  613. >Loading your final one, you take care to aim it and let fire.
  614. >It arcs across the range, heading straight for its target.
  615. >Landing on the bottom rim of a basket, it sways there for a moment.
  616. >When it stops, it just hangs there, on the edge.
  617. >"Well, there's somethin you don't see everyday. You know what, I'll count it. Congratulations, here's your prize."
  618. >He picks up the spider that landed on the edge, and passes it to you.
  619. >"Looks like its lucky for you, so you can keep it."
  620. "Cool, thanks."
  621. >With your new stuffed pet sitting on your head, you head off to another stall.
  622. >This time grabbing a drink, you find a bench to sit on and enjoy your smoothie.
  623. >Lyra comes only a moment later, sitting next to you in a strikingly similar manner, minus the spider on your head, of course.
  624. >"Hey Anon, cool spider."
  625. "Thanks. Enjoying your new mark?"
  626. >"Yep." She sips from her smoothie before continuing "how can you stand all that power? I mean, you could empower an army of ponys and take over the world, but you do things like help ponys with trivial things."
  627. "It's not that hard. Its only power if you see it as power. For me, its a medium for my art, kind of like your lyre."
  628. >She looks over at your serious face, along with the googly eyed spider sitting on your head, and she can't help but snort, orange smoothie shooting from her nose.
  629. >This in turn causes you to laugh, the spider falling from your head and landing on a pony passing behind the bench.
  630. >The pony lets out a quiet scream, before there is a thump as they faint.
  631. >Moving around the bench, you see Fluttershy, KO'd on her back, the spider lying right next to her.
  632. >Kneeling down, you pick up the spider and set it back on your head, before lifting Fluttershy.
  633. "Hey Lyra, do you know where the first aid place is?"
  634. >"That way, towards the hospital. Redheart and the other nurses are taking turns running it."
  635. >Taking Fluttershy there, you get a few odd glances before they see its Fluttershy in your arms and they just go on their way.
  636. >The pony at the tent, nurse Sweetheart if you remember correctly comes and takes Fluttershy off your hands, assuring you it will be okay.
  637. >Now free, you and your spider head out back to where you left Lyra and your smoothie, and you find them both exactly where you left them.
  638. >"I kept your smoothie safe for you." Lyra says while waving, and you pick it up and take a sip.
  639. "I don't know, I'm not convinced this is my smoothie."
  640. >"Are you calling me a liar?"
  641. "No, I'm just saying I'm not sure this is my smoothie."
  642. >She gives you as stare as you take another long sip, before the two of you burst out laughing.
  643. >"You're a bit of a jerk Anon. But you're cool."
  644. >The two of you sit in silence, enjoying your smoothies until Bonnie, or rather Bon Bon as she corrected you comes to take Lyra away.
  645. >Alone again, you finish your smoothie before checking the town clock.
  646. "Quarter to eight huh, how time flies."
  647. >Getting up, you scan the throngs of ponys for the familiar pink splotch that is Pinkie Pie.
  648. >With no sign of her, you head off to another area, still searching for that elusive pony.
  649. >Running across Rarity and Twilight, you stop to chat.
  650. "Hello you two, how have you been enjoying the party?"
  651. >Rarity turns her nose up a bit and says "It's a little low brow for my taste, but I love how generous you are, doing this for everyp0ny."
  652. >"I don't know, I think it's kinda fun." Twilight chimes in, nudging Rarity "I think you are just being a little haughty because you aren't the one doing this."
  653. >"I am not, that would be highly unladylike. And besides, I would never be caught wearing that while having a spider on my head."
  654. >You chuckle, taking the spider off your head.
  655. "So, have either of you seen Pinkie? She wanted to see me later, but never specified the time."
  656. >They look at eachother, both in deep thought before Twilight replies "I can't say we have, sorry Anon."
  657. "Thats alright. I'll se you later maybe." You say, before heading off in search again.
  658. >Searching all over town, you see hide nor hair of her, and you once again stop to think.
  659. "If I was Pinkie, where would I be..."
  660. >"Right behind you, silly."
  661. >You spin around, coming face to face with the mare in question and you nearly fall on your butt staggering back.
  662. "Pinkie, don't sneak up on me like that!" You gasp, a hand holding your rapidly expanding and contracting chest.
  663. >She looks down at your pants, where your spider is half stuffed in a pocket, and she says "Is that a spider in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"
  664. >You give her a glare, and it just bounces off her silly smile.
  665. >"Come on Nonny, I was wondering when you would get home, so I came out to look for you."
  666. "Alright, just lemme grab something to eat first."
  667. >She puts a hoof to her chin, before jumping up. "I know just the place!"
  668. >Grabbing you again, she drags you through the crowded streets to a small stant on the outskirts of town.
  669. >What's different about this stall is the fact it is not run by a pony.
  670. >It is run instead by a minotaur.
  671. >"Hey Pinks, what can I get ya?" he asks.
  672. >"Half a dozen hotdogs, three orders of hay fries, and something for my friend here."
  673. >He reached down behind the stall while saying "Coming right up."
  674. >Half a dozen tin foil tubes, a fair sized carton of fries and a mid sized box.
  675. >"I hope I'm not bein presumtuous, you are an omnivore, right?"
  676. "Yeah... Wait are you saying?"
  677. >"Yep, fresh too. Just got a shipment in this morning."
  678. >Pinkie grabs all her stuff, and you take the box.
  679. "You may have yourself another regular customer now." You say, waving as you leave.
  680. >"I expect to see you soon then." He replies, and you and Pinkie head for your house/shop.
  681. >Holding open the door for her, she bounces inside before hopping up on your tattooing chair.
  682. >Her voice suddenly goes gruff and she yells "Needle me up Anon, I'm getting a party hat."
  683. "Uhhh... Okay..." You say, setting your things on the counter "Why do you want another tattoo Pinkie?"
  684. >"Because I still need to get more party skills. And besides, you owe me something special for setting this party up for you."
  685. >She turns her smile on you, and you can't find an arguement.
  686. "Fine. lie down and I'll get started."
  687. >She gives a happy giggle before relaxing on the chair.
  688. >Picking out the tools of your trade, you use a dose to put her under.
  689. >Working on the opposite flank to her cake mark, you start drawing a party hat.
  690. >Thankfully pony hats and human hats are the same, so you don't need a reference, and just go freehand.
  691. >At the fourty five minute mark, you stop for a break.
  692. >rolling over to the counter, you open the box to find an order of fries and a hotdog.
  693. >A quick smell tells you, its not just any hotdog, but an actual hotdog, made with actual meat.
  694. >Taking a bite, you feel your primal craving for meat satisfied, and you quickly scarf down the rest of it.
  695. >The fries, you eat a few before taking a drink from the sink.
  696. >Turning back to your work, you bring the pen to bear and start it up, sinking back into that place many call "The Zone" where everything seems to blur together and anything but perfection seems impossible.
  697. >The image of her new tattoo floats in front of your eyes, sinking into her skin as you draw it, almost like magic.
  698. >As the final small patches get inked in, you sit back, admiring your work.
  699. >With a quick cleaning, you check all your lines, making sure they are sharp and your colors full.
  700. >Before picking her up, you quickly lock the door and carry her upstairs.
  701. >Setting her on your couch, well loveseat would be more accurate, but its a couch to ponys.
  702. >Once you have her comfortable, you head back downstairs and grab her dinner, taking it to your kitchen and putting it on the table.
  703. >With ketchup and a drink from the fridge, you work on finishing your fries while waiting for Pinkie to wake up.
  704. >Sparing a glance over, you see she has rolled onto her back and a hoof is twitching a bit.
  705. "Why are you ponys so darned cute..." You say to yourself, before munching down another fry.
  706. >Twice Pinkie lets out sounds, but twice she doesn't wake up.
  707. >After finishing your fries and going over the newspaper, you decide Pinkie isn't gonna wake up tonight.
  708. >Grabbing a spare blanket from your closet, you carefully cover the pink mare and put your spider in with her, setting everything so she won't fall off.
  709. >Taking to your own bed, you quickly fall asleep, tuckered out from the days activity.
  710. >Maybe an hour or two in, you stir as a warmth crawls into bed with you.
  711. >A half-awake glance shows a blob of pink, and you just drift back into slumber.
  713. >Before even the sun's lifter has risen, you get woken by a very loud and active pink blob.
  714. >"COME ON NONNY! ITS TIME TO GET UP!" She shouts, bouncing all over the bed.
  715. >Instinctually, your hand reaches out as if to turn off an alarm clock, but instead of hitting a clock, you end up patting a poofy mass of mane.
  716. >"Nonny, that doesn't work on ponys, only clocks."
  717. "Ugh, fine, I'm getting up." You groan, rolling over and pulling the blankets off.
  718. >Living in the same town as Pinkie has taught you to never go to bed naked, and this morning only helped reinforce that lesson.
  719. "Pinkie, why are you waking me so early?" You grumble, grabbing things for a shower.
  720. >"Because its super important to be ready to party all day today." She says, bouncing out of the room.
  721. >Her head pokes back in for a moment as she adds "Oh, and I made my favourite human breakfast, since he let me stay over for the night."
  722. >With your clothes for the day ready, you tiredly trudge through the short hallway and into the bathroom.
  723. >After a quick, lukewarm shower, you take a moment to shave.
  724. >No point it looking scruffy, even if its only a casual party.
  725. >All cleaned up, you head to your kitchen, where Pinkie happily sits with two plates of pancakes.
  726. "Smells good Pinkie, thanks for making breakfast."
  727. >"Anything for my favourite human."
  728. "I'm the only human here, Pinkie."
  729. >"That doesn't mean you're not my favourite one."
  730. "Fair enough. Lets eat."
  731. >Pinkie dives facefirst into her stack, while you choose a more acceptable knife and fork method.
  732. >Coming up from her meal, Pinkie smiles at you, a small drop of syrup on her nose, before her face scrunches up in thought.
  733. >"I didn't know your birthday was [spoiler]Redacted[/spoiler], I though it was in two months and thirteen days."
  734. "Humnn? What are you talking about?"
  735. >"When I focus on you, I see your birthday day over your head."
  736. "... That might not be normal. We'll have to see Celestia about that later, but I guess, the best way to explain it is that I converted my birthday to match your calender."
  737. >Face still scrunched up, she stares at you a little longer, before smiling. "Okie Dokie, since you just wanted to make it easy, I'll let you get away with it. But this means you and I are gonna be having a secret party on your real birthday, wether you like it or not."
  738. "I can live with that."
  739. >The moment you finish your pancakes, the plates are scooped up by Pinkie and swept into the sink.
  740. >"With that done, we can go party!" She exclaims, starting to drag you down the stairs.
  741. >The moment her first hoof hits the step though, it gives out and she would have fallen face first down the stairs if not for you holding on to her.
  742. "That was a close one Pinkie, are you alright?"
  743. >She sits as you pull her up to the floor. "Yeah, I think so. Maybe the medicine is still leaving me rubbery-hoofed like last time."
  744. >Picking her up, you set her on your shoulders.
  745. "Rubbery-hoofed?"
  746. >"You know, like my hooves are made of jiggly rubber or jelly so they sometimes just go squish and I fall over."
  747. >She giggles, and you take her down the stairs and take her outside.
  748. "How about we party together today? I don't want to be responsible for you missing a bunch of party time."
  749. >"Okie Dokie Anon, but I'm steering this rig, so hold on tight."
  750. "Wait, what...?" You exclaim, before Pinkie leans forward, and you start moving forwards, not by your own control.
  751. >With whatever crazy powers Pinkie inherently has, she starts steering you around, despite nearly everything being closed.
  752. >The first place she stops is Sugarcube Corner, where she somehow gets you through the too short door without hitting your or her head.
  753. >"Mister and Miss Cake, I'm here!" She calls out, and Mrs. Cake pokes her head out from the kitchen.
  754. >"Ah, we were wondering where you were last night." She says, comming out into the main area.
  755. "She stayed over, since she decided to fall asleep after getting another tattoo last night."
  756. >"Another one Pinkie? What is it this time?"
  757. >Turning so she can see, Pinkie shows Mrs. Cake her new tattoo.
  758. "This one seems to have an... Unusual side effect, we are going to have to see Celestia about it."
  759. >"Oh come on Nonny, its not that bad."
  760. "Well, it still something we should see the princess about."
  761. >Pinkie steers you around, driving you through the door.
  762. >"Nonny and I are going out today. I'll stop by later." She calls back, before steering you out into the now starting to become busy streets.
  763. >A number of ponys seem to be gathering at the edge of town, and Pinkie and you head there.
  764. >"Hey, whats going on everyp0ny?" Pinkie asks, looking around.
  765. >There are a few whispers and murmurs here and there, and you pick up that there is some royals comming to the party.
  766. >"OMIGOSH! I wonder who it could be?" Pinkie exclaims, running you in a circle before leading you to the middle of town, a short way from town hall.
  767. >Pinkie hops off your bach, her legs going all rubberyhoofed as she puts it, and she ends up sprawled in the dirt.
  768. >You help her to her hooves, and she reaches behind a tree, pulling out a bunch of fancy bags.
  769. "What are these Pinkie?"
  770. >"Royal gift bags. I keep them stashed all over Ponyville in case of royal pony party emergencys."
  771. "..."
  772. >Holding the bags Pinkie passes you, she jumps back onto your back and she takes control, steering you back to the edge of town.
  773. >The sun has just risen into the sky, and you and the rest of Ponyville that is there is looking out at the carriage making its way to town.
  774. >The carriage, while fairly plain in appearance, is being pulled by half a dozen royal guards, signifying the importance of the pony or ponys within.
  775. >After unhooking themselves, two royal guards open the carriage doors and stand at attention in front of them.
  776. >Out of the carriage step two rather ordinary looking ponys, one unicorn, one pegasus.
  777. >Murmurs pass theough the crowd, questioning who these ponys are, but you hear Pinkie Gasp, before moving you forward.
  778. >Somehow, she makes you kneel, and she hops off, only off balance momentarely.
  779. >"Welcome to the weekendlong Ponyville Party." She starts, passing them each a bag. "Hosted and funded by your friendly nieghbourhood human, Anonymous."
  780. The pegasus, a white mare with a pink mane steps towards you, smiling. "Thank you for greeting us personaly, its flattering."
  781. >"What do you mean, you're the p..mphnnnhnffgh" Pinkie starts, but is cut off by a small blue field from the unicorn, a dark blue mare with a lighter mane.
  782. >You immediately catch on to what Pinkie said, but don't say anything about it.
  783. "If you would like, I can show you around for a while? I'd love to hear some storys about Canterlot life, as I'm kind of new here."
