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Hope Rides Alone 3: Do Not Say This Is How It Has To Be

Mandroid Nov 18th, 2013 306 Never
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  1. -Hope Rides Alone  3: Do Not Say This Is How It Has To Be -
  2.  
  3. >You unfurl the bandage and wrap it around the pony leg in front of you.
  4. >He winces and instinctively tries to pull back, but stops himself.
  5. >"Thank you..."
  6. "It's nothing, it's the right thing to do. You can call me Anonymous, what's your name?"
  7. >He winces once more. "Time Turner. Resident clockmaker."
  8. "A quiet profession."
  9. >You finish wrapping and pat the bandage, the crimson blood underneath barely showing through the cloth.
  10. "There you go. All fixed. Do you feel better?"
  11. >He puts some weight on it and smiles. "Yeah, actually...I'm feeling fine now."
  12. >You smile back at him.
  13. "I'm glad. That was a nasty cut."
  14. >The stallion flexes his leg. "It was a nasty way I got it..."
  15. "What happened? Did you fall?"
  16. >He shakes his head. "There was a...fight at the watering hole down the road near the rock farm."
  17. "Oh my. Was it a large one?"
  18. >He shakes his head. "Not really...this pink mare just...snapped and started attacking everypony!" he exclaims. "It was all I could do to get out of there."
  19. >You feel your backpack rustle.
  20. "I see...well, thank you for the information my friend. Please feel better, Time Turner."
  21. >He smiles. "Thanks to you I think I will."
  22. >As the stallion trots off, you take your backpack off and open it, letting Spike pop out. He's got his hands on his face in worry
  23. "What's wrong, Spike?"
  24. >"The pink mare! I -know- her! That's Pinkie Pie!"
  25. "Is she a friend of yours?"
  26. >"Pinkie Pie is a friend of -everypony- Anonymous! She's the Element of Laughter!"
  27. >You nod.
  28. "Alright then, fasten yourself in."
  29. >Spike does as he's asked and closes the backpack. You throw it on your back again and start down the road.
  30. >Finding someone apparently pink would be easy in this dreary place...
  31.  
  32. >Your journey takes you further down the path into town, past the saloon where this fight apparently happened. Door wide open, ponies still sprawled out, no police at all.
  33. >You rush up to the door.
  34. "Is everyone okay in here?"
  35. >A chorus of moans is your only answer.
  36. >You set your pack down and spy Spike peeking out of it with wide eyes as you go help some patrons up.
  37. >Many of their wounds were superficial. Shallow and non-threatening but bloody and painful.
  38. "Is there a running hospital in this town?" you ask.
  39. >One older patron coughs. "Doc Holiday's is still open..."
  40. >You nod and put his foreleg over your shoulder.
  41. "Then we must get you all there. Come, lean on me."
  42. >The patron says nothing.
  43. "I'm Anonymous, what's your name?"
  44. >He coughs. "Royal Lace...
  45. "You're going to be alright, Royal Lace. All of you are."
  46. >You get Royal to the doctor's office and rush back to the bar, helping the other patrons there and learning what you could about them.
  47. >Over Ture loved cooking for her grandmother, Willt Blend was an inventor in his spare time, Muted Tone had a little brother.
  48. >For their sake and everyone else's, you hurried them along to the doctor and let them heal.
  49.  
  50. >Further along the path, you come up on a barn.
  51. "This is it?"
  52. >You feel your sack nod. "It's just like all her stories."
  53. >You walk around the structure and look out over the fields. According to Spike, they farmed...rocks here. Broke them down for the gemstones inside.
  54. >Straining your eyes, you see a blob of pink off in the center of the field.
  55. "There we are..."
  56. >You walk out into the center of the field, drawing closer to the figure the blob belonged to and making out details.
  57. >She, like Applejack and the rest of this world, was of muted color. Her hair hanging low over her face and covering one side.
  58. >As you near, she lashes out with a hoof and knocks a pile of rocks over violently.
  59. >"I can hear you walking, what do you want?" she says.
  60. >You pause for a moment, thinking about your responsibilities.
  61. >You set your backpack down and walk closer.
  62. >"Anonymous!" Spike whispers from it.
  63. "Just watch, stay hidden." you whisper back.
  64. >You get closer to Pinkie Pie.
  65. "Good day."
  66. >She huffs. "What's so good about it?"
  67. "Well it's not raining for one, that's always good."
  68. >She kicks a rock. "It won't last, it never does. Clouds roll in and make the day nasty sure as anything."
  69. "That's a negative attitude."
  70. >"That's life." she says.
  71. >You take a seat, folding your legs.
  72. "I disagree."
  73. >She turns and looks at you, face chipped out of the hardest stone and eyes small. "Hey! Who said you could sit on my dirt farm!?"
  74. >You hold your hands up.
  75. "I didn't mean to offend."
  76. >"Yeah well you -are-!" she shouts, snorting.
  77. "Why are you so angry?"
  78. >"I AM NOT ANGRY!" she screeches.
  79. >Yes. Clearly.
  80.  
  81. "You seem distressed."
  82. >She snorts and trots a few steps away from you. "What do -you- know?"
  83. "I know when someone needs help. What's wrong?"
