Pony POV Series
Dark World Part 12
"It's time to get moving
And time to get going
It's going to be great
Hurry best not be late
Dinky this is the day
We fly away
To Somewhere new
We'll see it together
Me and you
We will go there together
New places can be
A little bit scary
Will it turn out okay?
I'm wishing and hoping
That we know what we're doing
But we won't lose our way
We're flying, don't you love the view?
In my heart I can see a sky that's blue!
We're heading to you-knows-where
As soon as we get there,
We'll find our own wishing star!"
(Leave the singing to the seaponies!)
HA HA! I doubt that's happening!
(An Element of Loyalty that sings. Oh yes. You have truly chosen so wisely, Twilight.)
What I never got before was that the Elements have different ways to express themselves. See myself and my friends, I get there are more than one way for the same pony to say 'I love you my friend.' And none of them have to be worse than the other.
I would if I could. Singing keeps the spirits up, ponies have always loved to sing. Cadence knows she deserves it.
"Coming in for a landing!" Spike shouted as he made an amazingly smooth landing a mile or two outside Sweet Rock Acres. Hate to say it, but being Discord's mount for a thousand years or so had made him a capable flyer.
AJ looked in awe. When was the last time she was this close? "Ah still can't believe we went from farmin' apples to farmin' rocks."
"The Pies considered it a proud and honorable profession," Rarity said honestly.
"Ah didn't mean that mean-like! Ah'm just surprised that's all."
"It's all about what you can grow and where," Rarity said, "You're a farmer, you know this better than me. Rock farming really boomed from a niche market into the mainstream following the day of chaos."
"That is one thing I won't complain about," Spike said, thinking of all the tasty gems likely inside those boulders. A family of rocks on the very edge of the farm fields saw Spike, gave up, and promptly left for somewhere else to live.
"Oh, and watch out for any pony eating rocks, I think they drove them all off when I was here before but better safe than sorry," I warned. "Oh Rarity, didn't you have one of those for a pet for awhile?"
"Yes, until Angry Pie thought it laughed at her. You worry too much, remember when that dragon tore Fluttercruel to pieces, and ate her, then she regenerated inside him and ... cut her way out."
My lecture instincts took over, "Actually, she cut his internal organs to shreds except his brain, THEN cut her way out, then sat and watched him -while sipping a soda- until he died... begging for death," I finished on a whisper.
"Don't talk about that around Dinky!" Derpy chastised me.
Rarigreed looked slightly shocked. My stomach filled with ice.
"I'm sorry Derpy." I felt ashamed. We had been so casual about death and violence for nearly a thousand years, hearing Derpy say it was wrong to talk about it in front of her foal was a slap to the face. It felt a little bit alien to suddenly have these things not be idle chat material. In fact...it made me a little sick. "Dear Cadence...have we really become that desensitized..." I suddenly felt so unclean... A thousand years ago what I had just said would have made us all faint or throw up...now it was casual conversation.
Applejack put a hoof on my shoulder. "..." I could tell she was seriously considering telling me a kind lie.
"We have..." Rarity said honestly. "And that's an ugly thing, but we have to accept it."
I nodded. "And hope the world gets better so no one else has to be."
"Can we please change the subject?"
"Yes Derpy, lets."
Derpy guarded Dinky like she was made of glass rather than wheat, her wings folded into a protective tent around her on her back. I can't blame her.
"This is Sweet Apple Acres now?" Derpy asked looking two ways at once.
"Sweet Rock Acres now," I said, "Don't worry, the ponies are very friendly. You'll see. The Pie and Apple hospitality is the one thing that hasn't changed in a thousand years."
"Twilight," Spike said, "I don't mean to be a bust, why are we here? There are plenty of other places we could have stopped."
"Ah made a promise to look after Applebloom's family, and Ah'm keepin' it now the way AH should have," AJ said.
Spike's eyes widened, "You're staying here?"
"Nope! Not yet! We still have a world to save remember?"
"Twilight," Derpy asked sounding nervous, "You-you said we-we were going somewhere to help Dinky."