  784. >"We would appreciate that." The blue mare says "My name is Midnight Lotus, and My sister is Sunny Smiles."
  785. "My name is Anonymous, and this ball of energy is Pinkie Pie."
  786. >Having gotten past Midnight's spell, Pinkie says "Why are you introducing us, they al..Hmmnnpphhhggh"
  787. >She is cut off again by an aura, and you rise.
  788. >By this time, the crowd has mostly dispersed, and the four of you have some relative privacy.
  789. "Sunny, I need your verdict on this. I gave Pinkie a tattoo, and it has had an unusual... Side effect, I would call it. If she focuses, she can see someones birthday, and possibly their birth date."
  790. >"While I am glad you seek my opinion, I can't see how..." She starts before Pinkie starts, face scrunced up.
  791. >"Hey, I never knew you were..." Pinkie is silenced by a white aura this time, and you can see a slight twitch in Sunny's eye.
  792. >"I see your point. Perhaps a simple spell to prevent her saying anyp0ny's age that she hasn't been told."
  793. "I am inclined to agree." you say with a nod.
  794. >A white glow flows over Pinkie, before vanishing into her, and Pinkie looks over herself confused.
  795. >"I don't feel any different... Are you sure it worked?"
  796. >"I'm quite positive. Now, shall we get going?"
  797. >Pinkie climbs back on your back, before shouting "Onwards noble steed, to the party we go!"
  798. "I'm not a steed Pinkie, no matter how noble I may be."
  799. >She giggles and rubs the back of her head with a hoof. "Sorry, got caught up in the moment."
  800. >Standing upright, you support Pinkie and turn to the two disguised princesses.
  801. "Where would you like to go first?"
  802. >Before they can respond, Pinkie grabs hold of your head, and starts steering you.
  803. >"Follow me!" She exclaims, and the two hurry to catch up with you.
  804. >For lack of a better term, she drives you to the edge of the sound barrier.
  805. >"Here, we have a large party area, specialy contained within a sound shield so the loud music doesn't bother anyp0ny."
  806. >"DJ Pon3 is our Dj, but she plays later in the day."
  807. >Taking off with you again, she starts rapidfire pointing out stalls and attractions while the two princesses struggle to keep up.
  808. >"...And here is where we are gonna have breakfast. Any questions?" She asks, looking back.
  809. >Lowering her off your back, you reach out and help support Sunny and Midnight, keeping them from collapsing from exhaustion.
  810. "Need a hand?" You ask, and they nod.
  811. >Helping Midnight onto your back, you then lift Sunny in your arms.
  812. >Pinkie opens the door fot you, and you duck under, narrowly avoiding hitting yours and Midnights head.
  813. >Even with all the other stalls open, Sugarcube Corner is still fairly busy, easily half the seats full.
  814. >Choosing an open table near the counter, you gently set down Sunny, before helping Midnight off your back.
  815. >The seat is too small for you to sit normaly, so you turn to the side, legs sticking into the aisle a bit, and Pinkie goes to grab some menus.
  816. "So, how did you hear about this party?" You ask, giving a warm smile and resting your arms on the table.
  817. >"If you would believe it, we were invited, though we were too busy yesterday to come." Sunny says, smiling back. "It's always good to get out and have fun."
  818. >Midnight rests her head on the table tiredly "It seems we need more excersize sister, getting tired so quickly."
  819. "Maybe a little, but you're lucky it was me leading you, not Pinkie, or you would have been left behind rather fast."
  820. >"Hey, that's not nice Nonny, I'd never leave friends behind, even for a party." Pinkie says as she returns, setting a pair of menus on the table.
  821. >"Nonny and I have already eaten, so you two go ahead and order what you want."
  822. >After some deliberation, Midnight orders a buttered croissant, and a blueberry smoothie, while Sunny ordered...
  823. "Are you sure you can eat all that Sunny?" You ask, looking at the dozen slices of cake layed out in front of her.
  824. >She doesn't respond, instead licking her lips before diving into the first piece with almost as much gusto as Pinkie with this mornings pancakes.
  825. >Floating up her croissant, Midnight takes a dignified bite, chews and swallows before saying "Our sister realy needs to learn how to restrain herself. I would have thought the last cake fiasco would have taught her."
  826. >Looking up from her meal, Sunny glares at Midnight, before swallowing her mouthful. "It wasn't that bad, and besides, when I'm like this I can get away with it."
  827. >"You may get away with it, but your flank won't."
  828. >Sunny's glare could cut steel, and you can't help but let out a chuckle.
  829. >She turns her glare on you and says "You think it's funny?"
  830. "No, I'm ammused by your relationship. It's good to see how sisterly you two are."
  831. >This breaks her glare, and it turns into a smile "Lots of practice. And as for practice..."
  832. >She dives back into the next slice of cake, and Midnight gives a sigh.
  833. >A weight appears on your back, and you feel yourself getting off the table.
  834. >"I gotta go, I can't stay too long or I'm gonna miss the partying!"
  835. >Just like earlier, Pinkie steers you out of Sugarcube Corner and out into the now fairly filled streets.
  836. >From her heightened vantage point, Pinkie looks out over the crowds.
  837. >"We must always be vigilant, Watson, Un-Fun could be hiding anywhere."
  838. "Uhhh... Pinkie, what are you talking about?"
  839. >"Oh, right. Onwards Anon, to fun!"
  840. >Together, you visit many a stall, playing games and eating snacks or just visiting the pony running it.
  841. >You encounter Midnight and Sunny again at about noon, the two of them having met up with Twilight.
  842. >"Anonymous, Pinkie, have you met Midnight and Sunny yet? They are visiting from Canterlot, and I decided to help guide them around." Twilight calls out, motioning you over.
  843. "We have actually. When Pinkie heard there were royals coming to visit for the party, she had to greet them personally."
  844. >"Yup. I even had to go into my stash of emergency royal party gift bags."
  845. >"Twilight, come on, you said you were going to show me how to play the game over there." Midnight says, already a ways away.
  846. >"Coming!" Twilight calls back, before turning to you and Pinkie. "Sorry I can't stop to chat, we've been playing games together a lot, she's realy a fun mare."
  847. >She heads off after Midnight, leaving Sunny behind.
  848. >"It's good to see Luna er... Midnight getting along with others. She's been away for so long, it makes it hard for her to socialize, even more so because she is, well..."
  849. >"Sister! Hurry or you won't be able to play!" Midnight calls over the crowd.
  850. >"I'll see you later perhaps. Take care Anonymous." Sunny says before trotting after Twilight and Midnight.
  851. >Alone with the pink pony of partys, you have only a moment before she takes over again, driving you towards the sound bubble.
  852. >Unlike last time, it is quiet as you pass through the barrier, and Pinkie hops off.
  853. >"Thanks Nonny, I'll be fine now." She says, bouncing around a bit.
  854. "Alright, just make sure if anything happens you take a moment to sit and rest."
  855. >She waves you away before heading up to the dj stand.
  856. >Turning to head out, you almost bump into Vinyl.
  857. >"Hey Anon, you're a bit early to be blown away by my skills."
  858. "I think you're the one who's to early to get marked by mine."
  859. >She passes you, giving you a shove as she goes, heading for her stand, and you pass out through the barrier.
  860. >Back in the streets, you see Lyra and Bon Bon playing one of the games, and head over.
  861. "Afternoon Lyra, Bon Bon, how are you enjoying the party?"
  862. >"Not very good for business." Bon Bon says, giving you an annoyed glance. "Sales have superceeded what I estimated, so I'm loosing money."
  863. >"But think of all the new customers you will have, it'll pay off because ponys are gonna want to buy treats they tried here, later."
  864. >Bon Bon turns on Lyra, who's smile wears down her annoyance.
  865. >"Alright, maybe its not that bad Lyra. Still, I'd still rather not risk it."
  866. "How about this, If after a week or two you haven't made back your loss, I'll cover the rest. Just bring your records and we can figure it out."
  867. >She contemplates a moment, before shaking her head. "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm sure I can handle it myself, since this is my problem for making such tasty treats."
  868. >Lyra, Bon Bon and you share a quick laugh, and you nod.
  869. "Okay, but the offer stands, so no worries."
  870. >"Hey, Miss, you gonna take your turn?" The pony at the stand says to Bon Bon.
  871. >"Yeah, sorry. I guess I might see you later Anon. Take care." She says, waving you off.
  872. >Lyra waves as well, and you head off towards the food stands, intent on getting lunch.
  873. >With all the stalls, it's hard to choose, until something hits you.
  874. >Quite litteraly hits you.
  875. >Looking down, you see Scootaloo, Applebloom and Sweetiebelle, all gathered around your legs.
  876. >"Hey Anonymous! Come on, we want you to join us today!" Scootaloo says, trying to fly up.
  877. >"Yeah, this is yer party, so we decided we wanted to party with ya."
  878. >Picking Scootaloo up, she hops to your shoulder, and you lift Applebloom to the other, helping balance the weight.
  879. >Sweetie, you hold in your arms, and Scootaloo asks "Where to Anon?"
  880. "I was trying to choose what to have for lunch, but I guess you all can pick."
  881. >Almost immediately, the three of them answer.
  882. >(AB)"Sugarcube Corner!"
  883. >(SB)"Mocha's Cafe!"
  884. >(SC)"The Pizza place!"
  885. "And that clears everything up." You sigh. "How about we just go somewhere nearby."
  886. >The three of them look between eachother, before nodding.
  887. >"That place there!" They exclaim, three hooves pointing to the same stall.
  888. >The stall in question is a salad stand, and you head over.
  889. >A perky mare runs the stall, and as you come to stop, she asks "What can I get for the four of you today?"
  890. "I'll have a plain salad, no flowers, and for these three..."
  891. >"We'll have a large prench salad, extra croutons."
  892. >The mare ducks behind the stall, her tan tail poking up and waving side to side as she works.
  893. >She comes back up with a pair of bowls, and she says "That's one regular salad, hold the colors and one large prench with extra croutons. Is that all?"
  894. "Yep, thank you very much." You reply, shifting Sweetie into one arm and picking up the bowls with the other.
  895. >"Enjoy your salads and have a nice day." She says, waving as the four of you leave, headed for a bench.
  896. >Most of the benches in the area are filled, but being taller than he crowds lets you spot several open ones and you weave your way through the crowd.
  897. >With both hands full, and a lot of weight above your normal center of balance, you find yourself swaying a bit more than usual, and the two girls on your shoulders hold tight.
  898. >The moment you can, you set down the bowls and Sweetie, before reaching up for Applebloom.
  899. >Scootaloo jumps off, using her tiny wings to slow her fall, and narrowly avoids landing in the salad.
  900. "Careful Scootaloo, you don't want to ruin yours' and the others' lunch."
  901. >"I've had closer landings, this was nothing."
  902. "Still, I'm not going to be responsible for cleaning up a spilled prench filly salad."
  903. >Applebloom and Sweetiebelle laugh at your joke, but Scootaloo seems rather unamused.
  904. >"Oh come on Scoots, that was funny and you know it." Sweetie laughs, nudging her with her shoulder.
  905. >A smile forms on Scootaloo's face, until there is a loud rumble from your stomach.
  906. "How about we get started, I'm not sure how much longer I can go hungry before I might accidentaly eat somep0ny."
  907. >A bunch of nearby ponys gasp and back away, and the trio laugh.
  908. "I'm just kidding folks. Just some human humor."
  909. >There are a few strained chuckles, and you sigh.
  910. >Ponys don't have disposable silverware, so you are stuck eating your salad with your fingers, though nop0ny seems to mind.
  911. >The girls are rather civilized in their splitting of the salad, and they finish moments before you do.
  912. >Applebloom takes the disposable dishes to a garbage bin, and Scoots and Sweetie talk about what to do next.
  913. >"I think we should go try one of the games. I bet Anonymous could win us stuff easy." Scotaloo points out, but Sweetie shakes her head.
  914. >"If we're gonna do games, we should try and win ourselves, that makes it more meaningful. I think we should go dancing before it gets to be grownup time, and then we can play games after."
  915. >Returning to the group, Applebloom says "I wanna go and get some dessert first."
  916. "For three girls who spend so much time together, I'm surprised at how different you three are."
  917. >"Well o'course we're different, since if'n we were all the same, we'd run outa ideas fer crusadin right quick."
  918. "That's a pretty neat way to look at it. Well, for the problem at hand er... Hoof, I think you should do dancing first, and then have desset and play games after that."
  919. >"But Anon, you're supposed to be on my side." Scootaloo whines "I thought I was your favourite."
  920. "I don't have favourites Scoots, that would be favouritism, and you three are all my friends."
  921. >She huffs, before saying "Fine, we'll do the dancing first."
  922. >The trio head off, you close behind towards the sound bubble.
  923. >Unlike last time, you are careful passing through, making sure to brace yourself for any sudden or loud music.
  924. >Instead of the type of music you heard Vinyl playing last time, there is much more child friendly music playing.
  925. >Most of the dancing ponys are fillys and colts, though there are a few older ponys as well, likely parents, or just ponys who enjoy this type of music.
  926. >Opting to sit on the sidelines, you watch as the three of them start dancing.
  927. >While none of them are amazing, they aren't bad, and you spend a good hour like this, occasionally acting as a seat for one of them when they are taking a break.
  928. >Nearing the end of the time here, Sweetie goes up to the stage and talks to Pinkie, who is running the sound system at the time.
  929. >There is a brief discussion between the two, and Pinkie brings a microphone down to her level.
  930. >"Hey everyp0ny, Sweetiebelle wants to sing a song for all of us, so lets give her a great audience!"
  931. >All the adult ponys give cheers, as do most of the fillys and colts.
  932. >Once again, you are amazed by how much talent a cutie mark gives, or rather, how much talent the pony has when they get their destined cutie mark.
  933. >Despite a little nervousness, Sweetie does an amazing job, and everyp0ny present cheers loud and strong as she finishes.
  934. >"That was amazin Sweetiebelle, Singing sure is yer talent." Applebloom says, congratulating her as she walks over.
  935. >"Yeah, if only we could find our talents and get our cutie marks soon, then I could get my tattoo from Anon."
  936. "Well, lets get some dessert, and then we'll move on to games. Maybe you'll find your marks there."
  937. >"Hmmm, we've never tried a game playing cutie mark yet, have we?" Sweetie asks, and the others reflect.
  938. >"Ah remember... book writing, video game fixin... Nope, Ah can't remember us tryin for a game winnin one yet."
  939. >"Then lets do it!"
  940. >"CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS, GAME WINNERS!" They chorus, and run off, leaving you behind.
  941. >Turning to follow after them, you ate stopped by a weight latching onto your back.
  942. >"Onward Nonny, my work here is done!" Pinkie exclaims, hoof waving forwards.