  84. >"What's wrong? What's WRONG? What's wrong is that everyone is laughing!"
  85. >Wait a minute...
  86. "Aren't you the Element of Laughter?"
  87. >"They're laughing AT ME!" she shouts.
  88. "Is that why you hit them?"
  89. >She walks over and sticks her face in yours. "Have you ever been laughed at? Had everyone laughing at YOU instead of a funny joke or something you told?"
  90. "I know a funny joke, would you like to hear it? It may make you feel a bit better."
  91. >"Answer the question!"
  92. >You sigh
  93. "I have, yes. Everyone has, that's part of life."
  94. >"WELL IT'S NOT FAIR!" she screams. You actually flinch at that.
  95. >" When we leave home- When ALL of us leave home, we're told that the world is this great magical place where friendship solves everything! But ponies only want to be your friend if they can put you down and make themselves feel better!"
  96. >"So why shouldn't they feel as bad as I feel when they do it unless LIFE ISN'T FAIR!" Pinkie Pie shouts with tears in her eyes.
  97. >You sit silent for a brief moment.
  98. "You're right."
  99. >Pinkie Pie looks up. "Huh?"
  100. "You're right when you say we all leave home wanting to save the world. And sometimes we do."
  101. >You look out to the starless sky.
  102. "And...sometimes we don't. So we don't think about saving the world, we think about saving one person."
  103. >With your ring hand, you gently take up Pinkie's hoof. She doesn't fight you.
  104. "Because sometimes that's enough."
  105. >You meet Pinkie's still teary eyes.
  106. "All I know is that we have to try. That's what life is, we try. We push back against the darkness."
  107.  
  108. >Pinkie Pie sniffs. "B-but...how can we if we don't know? How can we push back if we don't know if the ponies we're pushing with aren't laughing at us?"
  109. "I've heard stories about you, Pinkie Pie, and people really -are- laughing with you, not at you. It's never as bad as it seems."
  110. >Pinkie looks you in the eye again.
  111. "You're so much stronger than you think you are." you smile. "Trust me."
  112. >Pinkie hangs her head sniffling again.
  113. "I had a friend like you...once."
  114. >You play with your ring.
  115. "She had one of these, like mine, except hers was...yellow. She was so scared Pinkie...and she let it consume her. And one day, she knew, without question, that she would never have another happy day again."
  116. "So I guess you could say she...clocked out early."
  117. >Pinkie covers her mouth.
  118. "I understood. I did not approve, and I still don't. But I understood. So if you honestly believe in your heart that you'll never have another happy day, tell me, and I will leave you here."
  119. >Pinkie shudders in front of you, tears flowing down her cheeks. [spoiler][/spoiler] "But if you think there's even the smallest -chance-..., I still have that joke."
  120. >Pinkie looks about ready to break down when she nods.
  121. "Okay...knock knock."
  122. >"Wh-who's there?" she replies.
  123. "To."
  124. >"T-t-to wh-who?"
  125. >You stop her and raise a single finger.
  126. "To -whom-."
  127. >The field is silent as that sinks in, Pinkie Pie's eyes darting around wrapping her head around the joke.
  128. >Until-
  129. >"Hope detected."
  130.  
  131. >"Aha. Ahaha. Ahahah. EhehehehahahHAHHAHAHAHAHAHEHEHAHAHAHA!"
  132. >Tears roll down Pinkie's face now. Not out of sadness, but mirth as she rolls around on the ground laughing.
  133. >"BWAAHHAHAHAHEHEHEHAHAHAHAHAHOHOHOHOHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  134. >As Pinkie has her giggling fit, her muted color vanishes, bringing her to a loud popping pink against the grey of the world.
  135. >"T-TO -WHOM-! I GET IT! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  136. >She rights herself and her hair goes from straight and down to poofy and sticking up with an audible "Sproing!"
  137. >Pinkie wipes a tear from her eye and grins wide. "Goo-good one, guy!"
  138. >You smile back to her.
  139. "I'm glad you liked it."
  140. >"Liked it? I LOVED it!"
  141. >She zips over and wraps her hooves around your in a hug. "I haven't felt this good in forever!"
  142. >You chuckle and pat her on the back.
  143. "...Pinkie, can I ask you a favor?"
  144. >"Oh! Oh! I love favors! What do you need? I can do anything!"
  145. >You smile and look her in the eye.
  146. "I've seen the frightened people in this kingdom. There's an evil that holds them here, but they won't try breaking it's grasp. Can you travel around and remind them what it means to be happy? With songs or jokes or just listening to them, can you make this place better again?"
  147. >Pinkie salutes with her hoof. "You can count on me General...uh...OHMIGOSH! I didn't learn my new friend's name!"
  148. >You chuckle and get to your feet, walking back to Spike-in-a-bag.
  149. "My name doesn't matter, call me anything."
  150. >You scoop up Spike and throw him on your back.
  151. >"Anonymous!" he whispers.
  152. "Yes?"
  153. >"Tha-that was -AMAZING-! How'd you do that!?"
  154. "I just listened, Spike. It was simple, really."
  155. >"...Really?" the boy asks.
  156. "Of course."
  157. >You turn around and wave to Pinkie, glad to see a grin on her face.
  158. "Everyone likes to smile."
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