"And we are. Right here. My magic can't undo Discord's magic, or else I would've freed the Princesses as soon as I was. But the Elements of Harmony can! Or Discord wouldn't have removed the jewelry as a threat! But it won't work without all Six and we got two to go."
"So, Pinkie Pie and Flutteshy are here?"
" . . . No Derpy, they aren't. Derpy, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie as they are now can't use the Elements. But I know somepony who can! Our Element of Laughter is right here in Sweet Rock Acres."
"You mean Apple Pie don't you?" AJ asked.
"Like duh!" I laughed. Only friends could say that smiling and get a smile back! We trust each other not to be saying it antagonistically! "If she can laugh at Discord jokes and crack my shell in a day, then she's Laughter already!"
"So we're replacing Pinkie Pie too?" Spike looked at me with big sad dejected eyes.
"It's not replacement Spike! This is to help them as much as us and everypony else! It's not like we're expecting Apple Pie to start throwing parties and play pranks! We'll find a way to get through to Pinkie and Fluttershy."
"Ah'm not sayin' yer givin' up on Pinkie Twili', but Apple Pie's a little filly, and ya saw what she saw in Ponyville. Hasn't she been through enough? What kind of monsters are we if we're draggin' a filly into a fight against Discord?"
AJ's voice, it wasn't angry or cold it was, pleading.
"AJ. I've spoken to her. I've been with her. She's spent most of her life in mortal danger just like all her family. These ponies are the result of having lived and survived in a world run by the mad chaos god! They're either impossibly lucky or near indestructible! Pony Eating Rocks ran away from the fillies! And it's not like I'm drafting her. We're going to ask her."
"A little filly on a big dang adventure not knowin' she could die. Twili' we can't use her like that."
"AJ. Apple Pie knows what death is, its been her family's constant companion since she was born. Believe me, I know tragedy, and she's someone who can get through it with a smile on her face. She knows the risk. She knows what she'll be getting into if she says yes."
"Ah guess if she can help and we don't let her know that, it would be kinda cruel. But won't it be cruel to her family to force another grave on them?"
"She knows how to take care of herself. She's as indestructible as one of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. And her family is ready to accept loss. I know that's cruel to say but it's true. And we aren't using her. We're going to be watching her back the same way she'll be watching ours."
(Foal soldiers! I know Celestia would so approve! And this is all assuming she and the rest don't burn you all at the stake the moment you show your faces.)
I cringe. They have no reason to hurt Derpy, they won't be able to hurt Spike, and being immortal should mean we'll be able to get our say in after they get it out of their system.
(What? So Discord's personal mount and three of his death squad are going to simply trot in, give an apology and all will be forgiven?!)
The other launched in a mess of plans. AJ wanting to use her illusions to get us onto the farm without a fight. Figuring it would be kinder thing to do so no pony would get hurt.
AJ asked, "Hey Twilight! Spike being Discord's 'loyal steed' might cause trouble. Can ya age regress Spike into a baby dragon so he doesn't scare everypony?"
"NOT ON YOUR LIFE!" Spike roared in AJ's face, the Earth Pony holding for dear life onto her hat.
"These ponies have family members who got turned INTO dragons they still speak with, don't worry."
Rarigreed wanting to be straight like friends should if we were really going to bring Apple Pie into our circle of friends. Of course Spike agreed with Rarity. Derpy wondered if she and Dinky should just go in alone. She was the 'gray mare' doomed to always trot outside Discord's castle but she wasn't known as evil, she was a victim and so was Dinky. It turned into a white noise I have no desire to repeat.
Sigh, time to be the leader again...
"Girls, and Spike. If we really want to show these ponies we've changed, that we're trying to help the world instead of hurt it, then Rarity's right. If we assume false identities and get Apple Pie to come with us and then reveal who we are, how different is that from kidnapping her?"
AJ lowered her head.
"One thing we do have on our side is Derpy. Everypony around here knows about her, that she's a victim of Discord and has been for a thousand years. It isn't a lie to say we freed her, is it, Derpy?"
"No, it's not."