  943. "What are you doing Pinkie?"
  944. >"You said you would help me party all day, so you are going to help all day." She says, and her voice takes on a more serious tone. "That is, unless you are going to break your Pinkie Promise."
  945. "I never Pinkie Promised you anything, but I guess I did agree to help you all day. Where do you want to go?"
  946. >She huffs before muttering to herself "I knew I shoulda made him Pinkie Promise. Next time I'm gonna get him, one way or another."
  947. "What was that Pinkie?" You say looking back at her.
  948. >With an innocent smile on her face, she says "Nothing, Anonymous. Lets head off to party!"
  949. >This time she lets you control, and you pass through the barrier, seeing Vinyl headed in as you leave.
  950. >"We gotta hurry Nonny, there is less than half a day left, and I need to do more partying."
  951. "Well, where should we go then?"
  952. >"Head this way." She says, indicating a path you didn't see before.
  953. >Following it, you come out near Rarity's boutique.
  954. >Just outside the store is Rarity, enjoying a fancy looking lunch with Applejack.
  955. >"Hey girls, whats going on?" Pinkie Calls out, waving her hooves to get their attention.
  956. >Weaving through the crowd, you make your way over and Applejack waves back while Rarity gives a more respectable nod.
  957. >"Howdy Anonymous, Pinkie. What brings the two of you here?"
  958. >Pinkie hops off your back and bounces around in front of you, pulling a chair out of nowhere to sit down at their table.
  959. >"I'm gathering up my bestest friends for an extra special party within a party party."
  960. >Rarity quirks an eyebrow, before saying "And what manner of party will this be? Should we expect to dance, or will it be more formal?"
  961. >"It'll be the best kind of party! With dancing, and music and drinks and snacks and gossip and kissing and maybe even more!"
  962. >Applejack and Rarity look at each other, a faint spark in their eyes, before they converse in hushed tones.
  963. >"I believe we can open our schedule for this evening. Where might this party be held, may I ask?"
  964. >Pinkie turns to Applejack and asks "Well, if it's alright with you, Applejack, I'd like to have it at your family barn. Its big enough to hold a bunch of ponys, but its also private and safe."
  965. >"Ah think that's a fine idea Pinkie, so long as we ain't too loud 'n keep Granny and little Applebloom up."
  966. >"I can do that. Thanks AJ, and I hope you both will come." Putting the chair back wherever she found it, she jumps back onto your back, saying "To the Library!"
  967. >Knowing better than to argue, you head off to the library, which is thankfuly a short distance from Rarity's boutique.
  968. >She prods you until you go inside, ducking under the low doorway.
  969. "Hello? Is anyp0ny here?" You call out, and a cyan head with rainbow hair pops up from behind a wall of books.
  970. >"DASHIE! I knew you were here. I'm having a super special party within a party party, and I want you to come."
  971. >"Is this going to bo one of your 'Special' special partys? If so, I'm in. No offence Anonymous, but this party is a little too family friendly for my liking."
  972. "None taken. That was kind of the intent of this party anyways." Looking up at Pinkie, you say "Just what kind of party is this 'Special' party?"
  973. >Pinkie doesn't respond, instead tugging on you to turn around and head for the door.
  974. >"Oh! The partys at the barn. Don't be late."
  975. >Her hooves dig into your sides which makes you glad she doesn't have spurs.
  976. >Back out in the street, she takes a moment to concentrate, before exclaiming "THERE!" and pointing in a direction with a hoof.
  977. >Following her outstretched hoof, you come to a game stand where Twilight and Spike are competing against eachother in a game that looks like a lot like pong.
  978. >"Hey Twilight, hey Spike. Who's winning?"
  979. >The ball slips past Twilight's paddle, and a buzzer goes off behind Spike's.
  980. >"I won!" Spike cheers, junping in the air.
  981. >The pony behind the stand passes him a stuffed rabbit, and says "Congratulations. Thank you for playing."
  982. >Walking away from the stand, Twilight asks "Pinkie, Anonymous, what brings you here?"
  983. >"I'm having a secret special party within a party party, and I'm inviting my friends."
  984. >"Hey, can I come?" Spike asks, waving up at Pinkie.
  985. >"Sorry Spike, you're too little for this kind of party. Its for grownups only."
  986. >He shuffles his feet before saying "Aww man, I hate missing these partys."
  987. >Pinkie puts a hoof to her chin in thought, before a lightbulb goes off above her head.
  988. >"I know. As soon as you are grown up enough, I Pinkie Promise we will have a special grownup only party, just for you Spike."
  989. >"Hmmm, Okay. Have fun at the party Twilight." He says, before wandering off with his new toy.
  990. >Twilight heads off to the Library, and Pinkie turns to look for the other ponys she wants to invite.
  991. >Big Mac, Mr. and Mrs. Cake, Vinyl, Time Turner, Flitter and Cloudchaser, and another dozen or so ponys.
  992. >Your final stop is Fluttershy's house, Pinkie not having gotten off your back since Rarity's.
  993. >Knocking on the door, you kneel down so you are closer to eye level.
  994. >A cyan eye peeks out of the doorway, before it opens fully.
  995. >"Anonymous, Pinkie, what umm... What brings you here?"
  996. >Pinkie hops off, and bounces over, whispering in her ear.
  997. >Fluttershy's mouth forms a small o, and a blush forms on her cheeks.
  998. >Climbing back onto your back, Pinkie says "I hope to see you there."
  999. >"TO THE BARN ANONYMOUS!" She exclaims, her hoof pointing forward again.
  1000. >With a resignated sigh, you march on towards Sweet Apple Acres.
  1001. >Despite how little these ponys weigh, hauling Pinkie around all day is starting to make you tired.
  1002. >Applejack and Big Mac meet you at the gate, and Pinkie finally decides to hop off.
  1003. >Taking to the nearest tree, you lean against it, the early evening sun warm on your face and chest.
  1004. >"Pinkie, ya shouldn't 'a rode him so long. At this rate, he may not be able to party."
  1005. >"Nonny can ride harder and longer than any of us, if you know what I mean."
  1006. "What are you talking about Pinkie?"
  1007. >"Oh, right, you didn't want Twilight to share that. Never mind, forget I said anything."
  1008. >"Con'sargnight Pinkie, now that's gonna be buggin me all day. Anywho, the party's waitin for the four o' us to come before startin."
  1009. "Wait, Fluttershy beat us here?"
  1010. >Pinkie tilts her head at you "Why wouldn't she? She loves these partys as much as anyp0ny."
  1011. >Some stretching later, and the four of you head to the barn, lights flashing through the windows and the crack between the doors.
  1012. >Getting closer, you can hear some serious dancing music coming from inside as well, and you pause outside the doors.
  1013. >Peeking in reminds you of your college partys, ponys dancing and drinking and doing other things...
  1014. >Looking to the others behind you, you smile and hold a finger in fromt of your mouth while making shushing sounds.
  1015. "THIS IS THE ROYAL GUARD. YOU ARE ALL UNDER ARREST!" You bellow out, kicking the doors open.
  1016. >Everyp0ny inside is staring at you with wide eyes like deer caught in headlights, until Pinkie and the others walk in behind them.
  1017. >"Buck you Anonymous, that was a good one." Vinyl calls out from behind the music stand, turning it back on.
  1018. >Like a switch had been flipped, the party resumes, and Pinkie immediately springs into life.
  1019. >Time Turner offers you a drink, which you refuse.
  1020. "I've got an appointment later, and being drunk while tattooing has never led to anything good."
  1021. >"Suit yourself." He says before downing the drink in one go.
  1022. >He makes his way over to the snack table, where he immediately starts hitting on Flitter and Cloudchaser.
  1023. >In the far corner, you can see the silouhettes of two ponys making out.
  1024. >Still a little sore from carrying Pinkie, you head over to the snack table, and get a glass of water and a brownie.
  1025. >The water is normal, nothing mixed in, and you quickly down it before taking another.
  1026. >Sniffing the brownie, you pick up something off, so you call out to Pinkie.
  1027. "Hey, Pinkie, whats in these brownies?"
  1028. >She smiles and bounces over "Just some of Pinkie's secret super special ingredient."
  1029. "Well, if you don't want me to risk getting sick, you might want to tell me."
  1030. >"Oh, right."She rears up and leans to your ear "Its just a touch of oregano, if you know what that is."
  1031. "Yeah I know. Its safe for me."
  1032. >In a blink, she is back wherever she was, and you take a bite.
  1033. >It's not bad, but you would have prefered it without her special ingredient.
  1034. >Swallowing the rest of the brownie, you finish another glass of water before making your way over to Vinyl's stand.
  1035. >"I saw you tried one of Pinkie's special brownies. You think you are stallion enough to handle them?"
  1036. >Even through her goggles, you can see her eyes are dilated to high hell, and you realize what Pinkies ingredient does.
  1037. "I'm not going to say yes, just because it'd make you challenge me when they do nothing for me."
  1038. >"So you're saying you could eat more than me, just because you don't get high of them."
  1039. "No, I'm saying I don't want you to do anything stupid like getting high before getting a tattoo. You'd only regret it in the morning."
  1040. >"Well buck you buddy, I'm gonna eat more anyways." Her horn glows and you can see a good half dozen brownies flying over, when they suddnly freeze.
  1041. >Pinkie has hopped on Vinyl's back and is holding her horn. "I can't let you do anything like that. I don't want my friends to get hurt because of something like that. You're cut off for the night."
  1042. >"Aww, you can't be serious Pinks, thats so uncool."
  1043. >Pinkie stands upright like you and puts her hooves on her hips. "I'm always serious when it comes to my friends and party safety."
  1044. >Seeing Pinkie's serious look, Vinyl sighs "Fine, I'll stay clean."
  1045. >Vanishing back into the crowd, the pink mare somehow gets the brownies that were halfway to Vinyl back in place.
  1046. >"Ugh, there goes most of my plans for tonight. How about you make it up to me?"
  1047. "How?" You ask, not liking the possible answers running through your head.
  1048. >She jerks her head in a direction, and the first thing you see is Big Mac and a Cerise pony in the middle of a heavy make-out session.
  1049. "No. No way."
  1050. >Following your eyes she sees what you see and says "Ugh, you may be interesting, but not that interesting. I was talking about dancing."
  1051. >A few quiet groans draw your attention to the couple that was in the shadows of the back, and you can tell he just started.
  1052. >The moment you nudge Vinyl to show her, he's already finished and collapsed in the hay.
  1053. "Damn, I guess those numbers Twilight gave me were accurate."
  1054. >"What are you talking about?" Vinyl asks, curious about this off-hand comment.
  1055. "Ah, nothing. So, you wanted to dance? Can you just leave the system?"
  1056. >She flips a few switches and hops off her stand.
  1057. >"Come on, or are you just gonna stand there gawking? Or are you interested in imitating him?"
  1058. "Not likely." Following after her, you step onto the improvised dancefloor.
  1059. >The dirt ground has been covered in plywood like sheets of wood, making a solid surface to dance on.
  1060. >Vinyl hits the floor, dancing in a way you haven't seen ponys dance before.
  1061. >It's reminicent of hip hop from earth, but with distinctly quadrupedal limitations.
  1062. >Following suit, soon the two of you have a ring of ponys around you, cheering and trying to copy both your moves.
  1063. >A few songs later, the stand stops playing, and Vinyl heads back up, you close behind.
  1064. >Setting up another song, she turns to you. "That's some pretty sweet dancing. Where'd you learn it?"
  1065. "Back home. We're even now, so what should we do for the rest of the party?"
  1066. >She waves over Pinkie, and shares a whispered conversation with her.
  1067. >Pinkie hops up on the stand, and Vinyl steps down next to you.
  1068. >"I'd say we head back to your place. I'm off for the night so you can give me some new skill."
  1069. >Making for the door, you feel a tug on your pant leg, and you look down.
  1070. >A rather tipsy looking Rarity stands there, and she gives you a lopsided smile.
  1071. >"Anonymoush, I were.. I was hoping we could *Hic* maybbe have a dansh? Shhurely such a fanshy human could spare little old me but a minu.. moment of your *Hic* time?"
  1072. >She sways unsteadily on her hooves, and you kneel and reach out to stabilize her.
  1073. >With another awkward smile, she starts trying to dance, only suceeding in stumbling over her own hooves and falling.
  1074. >Scrambling back to her hooves, she gives a horrified look before running off.
  1075. "Uhhh... Okay. Vinyl, you still here?"
  1076. >Her head pops in through the barn door, and you nod, before standing again.
  1077. >Making your way into the early night, you and Vinyl walk the long road to Ponyville.
  1078. "So..." You start, trying to cut the silence "Do you have any idea's on what kind of tattoo you want?"
  1079. >"Something cool. I don't know if I'd go for a skull or any of those ones you have up, but something along those lines would be my choice."
  1080. "Yeah, a lot of the art from home wouldn't be allowed, for a few reasons."
  1081. >Vinyl stops and puts a hoof to her chin in thought.
  1082. >"You know, I don't think you ever told me where you are from."
  1083. "Oh, I'm from Mpphhghhhh..."
  1084. >Pinkie suddenly pops from your shirt, her mane filling your mouth.
  1085. >"I forgot. Vinyl, these are for you, since you had to go clean."
  1086. >She passes Vinyl a bag, before dissapearing back down your shirt.
  1087. >You immediately pull open your shirt, expecting to see her down it, but she is gone.
  1088. "Fucking Pinkie Pie, appearing out of nowhere like that. At least she chose to come out of my shirt, and not my pants."
  1089. >Vinyl seems more interested in the bag, and when she opens it, a delicious odor wafts out.
  1090. >"Mmmmmm... Fresh baked cookies. That mare realy knows how to keep her friends happy."
  1091. >Pulling one out with her magic, she takes a bite before letting out another "Mmmmmm..."
  1092. >Quickly finishing the rest of the cookie, she closes the bag and sets it on her back.
  1093. >"So, what were we talking about again?" She asks as you both start walking again.
  1094. "I think we were discussing what kind of tattoo you wanted."
  1095. >"Oh yeah! I want something cool, something that screams 'Vinyl Scratch is a cool mare'."
  1096. "How about an ice cube? Maybe an icecream sundae? I know, an ice sculpture of you!"
  1097. >She looks over at you with a "You Serious?" Kinda look, and you start laughing.
  1098. "I'm just bugging you. I have a few ideas that you might like, and I can show you when we get to my place. Speaking of..."
  1099. >The two of you had just reached the edge of town, and thankfuly, your house and shop wasn't too far.
  1100. >"What do you say we race to your place?" Vinyl asks while pawing the ground with a hoof.
  1101. "Nah, you'll probably just teleport, so theirs no point."
  1102. >She jabs you in the side. "You're no fun. Alright, we'll just walk like normal, boring ponys."
  1103. >Giving her horn a quick flick, you break into a sprint, smiling back at her.
  1104. >"Oh it's on now you monkey."
  1105. >She takes off after you, but with your head-start, you are already around the corner before she can get up to speed.
  1106. >It doesn't take long for her to catch up though, and you are soon neck and neck, racing through and around small throngs of ponys.
  1107. >Your shop quickly comes into view, and both you and her realize at the last moment that if you don't stop, you are going to crash.
  1108. >The first thing that comes into your head is to do a sliding dive, just like in baseball, and your action kicks up a cloud of dust.
  1109. >Vinyl vanishes with a crack of teleportation but you can't see where she comes out.
  1110. >Standing, you open the door, and vinyl comes stumbling out from behind your counter.
  1111. >"I.. Urp.. I gotta do that more often so it doesn't make me..."
  1112. >She quickly covers her mouth with a hoof while repressing another gag.
  1113. "If it gets bad, there's a sink in the work area."
  1114. >"I'm fine..." She groans, sitting down. "I just need to..."
  1115. "Alright. You just relax, I'll mock up some sketches in the mean time."
  1116. >From below the counter, you pull out some loose papers and a quill.
  1117. "Blegh, I still hate using these quills, they're so damn clumsy."
  1118. >It takes a few goes, but you get several good sketches of vinyl records, some with music coming from them, others on turntables.
  1119. >Vinyl hauls a chair over, and hops up to look.
  1120. >"Eh... Some of them are okay, but none of them really scream ME..."
  1121. >She grabs the quill and starts going over one of your simpler sketches.
  1122. >"Some of this here... And this. Yeah, that's better."
  1123. >She sets the quill aside, and turns her idea to you.
  1124. >It looks like a record, almost broken in half but still spinning and giving off music.
  1125. "Hmnn, I don't think I can quite do that, but with a few tiny modifications, I can pull it off."
  1126. >"Alright, lets do this then."
  1127. >Taking the sketch, you help Vinyl onto the chair and start prepping your tools.
  1128. >Four colors, six different needles and two shots of medication.
  1129. "You are likely not going to wake up till morning, are you okay with that?"
  1130. >"Yeah, just don't try anything."
  1131. "You don't want to know what would happen if I did."
  1132. >With a shudder, you pick up the first magic needle, and pull off the protective sleeve.
  1133. >Poking it into her flank, you squeeze the plunger, releasing the medication into her system.
  1134. >The numbness takes hold, and she slumps into the seat.
  1135. >Loading the first ink, Black, you pause.
  1136. >Pulling a thin charcoal stick from under the table, you make a quick sketch onto Vinyl's flank, matching the final appearance of her new mark.
  1137. >The pen hums to life in your hand, and you start outlining everything using a fine needle.
  1138. >Halfway through the first ink cartridge, you swap out needles for a slightly larger one, and begin fillinf in most of the record and the small spin marks.
  1139. >It takes another cartridge and a half of black ink to finish the main part of the tattoo, and you have to administer the second dose.
  1140. >From this point, its a simple matter of filling in all the colored notes and the electric blue scratch on the record.
  1141. "A little egotistical, isn't this, Vinyl."
  1142. >The final color, a bright red fills the label, and you set the pen down, your hand beginning to get numb.
  1143. >Running hot water over your hands, you quickly get rid of the numbness before grabbing a cloth to clean off the extra ink.
  1144. >The once white cloth comes out pretty black, thanks to all the charcoal and you toss it into the dirty laundry basket.
  1145. >Even after your best attempt at washing it, Vinyl's coat around her new tattoo is a little grey, and you pick her up.
  1146. "If you think I'm showering you, you're sadly mistaken."
  1147. >It takes a minute to get her up the stairs, your legs beyond exhaused from all the activity today, and you set Vinyl down on your couch.
  1148. >Your spider falls off the back, where Pinkie left it apparently, and it lands on Vinyl's face.
  1149. >She doesn't wake though, still only an hour and a half into the second dose.
  1150. "That's gonna be one heck of a wake up call." You chuckle to yourself, before heading for bed.
  1151. >You're out cold the moment your head hits the pillow, still fully dressed, shoes and all.
  1153. >"GAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" A loud scream followed by a thump pulls you from sleep, and memories of last night surface.
  1154. >Letting out a chuckle, you haul yourself from your bed, still tired.
  1155. >"NOT BUCKING COOL ANON!" Vinyl yells out from the living room.
  1156. "Take a shower, cool off and clean up. Celestia knows we both need it, but you could use it more." You call back, trudging through the hall and into the living room.
  1157. >Your spider plush is in the far corner, and Vinyl is staring daggers at you.
  1158. >"Fine, just don't expect any hot water left." She replies, sticking her tongue out at you.
  1159. >In the kitchen, you start whipping up some breakfast.
  1160. >Today's special, eggs and ham.
  1161. >Cracking the eggs, you hear the shower start up, and you pull out your second pan to start the meat.
  1162. >Contrary to her word, Vinyl finishes her shower within ten minutes, and comes out with a towel around her head.
  1163. >"You did a pretty sweet job Anon, and breakfast too. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to woo me or something."
  1164. "Nah, I'm just not a jerk. I feed people, or in this case, ponys who get stuck here overnight. It's just good business."
  1165. >"Cool, cool." She hops up onto one of the chairs at the table, and patiently awaits her meal.
  1166. >Sliding some eggs onto her plate, you fill yours with the rest, as well as the two slices of ham you crisped up.
  1167. >Breakfast is quiet, and Vinyl quickly scarfs down her food.
  1168. >"Sorry to eat and run, but I got another job tomorrow in Manehatten and I need to get there early."
  1169. "Not a problem. Lemme walk you out and set up your bill."
  1170. >"Aww Dude, you're charging me?"
  1171. >You poke her in the side.
  1172. "Just because the party was free does not mean the tattoo was. It was some of my hardest work, but like everyp0ny else, you have a while to pay it all."
  1173. >You pull out a paper from under the desk, and write up her bill.
  1174. >With a bit of tape, you stick the bill to her forehead before shooing her out the door.
  1175. >"Jerk." She calls back, pulling the bill off and stuffing it in her bag of cookies.
  1176. >Stepping back inside, you head straight for the tattooing chair.
  1177. >With a sigh, you sink your sore, sweaty body into it.
  1178. "Another satisfied customer..."
  1182. A pony’s Cutie Mark and Tattoo react, and they have to be removed, leaving them blank flanked until they get their mark re-added.
  1183. Rainbow Dash gets her cutie mark adjusted so it looks like the Wonderbolt’s Logo, but it reacts poorly. Her new talent ends up being sending lightning down on Wonderbolts, even though it seems like an accident every time.
  1186. >Every couple of days, you get a new customer, most of them simple modifications, with only the occasional whole tattoo.
  1187. >Vinyl has paid her bill, and hasn’t reported any problems yet.
  1188. >Today is another of your days off, and you are relaxing at the park.
  1189. >As usual, Rainbow Dash is showing off, with a small crowd of ponies watching.
  1190. >Despite how bored you may be, you are uninterested in her antics, instead lying half asleep under a tree.
  1191. >Whatever Dash does, the crowd lets out a final cheer, before the park goes back down to its normal sound levels.
  1192. >A few moments later, you hear a soft landing next to you, and Dash asks “Hey, you awake, Anon?"
  1193. "What's up Dash?" you reply lazily.
  1194. >She shuffles nervously before sitting down next to you.
  1195. >"I was wondering... can you put a tattoo over a cutie mark?"
  1196. "I don't know. I'd have to check with my boss, or at least get her permission to try it."
  1197. >Looking around, she leans in close. "So, if I could get permission, you could do it? On me?"
  1198. "Yeah, but unless she's paying, it might be quite expensive."
  1199. >"I'll find a way."
  1200. >With another look around, she slips away, leaving you to return to your relaxation.
  1202. ~~~
  1204. >Racing to the library as fast as your wings will legally carry you, you come to a skidding stop.
  1205. >Pushing the door open, you rush in and almost crash into Twilight.
  1206. "Twilight, I need your help to send a letter to Celestia."
  1207. >"Sure Rainbow. Is it a friendship report?"
  1208. >Looking around, you  zoom around the room and close all the windows.
  1209. "It's kinda personal. Well, very personal."
  1210. >She nods, before levitating a piece of paper and quill over to the table next to you.
  1211. >Picking the quill up in your mouth, you awkwardly start writing your letter.
  1212. >*Dear Princess Celestia.
  1213. >Rainbow Dash here, I have a question for you.
  1214. >Today, while talking with Anonymous I had a question for him, and he directed me to you.
  1215. >Would Anon be allowed to put a tattoo over a cutiemark?
  1216. >I want to know, partly because I wouldn't mind having mine changed, and at the same time, it would be a good thing to test to see if there’s a reaction.
  1217. >Anon has informed me that such a procedure might be expensive, and though I could cover it myself, I would appreciate you covering part if you authorize it.
  1218. >Thanks, Rainbow Dash, Element of Loyalty.*
  1219. >Putting the feather aside, you roll up the scroll and pass it to Twilight, who binds it.
  1220. >"I’ll have Spike send this when he gets back, and you should have a reply by tomorrow."
  1221. "Thanks Twilight. I'll stop by tomorrow then."
  1222. >Heading out of the library, you take off towards your favourite bar to work up some courage for what you hope will happen tomorrow.
  1224. ~~~
  1226. >Relaxing on your favourite cushion in front of the fireplace, you are pleasantly surprised when you find a letter from your student flying in the window before materialising in front of you.
  1227. >As always, it’s tied precisely in the center, both tassels of the ribbon the same length.
  1228. >A minor quirk of your student that always made you chuckle.
  1229. >Pulling the two ends unravels the binding, and it falls away.
  1230. >Opening the letter, the first thing you notice is the different writing style.
  1231. "Ah, it is from Loyalty, that would explain it," you say to yourself, beginning to read the letter.
  1232. >Your eyebrows raise at the content.
  1233. "This is curious, I never knew Anon could overlay marks. Loyalty is certainly showing her colors, willing to use herself as a test subject instead of anyp0ny else."
  1234. >Pulling out a scroll and quill, you write a response and set it in a time-delayed spell, so as not to wake Spike.
  1235. >The message was simple, Anon had the go ahead, and the payment would be shipped after Rainbow recieved the bill.
  1236. >Your interest is increased in Anonymous's work.
  1237. >You head to bed, anxiously awaiting the letter containing the test's results.
  1239. ~~~
  1241. >With only a mild hangover, you rise early, anxious to get to Twilight's house to see if you received a response.
  1242. >Knocking impatiently at the door, you bounce from hoof to hoof until it opens.
  1243. >A slightly bedraggled Twilight answers, and she has a reply to your question before you even ask.
  1244. >"No response yet, Rainbow, but she usually sets them up so they come at eight."
  1245. >Looking out at the town clock, you see it’s 7:58.
  1246. "Well, it’s only a minute or two; do you mind if I wait?"
  1247. >She steps aside and motions you in.
  1248. >"It must be important, to have you this actively interested."
  1249. "You could say that..." you say, rubbing the back of your head. "It could be kinda life changing."
  1250. >Spike pops out of the kitchen to announce breakfast, but when he opens his mouth, a plume of flames shoot out and a letter materializes.
  1251. >You immediately dash over and grab it, skimming the contents, looking for one thing: Her approval.
  1252. >You find it almost immediately, and shortly after, her agreement to cover the entire cost.
  1253. >The smile on your face is enough to tell Twilight your response.
  1254. >"Good news, I take it?" she asks.
  1255. "Better than I expected!"
  1256. "Sorry to run so soon, but I want to follow through right away."
  1257. >"Not a problem, Dash. Take care and have fun."
  1258. >Rolling up the letter, you grab it with your mouth before taking off out the door, heading straight for Anon's Tattoo Parlor.
  1259. >You always hated the word parlor; it always sounded so fancy and snooty, just like boutique.
  1260. >Anon’s place is nothing like that, though.
  1261. >As you step in the door, you see the walls coated in awesome art, though some of it is a bit graphic.
  1262. >Entranced by the art, you don't notice Anon step in behind the counter, rubbing sleep from his eyes.
  1263. >"Hey Dash, what brings you here so early?" he asks, staring at you.
  1264. "Oh, you know, just getting a free tattoo."
  1265. >You flip the letter onto the counter and sit back.
  1266. >He opens it, scanning the contents.
  1267. >"Looks like it..."
  1268. >Stowing the letter in a pocket, he grabs a steaming mug from beside him and takes a long drink.
  1269. >"Come on, let’s get this stuff set up while the caffeine wakes my system."
  1270. >He sets the mug aside, pulling a chair on wheels around as well as a small table with a strange tool on it.
  1271. "Is that it?" you ask, pointing to the thing that looks like the twisted offspring of a quill, a train's motor and a doctor’s needle.
  1272. >"Yep. Well, it’s two parts short right now, but those are just the needle and inkwell."
  1273. >Pulling open some drawers, he flourishes needles in between his fingers, their appearances varying from small hypodermic needles all the way to multipoint needles that look like a porcupine.
  1274. "You're not...*gulp* going to need to use that one, are you?" you ask, indicating the porcupine needle.
  1275. >"Depends on what you’re having done. I don't see why ponies are so afraid of it, though. It’s only for saving time when large areas need to be filled."
  1276. >He puts the needles back, easing your tension a bit.
  1277. "So, what I want changed is the lightning bolt on my cutie mark. I want you to make it look like the Wonderbolt's emblem."
  1278. >You see a smile play on the edge of his mouth, and he hops into his rolling chair.
  1279. >"Well then, let’s get this started, alright?"
  1280. >With thinly concealed nervousness, you flap up into the chair, fitting into its formed shape perfectly.
  1281. >"Relax, Dash; I promise you won't feel a thing," he says, pulling the cover off of a medical syringe filled with an evil-looking green fluid.
  1282. "Is that stuff safe?" you ask, eyeing the needle warily.
  1283. >"Perfectly. Celestia made it herself, and it’s worked flawlessly for dozens of customers."
  1284. >With a sigh, you turn to face forward and relax.
  1285. "Let’s get this over with."
  1286. >The last thing you feel is the prick of the needle, before you go unconscious.
  1288. ~~~
  1290. >With Dash out, you pull out some inks that match her request.
  1291. >From under the counter, you pull out a rolled-up poster, one of your souvenirs from your time in Canterlot.
  1292. >Pinning it up on the wall opposite Dash, you compare it to Dash's flank.
  1293. >The key thing, the direction the bolt bends matches between your signed poster and Dash's Cutie Mark.