"And that's something we have going for us, someone we saved. I know, it's a little dirty to use that fact like this, but it's a good bet it'd get us a hoof in the door. Derpy, I hope you don't feel like we're only using you...we're really not, I promise."
"It's alright, Twilight, I trust you."
She trusts me...that really feels good.
"One more thing, no pony, or dragon, tell Apple Pie we think she's the Element of Laughter. We've seen the Elements awaken due to personal epiphanies, Chaos and Harmony. The new Elements of Chaos made us immortal instead of killing us when Discord shoved the jewelry into our chests because Discord had crushed our old views to where we 'realized' the corrupted opposite. And they only became the purified versions when we saw the full picture. It might work differently when the physical Element is on hand, but that isn't going to happen unless we start cutting our own hearts out."
"Sorry Derpy. But I imagine telling someone they're an Element of Harmony would be a lot like trying to tell a foal what their special talent is."
"They'll just hear a lecture?" asked Applejack.
"Pretty much. It might be worse to tell them. So our goal is to try and get her to realize she's the Element of Laughter on her own."
(Waste of time)
Need the Elements to beat Discord, so we don't have a choice.
"Alright darling, that solves that...but while Apple Pie and Ditzy are not replacements, one replacement we do need is mine," said Rarity. "We quite honestly need an Element of Generosity."
I opened my mouth but meek and silent kindness Applejack was not.
"Well regardless, we need to focus on the task at hand right now. And Ah think we should at least try to look a little presentable," AJ said, everypony looked at her. "What? Even Ah know ya don't show up ta a weddin' covered in mud, and . . . this is a family reunion a thousand years overdue, we should all look clean at least." Her eyes wandered over to Rarigreed.
"What?" Rarigreed blinked at her.
AJ citing 'Cleanliness is next to Alicornish' and Rarity looking a mess and not even noticing it? I have a headache.
(Oh grow up. I told you they were no longer your friends.)
You're right, they're not the same friends, and neither am I. But that doesn't mean we aren't friends. I'm beginning to think you don't really know the first thing about friendship.
(I know more about the magic of friendship than you can dream Twilight The Unicorn.)
"She's not the only one who needs a bath," Spike replied with a chuckle.
I smelled my coat, I wasn't that bad, being on the receiving end of Discord's whims and acting on the front lines, the skin I was wearing normally was regenerated often enough to not have too bad an odor. Didn't mean sweat and dried blood from two big fights didn't stink though.
Dash scrubbed herself after every mission to the point her skin needed regenerating.
"Speak fer yerself darlin'," AJ said, I never stopped to realize Applejack DID still wash herself. Appearance was a part of image, and images were part of most illusions. "What about a bath for old Spike?"
"Go ahead and try," Spike said looking ready to defend himself.
"Erm, I'm sure he's fine," I grinned nervously.
Derpy seemed to notice too and curiously took a sniff of her own fur and the stink nearly knocked her out! Forgot Rarity wasn't the only one who hadn't had a bath for a thousand years! She may have even been MORE filthy than Rarigreed thanks to the sweat of a thousand years march, and going through whatever it happened to be raining at any given moment Twenty-Four/Seven for the last thousand years, which was rarely water. She had a nice physique at least.
"Twili, Derpy, can ya make a water rain cloud?"
"Yes, of course," I reply. I looked to Derpy, who nodded and, once more reluctantly, handed Dinky to Spike for safe keeping. She didn't want the muffin pony getting soggy after all.
"Wait, now what's happening?" Rarigreed asked, blinking.
I manifested a large white tub and conjured up a water rain cloud (I can't wait for this to be over and there to be only one type of rain cloud again) with my best sly grin while Derpy helped stabilize it and move it into place...then jumped on it several times to get it pouring.
I hate to admit it, but Spike's flames were a more effective water heater than my fireballs.
Rarigreed gazed at the tub, a suddenly look of fear in her eyes as she suddenly turned tail to run.
I magically lifted Rarigreed into the air.
Rarity squealed, "Put me down!"
I smiled, "Alright."