  1294. >On the other hand, Dash's bolt is not monotone. Instead it consists of several bands of color, making inking over it a pain.
  1295. "The things I do for Celestia..." you mutter, loading your first needle, the porcupine, and a white ink cartridge.
  1296. >Turning on the pen, you start whiting out the core of her lightning bolt.
  1297. >With a flick of the wrist, you spin the chair around, starting on her other flank.
  1298. >Thanks to the larger coverage, it takes a matter of minutes to white out both lightning bolts.
  1299. >Detaching the needle and cartridge, you flush the system and wipe the excess ink from her flank.
  1300. >Giving it a few minutes to dry, you finish off your coffee and grab a slice of toast from upstairs.
  1301. >Munching the toast, you load up yellow ink to refill the lightning bolt.
  1302. >You can still make out the color separation through the white, but hopefully the yellow will cover it.
  1303. >Rather than using another porcupine, you instead opt to use a larger needle.
  1304. >Diagonally filling the lightning bolt, the final product starts taking shape.
  1305. >A pale grey comes next in a mid-sized to fine needle as you mark out the wings.
  1306. >The cloud of her cutie mark interferes somewhat, so you stray slightly from the exact logo, surrounding it with a fine black border to help separate it.
  1307. >With only the wing’s outline in both black and grey done as the medicine nears the end of its life, you decide to add a second dose to give you time to fill the wings.
  1308. >Giving some extra effort, you use four more needles and two additional shades of grey to make the wings look quite realistic.
  1309. >Too hungry to do anything else, you lock the front door before heading up to your kitchen, preparing a proper breakfast.
  1310. >After some more toast with peanut butter and a glass of apple juice, you head back downstairs.
  1311. "I wonder how this will turn out...?" you muse as you finish cleaning up your tools and Dash.
  1312. >The poster comes down, and you sit back.
  1313. "To discovery," you say before starting on your toast.
  1314. >Half an hour later, you see Dash stirring, and you roll over.
  1315. "Mornin' sleepyhead."
  1316. >With a shake of her head, she asks, "So, how long was I out?"
  1317. "Just under four hours, though the procedure only took about three and a quarter."
  1318. >She squirms around, straining to look at her flank.
  1319. >"How does it look? I can't really see it from here."
  1320. >Turning the chair, you point her side to a full-length mirror on the wall.
  1321. "Better?"
  1322. >Her smile is your only answer, and she flexes and shifts her flank, viewing it from every angle she can.
  1323. "Now you have to know, you can't do anything stressful or very active for a while. That means no stunts or anything like that."
  1324. >"Ugh, fine. I just hope this thing works."
  1325. >Jumping down from the seat, she manages to remain standing, and she awkwardly walks out the door.
  1326. "I wonder..."
  1328. ~~~
  1330. >This is bucking awesome!
  1331. >With their logo in your cutie mark, there’s no way you can fail to become a Wonderbolt now.
  1332. >Still, Anonymous warned you not to do anything athletic for a while, and you can tell why.
  1333. >Every couple steps you wobble, your muscles less responsive than usual thanks to that medicine stuff.
  1334. >Looking around, you spot Flitter moving clouds, and you call out to her.
  1335. "Hey Flitter, do you think you could lend me a hoof? I'm not supposed to be flying around much, so could you bring me down a cloud?"
  1336. >She pushes a cloud in your direction before continuing on her way, and you climb up on it.
  1337. >With a few experimental flaps of your wings, you get the cloud to fly up, and you steer it to an acceptable hovering height.
  1338. >Rolling over, you relax into the cloud like a comfy chair and doze off.
  1339. >When you stir, the sun has made some progress in the sky, and you hear a bit of a commotion below you.
  1340. >Looking over the edge of the cloud, you see a deep blue mane on a lighter blue pegasus that is surrounded by mares.
  1341. "OHMIGOSH, IT'S SOARIN!" you exclaim to yourself, and hop off the cloud.
  1342. >Your descent is interrupted by a boom and a flash right beside you.
  1344. ~~~
  1346. >Walking out of your tattoo parlor, you see Soarin heading your way, surrounded by a small ring of mares.
  1347. >You are about to call out to him when a sudden boom and a flash of light go off, and you see him crumple.
  1348. >Rushing over, you push past the mares and check for a pulse.
  1349. >Lightning strikes are rare here, and thankfully mostly non-lethal, and Soarin's case seems to be non-lethal as well.
  1350. >Picking him up, you turn to one of the mares.
  1351. "You, go get help from the hospital. Tell them to come to my shop, I'm going to do what I can to help him there."
  1352. >She nods and runs off, along with several other mares, and the rest follow you as you carry the unconscious stallion into your shop.
  1353. >Rainbow awkwardly lands next to you as you push open the door.
  1354. >"Is he okay?" she asks, following you inside, the other mares waiting outside.
  1355. "He seems to be. Make yourself useful and grab my medical kit. It's under the counter."
  1356. >You rest Soarin on the tattooing chair.
  1357. >Dash pops up with the white box, and you open it.
  1358. >Searching through it, you pull out a liquid painkiller and a burn cream.
  1359. >Tilting the chair, you pour some of the painkiller down his throat before rubbing cream onto the singed patch just in front of his right wing.
  1360. "Damn, he's lucky. An inch or two back and he might have lost use of his wing," you comment, binding the injury.
  1361. >The doors burst open, a pair of paramedics come rushing in, and you step aside.
  1362. "I gave him a painkiller and applied a burn cream to the injury," you say to them as they load him onto a stretcher.
  1363. >They nod before shipping him away.
  1364. >A pair of town guards appear and start questioning the gathered ponies, and you and Dash head out as well.
  1365. >All the stories from the mares are the same: he was walking when a bolt came out of nowhere and struck him, and you took and helped him.
  1366. >You give the story from your perspective, and so does Rainbow.
  1367. >Something about Rainbow’s story strikes you as odd, and it seems the guards feel the same way.
  1368. >She is brought to the station, and you join her, since you had a different view from the other witnesses.
  1369. >The cloud is brought down and Flitter is brought in for questioning.
  1370. >After some testing, it seems the cause was a faulty cloud, since it was a white-shaded cloud and not a thunderhead.
  1371. >There are no charges laid, and you and the others leave within the hour.
  1372. "I'm heading to the hospital, you going to join me, Dash?" you ask, turning to the shaky rainbow-maned mare.
  1373. >"Uh... Yeah, sure."
  1374. >The walk is filled with a dreary silence. To break it, you turn to Dash.
  1375. "What’s up? You're being pretty quiet."
  1376. >"You probably know how I want to join the Wonderbolts, and I just kind of accidentally almost killed one."
  1377. >You reach over and ruffle her mane.
  1378. "It's not that bad. Accidents happen, and besides, it was a faulty cloud. You couldn't have known it would shoot lightning when you hopped off."
  1379. >She looks a little happier, and says, "Yeah, I guess you're right."
  1380. >Inside the hospital, you get directions from the front desk to Soarin's room.
  1381. >Knocking on the door, you get a muffled, "Come in," and push the door open.
  1382. >Soarin looks not much worse for wear, sitting up in his bed, and he waves at you.
  1383. >"Hey, Anon, you considered my proposal?"
  1384. "Yes, and the answer’s still no."
  1385. >He lets out a groan. "Come on man, you know you want to."
  1386. >Rainbow takes a moment from staring at Soarin to look at you.
  1387. >"Want what?" she asks, curiosity filling her magenta eyes.
  1388. "It's nothing," you snap curtly, and Rainbow is taken aback slightly.
  1389. >"Pffft. Nothing my hoof. Spits has a bit of the hots for him, and I'm trying to convince him to get her into a threesome with me and him."
  1390. >Dash processes this thought for a moment, clearing Soarin's less than clear sentence, before she shouts, "WAIT, WHAT!"
  1391. "Soarin, me, Spitfire. He wants us to have a threesome. He knows Spits would rut me given the chance, but she'd never do him, so he wants me to give him a chance with her by convincing her to get into a threesome."
  1392. >"And you said no?!" She exclaims, flapping up to your face before her wings start to give out and you catch her.
  1393. >"Hey, what’s up with her? I remember she helped back at the young flyer’s competition, and she managed to pull of a Sonic Rainboom."
  1394. "You remember what I told you about my job? She just had a rather unique job done, so she’s still got some side effects running through her system."
  1395. >"Lemme guess, she wanted somethin' secretly sexy, right?"
  1396. >Reaching out, you flick him on the forehead, a bright red mark appearing where you hit.
  1397. "Nothing like that, you pervert."
  1398. >"Well, whatever. So, it looks like I owe you one, not the other way around like I hoped."
  1399. >He looks around before asking, "So, when can I get out of here?"
  1400. "I dunno, but you seem fine to me," you say before turning to leave. "I'm headed home. You coming, Dash, or do you want some alone time with him?"
  1401. >"Ewww, no. He may be cool, but he's not my type," she replies, heading for the door as well.
  1402. >Just before you make it out of his hospital room, he calls out, "Just figure out what you want from that favour. I'd rather not be in your debt any longer than I have to."
  1403. >Letting out a sigh, you duck under the doorway and out into the hallway.
  1404. >Dash closes the door quietly, a step behind you.
  1405. >Waving to the front desk nurse on the way out, you squint as you step into the bright sunlight.
  1406. >"So... You have any idea what you want to do with that favour?" Dash asks, scuffing a hoof on the ground.
  1407. "Not really. Why? Do you have one?"
  1408. >"I wish. If I had a favour from the Wonderbolts, I'd use it to get a chance to try-out for them."
  1409. "Hmnnn..." you ponder, scratching your chin. "If you want, I could use my favour for you. I've got nothing to do with it."
  1410. >She shoots up, hooves wrapping around your neck. "THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!"
  1411. >Taking a moment to pull her off and set her on the ground, you pat her head.
  1412. "You're welcome. You might want to get yourself ready, though. I'm betting Soarin is gonna want to give you the try-out as soon as he heads back to Canterlot."
  1413. >"You're right!" she exclaims, before attempting to shoot off.
  1414. >Her weakened muscles cause her not to get any air, and she nearly faceplants.
  1415. >"Um, well later," she says, embarrassed before trotting away.
  1416. >Turning, you finish your walk home, eager to get some lunch.
  1417. >Thankfully, you can eat your lunch in peace, which more than makes up for the rushed breakfast, and you consider what to do for the rest of the day.
  1418. "I should probably get a letter ready for Celestia, just going over what was done... But then again, Rainbow might be doing that too, and then there was the incident..."
  1419. >Shaking your head clear, you finish lunch and plop down on your couch.
  1420. >The spider lurking on the back bounces off, landing on your chest, and you look down at it.
  1421. "Hey little stuffed spider, what should I do today?" you ask it, looking into its eight big green eyes.
  1422. >Of course it doesn't respond, but you still smile.
  1423. "Good idea, I'll do nothing, since there's nothing for me to do."
  1424. >Lying down, you close your eyes and drift to sleep.
  1426. ~~~
  1428. "I can't believe I'm going to get to try-out for the Wonderbolts! This mark is working already!"
  1429. >Flapping up to your house with the help of a cloud, you let out a quiet *squee!*
  1430. "Now if only this medicine was done..."
  1431. >Kicking the cloud away, you flit up to your bedroom and close the door behind you.
  1432. >Looking over all your Wonderbolts merchandise, you can't suppress the smile on your face.
  1433. >Your only suitcase, you fill with the bare essentials, as well as your... less embarrassing favourite merchandise.
  1434. >With a kiss, you set your favourite Spitfire-themed dildo aside.
  1435. "I'm going to miss you, especially if I get in..."
  1436. >A deep breath later, you close your bag and haul it to the front door.
  1437. >With nothing to do for the day, you head back to your room.
  1438. >Pulling out the latest Daring Do book.
  1439. >It keeps your interest for an hour or two, but boredom soon kicks in, and your gaze keeps drifting back to your favourite toy.
  1440. "I shouldn't, but..."
  1441. >Grabbing it, you bounce onto your cloud bed.
  1442. "One time couldn't hurt, right?"
  1444. ~~~
  1447. >"HEY ANONYMOUS? YOU HERE?" Soarin calls out, stirring you from sleep.
  1448. *Yawn*"Yeah, I'm here. what’s up? You get kicked out for hitting on the nurses?"
  1449. >He trots up the steps, and the moment his head is visible, you chuck your spider at him.
  1450. >"GAH! What the buck, that's not cool!" he exclaims, knocking the spider away.
  1451. >"I came here to see what you wanted to do with that favour, and ask where you put that poster. I looked all over down there and didn't see it."
  1452. "I keep it tucked away. I'd rather not have everyp0ny seeing what Spitfire wrote on it with her autograph."
  1453. >A spark appears in his eyes. "What did she write?" he asks, a small smile forming on his face.
  1454. "Nothing you need to worry about."
  1455. >"Tell me. Tell me or I won’t stop bugging you about it."
  1456. >You don't reply, so he huffs, and says, "Fine then, I'll find it myself."
  1457. >He starts flying around, searching all over.
  1458. >"Now... If I was a giant monkey thing, where would I hide my things..." he mutters, and you put your palm to your face.
  1459. "Soarin, what kind of limits are there on this favour?"
  1460. >Pausing in his search, Soarin looks over at you. "Not much. Nothing gay, nothing embarrassing for me, basic stuff like that."
  1461. "So using it to give a friend a tryout for the wonderbolts would be fine?"
  1462. >"You'd have to talk to Spitfire about it, but with her vote and mine, you should have no problem giving them a tryout."
  1463. >He heads for your bedroom, but you stop him by grabbing his tail
  1464. >"Ouch! What the buck, man?"
  1465. "You wanted me to use this favour soon, so we are going now."
  1466. >"Fine..."
  1467. >He heads downstairs, and you grab a bag of bits from your chest.
  1468. >"Hurry up, the next train leaves in less than an hour."
  1469. >Locking up shop, you follow the impatient stallion, stopping at Twilight's house.
  1470. >As you enter, Twilight calls out, "I'm sorry, we're closed today for re-shelving."
  1471. "Good thing I'm not here for a book then. I was wondering if you could lend me your balloon for about fifteen minutes and if you could cast a cloudwalking spell on me."
  1472. >Looking up from her list of books, she says, "Sure. The balloon's out back. Just give me a moment to get the spellbook."
  1473. >Half a dozen books fly off the shelves, and she skims through them until she finds the right one.
  1474. >"Aha, here we go!" she exclaims before her horn glows.
  1475. >A wispy glow spreads over your feet, and Twilight lets out a sigh.
  1476. >"That should last for four days. Just make sure you are somewhere not on a cloud when it expires."
  1477. "Alright. Thanks, Twilight. If you ever need a hand, feel free to ask."
  1478. >She smiles and waves you off.
  1479. >The moment you step out, Soarin is in your face.
  1480. >"Dude, hurry, we don't have much time," he says, and you step aside.
  1481. "We have to get Dash first, since she is the one I want to have the tryout."
  1482. >"Whatever, let’s go."
  1483. >Climbing into the balloon, you work the levers and take it up.
  1484. >Soarin flies around the slow balloon, and after a moment shoots ahead and lands on the edge of Dash's cloud house.
  1485. >He stands there, tapping his hoof impatiently while the balloon flies over.
  1486. >When you finally reach the cloud, you tie off the balloon before stepping out.
  1487. >The clouds bounce spongily under your feet as you walk up to the door.
  1488. >There is no response as you knock on it, so you push it open and step inside.
  1489. >Soarin follows close behind, and just as you are about to call out, you hear a loud moan echo through the house.
  1490. >"Is she..." he starts, but before he can take off, you grab his back.
  1491. "Stay here. I'll go get her."
  1492. >"No way, man! You're already cockblocking me from Spitfire, you at least owe me this."
  1493. "If it matters so much, I'll talk to Spitfire about the threesome you want."
  1494. >"Fine, just make it quick."
  1495. >He sits down, and you head for the stairs to Dash's room.
  1496. "Hey Dash, finish up in there, the train leaves soon," you call through the door as you knock.
  1497. >She lets out a loud squeak, followed by a low moan, and you can assume she finished.
  1498. >"I'll... I'll be out in a moment," she calls back, her voice cracking.
  1499. >Turning around, you head back down the stairs and see Soarin, still waiting there.
  1500. >"So... are we going to miss the train?"
  1501. "Nah, she'll be down in a moment."
  1502. >True to her word, she comes down the stairs, blushing madly.
  1503. >"So... Ready to go?"
  1504. "Yeah, I just need to return Twilight's balloon. You two go on ahead, I'll meet you there."
  1505. >As you climb into the balloon, Dash climbs in beside you, her bag in tow.
  1506. >"I'm not being left alone with that guy after..."
  1507. "Fair enough."
  1508. >The balloon floats back down to Twilight's Library, and you anchor it.
  1509. "Do you think you can run?" you ask Dash, whose confident nod ruffles her namesake mane.
  1510. >"I've gotten over your medicine, and I'm raring to go."
  1511. "Good, because the train leaves in like fifteen minutes and we still have to get tickets."
  1512. >She grabs her bag and takes off towards the train station, leaving you to catch up.
  1513. >With only minutes to spare, you arrive and pay for your's and Rainbow's tickets.
  1514. >Soarin's influence gets him first class, of course, but apparently so does Rainbow's influence.
  1515. >And thankfully, since you are buying her ticket, you get first class as well.
  1516. >You and Rainbow file into your private car, flopping onto the benches.
  1517. >You could hardly call them benches though, more like red velvet covered couches.
  1518. >"So... About earlier..."
  1519. "No need to say anything. I won't talk about it to anyone."
  1520. >A warm smile lights up her face, and your smile mirrors it.
  1521. >"Thanks."
  1522. >For a while, the ceiling seems to be the most interesting thing, since you and Rainbow simply lie there, staring at it.
  1523. >It loses the attention when Dash turns to you and asks, "So, what's the story behind you and Spitfire?"
  1524. "There isn't one. Or at least, not one in the sense you’re thinking."
  1525. "While I was in Canterlot when I first got here, Celestia felt it would be best if I joined her and Luna at some public events to get used to seeing ponies everywhere."
  1526. "I think it was for the opposite reason though, to instead get ponies used to seeing me."
  1527. "Anyways, the first event she took me to was a Wonderbolts show."
  1528. >"Lucky. Did you get box seats or something?"
  1529. "No. In fact, I got some of the worst seats in the stadium. Celestia said she didn't want to spoil me, and honestly, I'm thankful for it."
  1530. >"Wait wait wait," Dash says with a wave of her hooves "When was this?"
  1531. "Let’s see..." Pondering a while, you try to remember the date, but come up blank.
  1532. "I can't remember the day, but it was about four months and two weeks ago, give or take a few days."
  1533. >*GASP* "But that's when they had that accident."
  1534. >The door to the car opens, and Soarin walks in. "That it is."
  1535. "Yeah, and it was my fault, but not intentionally."
  1536. >"You have to imagine how weird it was, seeing a giant monkey thing in the stands mid routine, and well..."
  1537. "Everything went to shit. The reason I was glad I got the low seat was because if I wasn't there, Spitfire would have crashed into the ground, not my chest."
  1538. >"You can imagine how flustered she was, crashing into him. It's part of why she's got a crush on him."
  1539. >Dash's face is marred by shock and confusion, and she says, "So you saved her, but you also caused her to crash..."
  1540. >Nose scrunching up, she starts thinking hard while you pull yourself up to a sitting position.
  1541. "Don't worry too hard about it, Dash; it's all in the past."
  1542. >There's a faint crackling before the intercom turns on
  1543. >*DING*"Next Stop, Canterlot Station."
  1544. >The train begins its slow deceleration while the three of you prepare for departure.
  1545. >"I'm going on ahead, see if I can't calm down Spits. Man, is she gonna be pissed about this."
  1546. >He takes off the moment he get off the platform, while you and Dash take a moment.
  1547. "Is that even safe? I mean, he just got hit by lightning, and I just realised he has been flying around."
  1548. >"It’s fine. The lightning bolts are carefully calibrated so there are no lasting effects."
  1549. >Giving your head a shake, you sigh.
  1550. "I keep forgetting about you ponies and your weather control. Sure, it's convenient, but it's not natural."
  1551. >"Well, I think we gave him enough of a head start to get chewed out. Ready to go?"
  1553. ~~~
  1555. >Oh, Spitfire is pissed...
  1556. >You can hear her through the door.
  1557. >From the moment you got back, she knew, and she's waiting for you in your room.
  1558. >Normally, this would be a dream come true, but when she's pissed...
  1559. >The door lets out a loud creak as you push it open, and Spitfire spins to face you.
  1561. "I just..."
  1563. "No, I was..."
  1565. "Will you just listen to me?!" you snap back.
  1566. "I was visiting Anonymous in Ponyville when I got hit by lightning from a faulty cloud."
  1567. >Her rage dissipates somewhat, but surges back
  1569. "He's coming here. In fact, he should be here any moment."
  1570. >"WHAT?!"
  1571. >She suddenly starts running around, before shooting to your mirror, trying to straighten her mane.
  1572. >"Ahh, is my hair good? Do my wings need preening? Ugh, this is all your fault, you idiot."
  1573. >Looping around you and out the door, Spitfire shoots off to her own room, and you let out a sigh.
  1574. "Phew... That could have gone worse."
  1575. >"AND DON'T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU!" Spitfire yells out, her head poking in the doorway.
  1576. "Buck..."
  1578. ~~~
  1580. >You and Dash sit and wait in the Wonderbolts Stadium and Training Facility front lobby, while you wait for Soarin to deal with things.
  1581. >Or you wait, at least. Dash is too busy ogling all the signed Wonderbolts suits and photos.
  1582. >"Hey Anon, did you know Spitfire is the first female captain in almost fifty years? Most of the time it's given to a guy, just because of the whole gender imbalance, but Spitfire proved she has the skills to be the captain."
  1583. >"That's right. Hey, you're the kid from the Young Flier’s competition. Rainbow Dash, right?"
  1584. >Spitfire trots into the room, her mane smoothed out and hanging down.
  1585. >She gives you a subtle wink, before saying, "So, what brings you out here, Anonymous?"
  1586. "A couple things. Soarin owes me a favour, I have a promise I made to him, stuff like that."
  1587. >"Oh, what kind of favour does he owe you?"
  1588. "Do you think we could discuss this in private? I'd rather keep it from getting out prematurely."
  1589. >"Of course! We can talk in my office."
  1590. >Turning, she leads you through a door, her flank and tail swaying as she walks.
  1591. >It reminds you of home, and the way girl’s hips would sway as they walk.
  1592. >"You like what you see?" she asks, looking over her shoulder and giving you a sway.
  1593. "Sorry, I got lost in thought. Just thought of home..."
  1594. >A flicker of disappointment crosses her face, but she keeps smiling and turns back.
  1595. >"We're here. After you," she holds the door open and you duck under.
  1596. "Thanks." Taking a seat, you wait till she has as well before speaking again. "So, would you rather talk business or pleasure first?"
  1597. >"Pleasure!" she responds excitedly, before coughing and replying with a more serious tone.
  1598. >"Pleasure, please. Business can wait."
  1599. "Would you consider a threesome?"
  1600. >"YES! Wait, with who? Rainbow Dash?"
  1601. "Soarin."
  1602. >This was obviously not what she expected, and her nose scrunches up.
  1603. "He was going to try and get lucky by walking in on Dash while she was masturbating, and I made him stop, but I had to promise to try and convince you to consider it."
  1604. >"I'd rather not, but if it's with you, I would put serious thought into it."
  1605. "I know how you feel. I'd rather not share my partners, but I don't mind being shared, if they don't mind."
  1606. >You feel her gaze focus intently on you, but not with malicious intent.
  1607. >"You have a herd?"
  1608. "A what?"
  1609. >"A herd, you know, one stallion with multiple mares?"
  1610. "Ah, you mean a harem. No, I'm not involved with anyone right now."
  1611. >Her somewhat neutral look turns to a smile and she stifles a small giggle.
  1612. >"Well, you know I'm interested. But all that besides, what manner of business do you have with me?"
  1613. "I helped out Soarin when he got hit by lightning, so he owes me one, and since there was nothing I could do with it, I figured I'd use it for a friend."
  1614. >"And you need two senior’s votes to give somep0ny a tryout out of season."
  1615. "That's what I was told, yes."
  1616. >"Well, I can't see a reason not to give her a chance..."
  1617. "Thanks."
  1618. >"...But I think you need to make it worthwhile for me. Something nop0ny could give me."
  1619. "Hmmmm, give me a few minutes to think, and I'll come up with something."
  1620. >As you step out of her office, she calls out in a sing-song voice, "I'll be waiting."
  1621. >'Something nop0ny could give...'
  1622. >A few things come to mind as you wander the halls, predominantly the thing she wants from you. Sex.
  1623. >Other things that come up are a tattoo, some of your own art, or one of the few things that came with you from Earth.
  1624. >Passing through the main lobby, Dash flutters over beside you, pulling you from your thoughts.
  1625. >"So, what's up? Am I getting a tryout?"
  1626. "If I can think of something only I could give her, yeah..."
  1627. >"Well, why don't you rut her? She wants it, and it’s something only you could do, being the only human in Equestria."
  1628. "That was my first thought, but I'm not ready to go that far with a pony yet."
  1629. >"Why not? Didn't you say yourself that there were no other humans here, and there likely wouldn't be any more?"
  1630. >You look down solemnly. Despite knowing this for some time, it still weighs heavily on you.
  1631. >Perhaps sensing your mood, Dash almost immediately says, "Sorry, I forgot that's still a rough topic with you."
  1632. >Reaching over, you ruffle her mane, much to her indignance.
  1633. "That's fine, Dash. I'm pretty well over it. Besides, you ponies are a lot nicer than most humans, not to mention cuter."
  1634. >"Ya think?" Spitfire says, floating into the room sideways, showing off her small but toned flank.
  1635. >"Back off a bit, Spitfire. He's not interested in relationships right now. He's still getting over the fact he's the only one of his kind in Equestria."
  1636. >Spits bites her lip, giving you a sultry gaze, before Dash intervenes.
  1637. >"Fine," she sulks, before smiling. "You know what, I'm willing to give you a shot, no strings attached, Rainbow. It takes some guts to stand up to the pony who would be your boss, especially at this stage."
  1638. >"YES!" Dash exclaims, pumping a hoof in the air.
  1639. "So I guess I'm not needed here now," you say, heading for the door.
  1640. >Two pairs of hooves grab your shoulders, stopping you in your tracks.
  1641. >"Come on, aren't you going to watch my tryout?" Dash asks, moving around one side.
  1642. >"Yeah, I'd love to have you join me and the other judges while she performs," Spitfire adds in, coming around the other side.
  1643. "Sure, I have nothing else to do."
  1644. >The two of them cheer, before Spitfire starts ushering Dash away, giving her flank the occasional wiggle for you.
  1645. >Taking a seat, you wait for Spitfire or one of the other judges to come and get you.
  1646. >It's not long before Soarin comes, looking both excited and nervous.
  1647. >"So... Uh, how'd it go?"
  1648. "Dash is getting a tryout. Spitfire is preparing her now, I think."
  1649. >"Ugh, that's not what I want to know. Is she willing to have a threesome?"
  1650. "She said she would give it serious consideration, but only because it was me."
  1651. >His sigh sends a twinge to your heart. "Yeah, I thought as much..."
  1652. >Reaching out, you give him a light jab on his uninjured shoulder.
  1653. "Look, I'm no expert, but try taking your time. It's always hard to go from being friends to something more, and even more-so when you work together, but if you work at it in a more appropriate fashion, she may warm up to you."
  1654. >"Mmmmn... Maybe... I guess nothing will happen if I give up, so I just gotta keep trying."
  1655. >"Anyways, I'm supposed to take you to the training field where the try-out is occurring."
  1656. >The walk is silent and short before the two of you come out into a large oval field.
  1657. >"Hey, Anon, over here!" Dash calls out, and you see her wearing a flight suit.
  1658. >A force starts pulling on your arm, and you see Spitfire dragging you over to a cluster of cushions.
  1659. >"We watch from here. The others will be here soon."
  1660. >Several cushions have been lined up for you, and you lie down on them, observing the lightly cloudy blue sky.
  1661. >Somep0ny snuggles up to your side, and their scent tells you it's Spitfire.
  1662. >"Hey, I thought I told you to ease up on him!" Dash calls out.
  1663. >"I'm not bothering him, right Anonymous?"
  1664. "I guess not. I'm more interested in getting this over with and heading back to Ponyville."
  1665. >Before either of them say anything more, a door opens and the other Wonderbolts come out.
  1666. >With a faint sigh, Spitfire hops up and addresses them all.
  1667. >"I called you today because we have a tryout out of season."
  1668. >"This is because somep0ny..." she glares at Soarin "...went and got himself struck by lightning while away on an unauthorized trip."
  1669. >"As a result of it, he owed Anonymous here a favour, and he used it, along with my permission, to get Rainbow Dash an out of season tryout."
  1670. >Murmurs start amongst the Wonderbolts, but Spitfire silences them with a word.
  1671. >"Now, just because this is out of season doesn't mean we’ll definitely take her on. Treat this like we need a role filled and we’re looking for a replacement."
  1672. >After a look over at Soarin and his bound shoulder, she continues, "And we may need a replacement anyways, or at least a temporary one until that idiot gets the go ahead from our doctor."
  1673. >Soarin winces, and the Wonderbolts all take a cushion.
  1674. >"You ready, Dash?" Spitfire booms out, and you can see Dash nod.
  1675. >"Alright then, start when you want."
  1676. >Returning to the cushion against your side, Spitfire lays down, looking up.
  1677. >Silence permeates the air in the moments before Dash takes off straight up.
  1678. >The dark blue flight suit makes her easier to trace in the air, and she begins her routine.
  1679. >Loops, dives, sharp banks, and insane spirals... She goes all out to impress them.
  1680. >She starts orbiting around a cloud, picking up speed and slowly making it condense and squeeze upward.
  1681. >Without slowing, her body curves up and shoots straight down through the cloud, bursting it in an impressive display of speed and control.
  1682. >Others seem to agree, judging by the whispered comments you’re hearing.
  1683. >Curving back up, Dash quickly gains altitude, stopping when she is barely a small dot in your sight.
  1684. >The blue point that is Rainbow starts dropping, gaining speed at an alarming rate.
  1685. >A sonic bubble begins forming around her hooves when you spot a stray cloud drifting towards her path.
  1686. >You sit up suddenly, Spitfire rolling off of her position beside you, falling into the depression you left.
  1687. >Before you can call out, though, the bubble breaks, and Dash shoots through the sound barrier, accelerating downward and piercing into the cloud.
  1688. >Lightning crackles around her as she comes out the bottom side, and at the same moment, your mind connects the dots.
  1690. >Bolts start shooting off, all in the direction of you and the Wonderbolts.
  1691. >Dash shoots for the far entrance, trying to put as much distance between herself and everyp0ny else, but the damage is done.
  1692. >Lightning rains down around you, nearly half the Wonderbolts taking direct hits.
  1693. >"Anon, get the medical kit while the rest of us get these guys to safety!" Spitfire calls, shoving you toward a door.
  1694. >A crackle followed by a boom sounds from overhead, and the cloud fires off one final bolt, straight at Spitfire.
  1695. >You can only watch as it hurtles at near supersonic speeds towards her, when you see Soarin dive in the way.
  1696. >It connects and goes off with a mighty peal, Soarin crumpling to the ground.
  1697. >"Go get the damn medical kit, Anon!" Spitfire yells, rushing to help Soarin.
  1698. >Bursting through the door, you scan the locker room and quickly find the kit.
  1699. >With barely a wasted breath, you grab the kit and dash back to the injured ponies.
  1700. >A lot of the struck ponies are stirring, and you slide to a stop, pulling the kit open and digging out pain pills.
  1701. >"Damn it Soarin, wake up!"
  1702. >Spitfire pushes against Soarin’s chest, and you make your way over.
  1703. >Fingers pressed to his throat, you can feel a pulse, but it's quite a bit weaker than normal.
  1704. "He's alive, don't worry."
  1705. >"That damn... He's a bucking idiot..." she  says, leaning against your side and trying not to cry.
  1706. >"H...hey, I heard that..."
  1707. >Soarin gives a weak, but cocky grin, and Spitfire tries to glare at him.
  1708. >It doesn't hold up, and she gives him a soft hug.
  1709. >"Thanks, I guess I owe you one now."
  1710. >"So... about that threesome?"
  1711. >Spitfire lightly punches him in the side. "Don't push your luck, buddy."
  1712. "If you guys can handle this, I have to help Dash."
  1713. >"Go."
  1714. >Grass and dirt fly behind you as you run across the field, heading for the door Dash entered.
  1715. >Wandering the halls, you find no sign of Dash, until you hear a faint sobbing.
  1716. >As you knock on the door, the crying stops.
  1717. >"Go away before I hurt you too..."
  1718. "Dash, it’s not your fault. Actually, it's mine."
  1719. >She turns her slightly puffy magenta eyes on you.
  1720. >"What do you *sniffle* mean?"
  1721. "The tattoo I gave you. After the first incident with Soarin, I should have realized."
  1722. "It’s true the tattoo was of the Wonderbolts logo, but it must have reacted with the original mark."
  1723. >"So... It made my talent zapping Wonderbolts with lightning?"
  1724. "Unfortunately. Thankfully, with a little help, I should be able to remove the tattoo."
  1725. >A small smile forms, and she climbs to her hooves.
  1726. >"I'm just sorry I wasted your favour..."
  1727. >"It's not as wasted as you might think," a smooth voice from behind you says.
  1728. >Leaning against the doorframe, Spitfire smiles at the two of you.
  1729. >"I heard what Anon said, and I'll make sure the others don't hold it against you when we decide."
  1730. >
  1731. "Thanks Spitfire. Let's see if we can meet Celestia. I'm sure she will be able to help."
  1732. >"Go ahead, we can handle everything here," Spitfire adds, and with a deep breath, Dash nods and stands.
  1733. >Spitfire points down a hallway, saying, "The main entrance is down that way. We'll tell you how you did when everyp0ne is fine."
  1734. >With a faint cringe, Dash nods, and the two of you head down the hall.
  1735. >Back out in the streets of Canterlot, you work on figuring the best way to get to the castle.
  1736. >"Ummm... thanks for doing all this for me, Anonymous. It's been nothing but problems for you, ever since I got this tattoo."
  1737. "Not a problem, Dash. I'm glad it was you, though; other ponies might not have been tough enough to handle everything that happened."
  1738. >This makes her smile, and you look up to the castle.
  1739. "Now, how should we go about getting there?"
  1740. >"I dunno. Maybe we should just walk in the front door?"
  1741. "Couldn't hurt."
  1742. >The walk to the castle is long, and the day is already running out, so you and Dash grab food from a stall on your way.
  1743. >Several guards recognize you, and even more recognize Rainbow as you walk through the main gates.
  1744. >Shining Armor personally meets you in the main foyer, and he escorts you to where you are currently waiting for Celestia.
  1745. >"I hope she can fix this..." Dash mutters while you smile
  1746. "I can fix it if I have the tools, though I think we will use a magic based method, since it's probably safer."
  1747. >Her face creases in concern. "It's unsafe removing a tattoo?"
  1748. "It can be, but it's not life threatening or anything. The worst that can happen is a serious burn in most cases."
  1749. >There is a knock at the door, followed by a pause before Celestia walks in.
  1750. >"Anonymous, Rainbow Dash, it is good to see you. What brings you here so late at night?"
  1751. >She takes a seat facing you and Dash, before her smile shifts into a small frown.
  1752. >"Something is wrong. Did the tattoo fail?"
  1753. "Not exactly. I would say it was a success, but a poorly thought out one."
  1754. >Dash turns to the side, revealing her tattooed cutie mark.
  1755. >"It seems fine, but it has a major problem," Dash sighs, "The tattoo and cutie mark both affect each other."
  1756. >Celestia tilts her head, "Affects each other how?"
  1757. "Her talent is now zapping Wonderbolts with lightning."
  1758. >A hoof lifts to cover Celestia's mouth. "How did you figure it out?"
  1759. >"I ummm... I accidentally zapped at least half of the Wonderbolts."
  1760. >Rainbow looks at the ground, embarrassed, until Celestia starts chuckling.
  1761. >"That is certainly a unique way to discover your talent. Am I to assume you have a way to fix this Anonymous?"
  1762. "I will need some help from you or another powerful unicorn, but yes, humans know how to remove tattoos."
  1763. >"What do I need to do?"
  1764. ~~~
  1765. "Are you sure this is safe Anonymous? Such magic is dangerous, and unused at that frequency except for slow tortures."
  1766. >"You torture ponies?" he asks, and you feel a moment of embarrassment.
  1767. "Not for a century or more. Now, can you explain how this works?"
  1768. >"It wouldn't make much sense in human terms, but essentially a certain frequency of light will burst the ink containing cells, separating them, and the tattoo can be removed."
  1769. "That sounds... painful."
  1770. >"A lot of human things are painful, but we also have an old saying: No pain, no gain."
  1771. "Isn't that kind of stupid? No offense."
  1772. >"None taken. Humans just have a history of stupid acts, though many of them have led inadvertently to important inventions."
  1773. >Dash sits up from where she was relaxing before exclaiming, "Hey! Are we gonna make me safe around the Wonderbolts or not?"
  1774. >With a sigh, Anon preps a medical needle, while you focus on achieving the required frequency of light.
  1775. "I'm ready," you say while lowering your head.
  1776. >His hands take hold of your face, triggering a moment of panic.
  1777. >"I promise I won’t do anything. So long as you remain still, there will be no problems."
  1778. >With a nervous nod, you motion him to start.
  1779. >Eyes closed, you let Anon’s soft, strong hands guide your head and horn, waves of high intensity light being emitted from it.
  1780. >Fifteen minutes later, you hear Anonymous say, "Alright, you can stop for now."
  1781. >The magic peters out, and you open your eyes.
  1782. "That might be a problem..." you say, looking over the work Anonymous has done.
  1783. >Her entire cutie mark, cloud and all, has been erased.
  1784. >"I know. I had to erase the whole thing, though; it wouldn't have looked right had I only erased the logo."
  1785. >Pursing your lips, you consider every possible outcome.
  1786. >'She's probably going to be angry, but if this is the only possible way to make her safe, she will accept it.'
  1787. >'But what will happen after?'
  1788. >'Will her original talent remain? Will her cutie mark come back on its own?'
  1789. >'Is her talent going to be the same if Anon has to tattoo on her cutie mark?'
  1790. >"Hey, Celestia? Are you alright?" Anonymous asks, leaning over to look at you.
  1791. "Yes, I'm fine. I was just thinking of how we should proceed."
  1792. >"We need to erase the other side. If we don't, nothing will have changed, and she will remain a danger to a number of ponies."
  1793. >You can't help but wince a little.
  1794. >Anything that poses a threat to your ponies must be handled, but when the threat is a pony, it's always hard.
  1795. "Alright. Just let me have a moment to prepare."
  1796. >'Deep, slow, relaxing breaths, Tia. This is for the good of your ponies.'
  1797. >Starting up the spells, you allow Anonymous to take control again, and you focus solely on maintaining the spell.
  1798. >While he works, one of Anon's fingers starts idly rubbing the cheek it's holding, making you blush a faint pink.
  1799. >"Almost there... Done!" he exclaims, releasing you and wiping away the loose ink on Rainbow's flank.
  1800. >Rainbow Dash's flank is a smooth and clean as a newborn filly's, but you can't help but feel bad.
  1801. "Anonymous, alert one of the guards that you will be staying the night. Allow me to take care of Rainbow Dash."
  1802. >"As you wish Princess. Good night."
  1803. "And to you as well."
  1804. >He leaves, and you turn to Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty and one of the most important ponies in your kingdom.
  1805. >Gently petting her mane with a hoof, you hum to her, a song you remember from when you were young.
  1806. "Everything will be alright Rainbow, I promise you."
  1807. >Teleporting in a book, you begin reading, waiting for the medicine to run its course.
  1808. >While you wait, Luna visits you for a time, before she has to start her night time business.
  1809. >An hour and a quarter after Anonymous left, you hear Rainbow begin to stir.
  1810. >Setting your book aside, you turn and help her sit up.
  1811. "How do you feel Rainbow?"
  1812. >"Ugh, tired, but besides that, fine."
  1813. >"Is... Is everything better?"
  1814. "It's fixed, but in doing so, it raised another problem, but one far less serious."
  1820. Rainbow Dash trying to get her cutie mark back, the Wonderbolts Decision, Zecoras speech is actually part of an old Zebra curse and she thinks Anon can break it.
  1824. >It's been almost an entire day since you removed Rainbow Dash's cutie mark, and you have seen neither hide nor hair of her since you left last night.
  1825. >Celestia assured you she was fine, and that she only wanted some time to think.
  1826. >An appointment back in Ponyville means you can't stay in Canterlot, and Celestia sees no reason for you to stay.
  1827. >At the train station, you wave goodbye to Celestia and Luna, who came to see you off.
  1828. >After a long, boring train ride home, you stop around town, checking on a few of your prior tattoo customers.
  1829. >Carrot Top, Mayor Mare and all the others report no changes, leaving you to check your final Ponyville customer.
  1830. >Opening the door to Sugarcube corner, you pass by a few ponies on their way out as you make your way to the counter.
  1831. >Behind it, the vivid pink haired, owner greets you.
  1832. >"Good afternoon, Anonymous. What can I get for you?"
  1833. "How about something good for dessert, and do you think you could tell me where Pinkie is?"
  1834. >"She's out and about. Today's one of her days off. Sorry, I couldn't be more help."
  1835. "That's okay. It's not an immediate concern," you say as she boxes a strudel.
  1836. >"I hope you find her, and that will be two bits for the dessert."
  1837. >Passing her the bits, you wave before heading off.
  1838. >'Now, where should I look for her?'
  1839. >Twilight's treebrary comes up as a good option, and you head over.
  1840. >Ducking under the low doorway, you look around for the lavender librarian.
  1841. >With her nowhere to be seen, you head over to the staircase and call up to her.
  1842. "Twilight! Are you here?"
  1843. >There is no response, not even Spike, which strikes you as odd.
  1844. >Just before heading out, you scan for a clock, since pony's haven't yet reached the point of making watches.
  1845. >With only half an hour left till your next customer's appointment, you have no more time to search for the elusive pink mare, or any of her friends.
  1846. >Thankfully, Ponyville is small, and you can make it home within five minutes, leaving plenty of time to prepare.
  1847. >Opening shop, you get a few moments to tidy up before you hear the bell above the door ring.
  1848. >Stepping behind the counter, you greet your customer.
  1849. "Hello Zecora, how are you doing today?"
  1850. >"For today, I am doing well. With your help, we may beat this spell."
  1851. "I don't quite understand. Do you mind explaining?"
  1852. >"From my birth, I suffered a curse, and every year, it grows ever worse."
  1853. >"This rhyming you see, is caused by it. If it stays much longer, I may throw a fit."
  1854. >"It has become an eternal pain. It makes me want to rip out my mane."
  1855. "You have quite a strong mind, I don't think I could stand rhyming that long."
  1856. >She gives a silent nod, along with a smile.
  1857. "So you think that a tattoo can solve it or even better, break the curse?"
  1858. >"That is indeed what I think. It's up to you and your magic ink."
  1859. >Motioning her around the back, you start pull over the tool and its tray.
  1860. "Do you have any ideas as to what might break the rhyme?"
  1861. >"To break it I have no clue. In this, I lay my trust in you."
  1862. >After helping her onto the chair, you start slowly walking around, thinking.
  1863. >'Rhyming... how to stop rhyming..."
  1864. >Thinking back to your grade 5 english lessons, one thing comes up.
  1865. >'AABBCC'
  1866. >'Man I hated poetry, but maybe...'
  1867. >'Now, how to stop that...'
  1868. >A couple things come to mind, but none fit, until...
  1869. "I think I have something. With an uncertain thing like this, there is no charge until you know it works for sure."
  1870. "One likely side effect will probably stop you from rhyming ever again, is this okay?"
  1871. >Zecora nods, "Enough rhyming I have done all my life, to never do so again, will cause no strife."
  1872. >Pulling out a syringe, you administer the medicine.
  1873. >Digging through your starting to dwindle ink supplies, you pull out a black cartridge and a red one.
  1874. >Pulling over your stool, you start looking over her patterns.
  1875. >Several places would work, but they would also make the tattoo stick out like a sore thumb.
  1876. >An ear twitch draws your attention to it, and you come up with an idea.
  1877. "They do it with horses and pets, it should work for her too."
  1878. >Picking a small needle, you move to her ear and start writing a vertical line of letters, AABBCC.
  1879. >Slowly it takes shape, since extra care is needed when working with such thin skin and flesh.
  1880. >As you finish with the black, you carefully wipe off the extra ink.
  1881. >A quick cleaning of the system later, and you load a red cartridge and a new needle.
  1882. >With an hour and a quarter left, it's a fairly simple process to make a red circle around the letters and a diagonal bar across the inner part of the circle and letters.
  1883. >Another cleaning, and you step back, looking at the ear.
  1884. >The red does stick out, but only when you are looking directly at it, and it is openly facing you.
  1885. >Picking her up, you carry her to the finishing room, where you lay her on a couch.
  1886. >Locking the door behind you, you start cleaning.
  1887. >Not five minutes later, you're finished, and you start digging out your inks, sorting them by colours.
  1888. >Several are running low, and you note them on a paper, so you can order them.
  1889. >There is a ring as the door opens, and you set your quill and paper aside.
  1890. >Making your way to the desk, you see Rainbow Dash, looking around.
  1891. "Hey Dash, how's it going?"
  1892. >She looks over at you, giving a small smile, "I've been okay. Sorry I didn't talk to you sooner, It's just..."
  1893. "I think I understand, losing what defines you." Taking a seat next to her, you ask, "So, any luck with getting your mark bacK? Or do you want to keep trying a while longer before you have me tattoo it on?"
  1894. >"No luck yet, but I'm not gonna give up."
  1895. "Hey, while you're here, if you're any good at drawing, do you want to make an image of your cutie mark? Just in case I do have to tattoo it back on."
  1896. >She snickers, before saying, "Sorry, but drawing isn’t something I’m amazing at; Twilight might be a better pony to ask."
  1897. >Nodding, your attention is caught by knocking from the back, and you turn to Rainbow.
  1898. "Sorry to step away, but I have to let Zecora out."
  1899. >"Not a problem. I'll still be here when you get back."
  1900. >Around the counter and down the back hall, you open the door, a smiling Zecora on the other side.
  1901. >She says nothing, walking past you and to the front.
  1902. "I'm guessing it's working?"
  1903. >"Your work, it seems, has done quite well, it has most certainly removed the curse."
  1904. >Despite your mind creating the rhyme, despite it not being what she said, you smile with her.
  1905. "Looks like it's working, though you seem to still have that sort of sentence structure from when you rhymed."
  1906. >"Wow, it's so strange hearing you talking and not rhyming, Zecora," Dash says, moving around, looking at her flanks, "Hey, where's the tattoo?"
  1907. >"That as well, I would like to know. Would you kindly be able to tell?"
  1908. >Reaching down, you gently grab her ear, and she gives a small wince.
  1909. "I didn't want to mess up the patterns on your coat, so I chose to make a small one in your ear."
  1910. >Dash peers into the ear you are holding, before saying, "Huh, that small little thing made it so she doesn't have to rhyme?"
  1911. "As far as we can tell, yeah."
  1912. >Zecora reaches up and pushes your hand away, saying "Would that we could stay like this, please release my ear so I can go home."
  1913. >Letting go, you quickly write up a bill for her, and you pass it over.
  1914. "Here's your bill, and I hope this continues to work."
  1915. >"As do I, my human friend. I will let you know, should something happen."
  1916. >She leaves, and Dash turns to you.
  1917. >"I should head out as well, only so much time to work on getting my cutie mark back."
  1918. "Alright. I'll see you later, and remember, the replacement is free."
  1919. >"Pfft, you think I can't get my mark back on my own?"
  1920. "No, I mean, I think you can get your mark back. I'm just reminding you that if by some occurrence you can't, I'm not going to charge or anything."
  1921. >Like Zecora, she heads out as well, leaving you alone for the rest of the day.
  1922. >Heading for the tattooing chair, you flop down and plan what to do for the day.
  1923. "Let me see... I need to see about getting more ink, I should probably get a sketch from Twilight as well."
  1924. >Your stomach lets out a small growl, and you add getting lunch to your list.
  1925. "I think thats all..."
  1926. >You are interrupted by a small crash outside, and you get up and rush to help.
  1927. >Pulling herself from a bush, the slightly clumsy grey mailmare turns to you with a smile on her face.
  1928. >"I have mail for you, mister Anonymous."
  1929. >Her snout digs inside her bag, before pulling out a letter, and she passes it to you.
  1930. "Thank you, miss Doo. Have a nice day."
  1931. >Without losing her smile, she nods and takes off, heading out to deliver more mail.
  1932. >Stowing the letter in a pocket, you head for Twilight's library.
  1935. Final part of the Rainbow Dash Arc.
  1937. >Sitting in the park apart from your freinds, you watch as your idol dives yet again.
  1938. >Like the last times, the sonic barrier forms in front of her hooves, and just as she is about to break it, it snaps her back, sending her tumbling into a cloud set up for safety.
  1939. >Also like the last times, she gets right back up, shakes out her wings, and takes off again.
  1940. >As she reaches the speed the barrier forms, you look away, unable to continue watching your idol suffer like this.
  1941. "Sweetie Belle, Applebloom, I have something I need to go do, so I'll see you later."
  1942. >"Ahlright Scootalooo, have fun."
  1943. >Waving goodbye, you head for the one place you know of that can fix this.
  1944. >Anonymous's shop.
  1945. >Through the streets you ride your scooter, reaching Anon's place in a matter of minutes.
  1946. "Closed... where could he be then...?"
  1947. >Puttering around through town, you look for Anon, wherever he may be.
  1948. >There's no sign of him in the market place, and you don't know any of his friends or where he hangs out.
  1949. >Realizing how big of a challenge you set out for yourself, a moments hesitation comes, but you quickly quell it.
  1950. "I can't give up, I'm doing this for Rainbow Dash!"
  1951. >A bunch of ponys on the street stare at you, but with your mind set, you take off on your quest to save Rainbow Dash.
  1952. >Blurring through the streets, your wings buzzing as fast as they will go as you search for the great monkey king who has the power to grant wishes.
  1953. >Or in this case, give special talents.
  1954. "Too many action movies, Scootaloo, your thinking like a crazy pony."
  1955. >Slowing down just a hair, you pull a tight turn around the corner, only to almost crash into Fluttershy.
  1956. "Sorry Miss Fluttershy, I didn't see you there."
  1957. >"No, it's okay, accidents happen."
  1958. "Hey, have you seen Anonymous around recently? I've been looking for him," you ask, looking at the timid mare.
  1959. >"Well, um... I was going to ask him something, but he was busy with Twilight, and then..."
  1960. "Twilight, got it. Thanks for the help."
  1961. >Taking off before she can say another word, you head straight for the library, where Twilight usually is.
  1962. >As you near it, you get some air off a small bump in the road, and fly your scooter through the open top half of the door.
  1963. >With practiced ease, you land inside without crashing into anything.
  1964. "Anonymous, I need your help!" you call out, before looking around.
  1965. >Several patrons stare at you, and Twilight says, "He left a few minutes ago. He said he had a quick stop at the post office before..."
  1966. "He's at the post office, huh. Better get a move on."
  1967. >Scooter on your back, you run and jump the door, pulling the scooter down into position and land perfectly on it, your momentum giving you tons of speed.
  1968. >In no time at all, you have arrived at your destination, but Anonymous is nowhere in sight.
  1969. "Darn, and I got here so fast too."
  1970. >Behind the counter, one of the mail ponys says, "The post office is still open for several more hours, there is no worry about being late."
  1971. "Sorry, I was looking for Anonymous, and I heard he was stopping by here, but I guess I missed him."
  1972. >"You're right, he left no more than two minutes ago. The thing is, he didn't mention where he was going. Sorry I can't be more help, good luck."
  1973. "That's okay, thanks anyways."
  1974. >Tiny wings flaring out, you take off along the road, scanning for any sign of Anonymous.
  1975. >All through town you search, but like icecream on a hot day, your hope melts quickly as you see no sign of him.
  1976. "Where could he be? I have to find him."
  1977. >The flower shop, Sugarcube Corner, the cafe; you search everywhere grown up ponies like to hang out, but still, he remains as elusive as ever.
  1978. >In a final guess, you head back to his house, your wings starting to grow tired from all this use.
  1979. >The sign out front is still on closed, but you can see a light on in the back.
  1980. >Pushing open the door, you struggle to pull your scooter in with you.
  1981. >"I'm sorry, I'm closed right now," Anonymous calls from the back.
  1982. "I'm not here for work, I need to talk to you," you pant out, slightly exhausted.
  1983. >"Scootaloo? What's up?"
  1984. >Setting your scooter aside, you walk into the back room.
  1985. >There, you find Anonymous cleaning his stuff, a small flame burning to the side.
  1986. >"So, what's up Scootaloo?"
  1987. "You know that tattoo you promised me? I want you to do it."
  1988. >"I can't, you're..."
  1989. "No, listen to me," you say, fluttering onto the counter, "You are going to do this."
  1990. >Poking him in the chest, you continue, "Rainbow Dash, she... she can't fly properly anymore."
  1991. >The thought of her brings tears to your eyes, and you keep pushing.
  1992. "You have to fix her, I can't stand..."
  1993. >Vision blurred, you don't see Anonymous reach up, until you feel his hand on your head.
  1994. >Rubbing your mane, he says, "It's okay, you don't have to do this..."
  1996. >"No, that's not what I..."
  1997. "Why not?" you ask, desperation starting to show through, "Do you hate her?"
  1998. >"Not at all, It's just..."
  1999. "Then why?"
  2000. >"Because she doesn't want me to."
  2001. "Huh? why not?" you ask, rubbing some of the tears from your eyes.
  2002. >"Let me tell you what happened..."
  2003. >For the next little while, you sit around, listening to Anon's story as he cleans and heats his tools.
  2004. >"And that's why she doesn't want me to tattoo her mark back on, even though I will do it for free."
  2005. >Contemplating what he has told you, you shake your head and try to make sense of everything.
  2006. "So... what should I do?"
  2007. >"My best guess would be to be there for her."
  2008. "But I was there for her. I was watching but she kept failing."
  2009. >He lets out a small chucke and says, "That's not quite what I mean. Come on, how about I show you."
  2010. >Hopping down from the counter, you follow him outside, making sure to grab your scooter along the way.
  2011. "So we're going to the park?"
  2012. >"Not quite. We have a few stops to make first."
  2013. >Together, you and Anonymous stop by several places, and you start to understand his plan.
  2014. >First, you pick up Twilight from the Library, followed by Rarity and Applejack.
  2015. >Sweetie Belle and Applebloom are still at the park, and Pinkie joins your group seemingly randomly.
  2016. >Besides some whispered words to each of the girls as he picks them up, Anonymous is silent the whole time.
  2017. >Fluttershy joins in, dragged over by Pinkie, and together, the lot of you head to the park.
  2018. >You can see Rainbow Dash, still trying hard, but she doesn't seem as into it.
  2019. >"Go on ahead girls, I'll be right behind you."
  2020. >Running ahead of the rest of them, you meet back up with your friends.
  2021. "Hey girls, you wanna come help me and your sisters and their friends help Rainbow get her Cutie Mark back?"
  2022. >"Sure, maybe we can be Cutie Mark Crusader, Cutie Mark Helpers"
  2023. >Applebloom giggles, before saying, "If that was our talents, it's a wonder we haven't gotten 'em yet."
  2024. "I think she's right, Sweetie, but we should still try and help. It is our job, after all."
  2025. >"Well then, lets go help Rainbow."
  2026. >The three of you chorus, "CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS, CUTIE MARK HELPERS!!!"
  2027. >Rejoining with the others, you all call out to Rainbow Dash.
  2028. >"You can do it Rainbow, we know you can!"
  2029. >Rainbow looks down at you all, and you can see her face light up.
  2030. "You're my hero, Dash! I believe in you!"
  2031. >Looking re-energized, Dash jumps off her cloud, flying straight upwards.
  2032. >When she is but a blue speck against the blue sky, you see her stop, and start into a dive.
  2033. >Her wings pump furiously, and the sound barrier soon forms in front of her.
  2034. >It bends as she pushes, shaping into an arrow around her.
  2035. >Even from here, you can see the strain on her face, and you fear she's going to fail again.
  2036. >There's a mighty snap, an explosion of colors, and Rainbow Dash rockets towards the ground, a rainbow trail streaking after her.
  2037. >Cheers reach your ears, and she spirals around before leaving a long rainbow arcing over Ponyville.
  2038. >Flying over, she's all smiles as she says, "Thank you, all of you. It really helped get me straight, and now I have my mark back."
  2039. "I knew you could do it!" you exclaim, running over and giving her a hug.
  2040. >"Well, it looks like I couldn't have done it without you or my friends, huh."
  2041. "It wasn't our idea, it Anons. He's right over..."
  2042. >Looking around, you see no sign of him, and all of Rainbow's friends smile.
  2043. >"What are ya talking about Scootaloo, he told us it was your idea ta help Rainbow."
  2044. >"That's right, darling. He said you wanted to do this with all your heart."
  2045. "But I didn't..."
  2046. >Rainbow Dash reaches down and picks you up in a hug.
  2047. >"Thanks, Scoots. It really means a lot to me."
  2048. >Being hugged by the pony you admire, you can't help but smile at her and hug back.
  2049. "You're welcome Dash."
  2050. >Everyp0ny rushes in for a big group hug, and you catch sight of Anonymous walking away.
  2051. "Hey, Anonymous!" you call out, squeezing from the hug.
  2052. >"Have fun Scoots!" he calls back, giving a wave.
  2053. >Hesitantly looking between the leaving form of Anonymous, and Rainbow and the others, you make your choice.
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