I dropped her over the tub, she caught the edge with all four hooves.
"Spike help!" Rarity called out.
"Whatever you say." Spike happily pushed Rarity from above into the tub with one finger.
Rarigreed gave a scream as she got soaked.
Rarity's head surfaced spitting out water. Derpy and AJ held her down as she tried to escape, splashing like a fish out of water, "Let me out!"
"We will . . . in a while," I said happily. I was having way too much fun with this. I was also happy to see something of Old Rarity show its head again. I transmuted a scrub brush or four from the rocks and got to work.
Though Rarity took some force, "I've got soap in my eyes!", we proceeded to wash a literal millennium's worth of dirt, sweat, and blood off.
AJ politely asked me to conjure a hair brush while we were at it and,
"OW! OW! STOP!" Rarigreed complained as Jack began the painful process of brushing out the plague of rat nests that infested Rarigreed's mane. Not literally!
"No can do, it's fer yer own good darlin'!"
Rarity might have had a bald spot by the time AJ was done if her immortality didn't keep replenishing the losses. Looking back on it, it might have been simpler to simply set Rarity on fire and have her immortality regenerate a new clean mane and coat for her. Joking! Mostly. While practical, immortal is not the same as 'incapable of pain.'
It took almost an hour, lots of soap and even some steel wool (once more magically manifested, hate to say it but thank you Master for making me learn the most random spells imaginable), but she was finally clean, and I believe about two or three shades lighter in color. Giving Spike his baths had been easier.
"Was that really necessary?" asked a rather ticked off Rarity as she tried to get her mane back in order.
I simply pointed down with a flat expression on my face to direct her attention to the fact the water in the tub was practically mud.
"Oh my... was I really THAT filthy?"
"That's what happens when you don't bathe for a thousand years and spend it wallowing around in rocks."
Rarity blinked, then blushed a little. "Well...I don't care, it wasn't that important!"
"Rarity, yah like bein' the center of attention, right?" Applejack asked.
"...Yes...I desire everyponies attention."
"Well what do yah think all that dirt, sweat, dried blood, and so on smelled like?"
"Well...you didn't seem to mind."
Twilight looked serious. "We've lived with you for a thousand years, Derpy's walked through skunk spray showers, and Spike is...well, a dragon. Sulfur is considered perfume to his species."
"I fail to see the point!"
"We're used to it, but how many ponies do you think would want to be around you smelling like that, let alone give you attention?"
"Valid point...You are right about needing to look, and smell, our best Applejack," The Element of Honesty said, "That doesn't mean I like having to lose a thousand years of badges of hard work in the process."
AJ opened her mouth, then remembered a farm pony from a thousand years ago who thought the same about the dirt on her hooves.
"Well, Ah know Ah'm gonna feel better after a good wash," Applejack replied, shaking herself dry from Rarity's filly-like splashing and putting her hat back on.
"To each pony their own," Rarity replied.
Spike flapped his wings lightly to blow her dry.
"And it'll make things a tad easier, ya certainly look like a pony instead of a zombie now." True, it was a small thing, but just a change of appearance could make a big difference.
(Of all the inane things the world is going to be doomed by, the historians will say evil won because the heroes stopped to wash their manes!).
Do you WANT me to waste more time giving a lecture on why this was a good idea to logically prove it to you? I have a soap box and I'm not afraid to use it!
We had to actually empty and clean the tub before AJ and I together could clean off two battles worth of gunk and dirt. It was still the first real bath I'd had for a thousand years, it felt great.
"Derpy, aren't you going to join us?" I asked looking up at her.
"I'll wash, with you Dinky, when you can take a bath again," Derpy said looking at her muffin, "The first bath I take in forever I want to be with my baby."
I decided not to argue against that. I'd offer her perfume, but I'd rather it not turn to gravel in her mane if the spell broke.
I'll admit, it did feel nice to feel clean again, and the hot bath (thank you Spike) had taken a lot of tension and stress out. Jack also returned some of Rarity's lessons to her on how to walk like a lady again after being in a delusional state for a thousand years.
It was my idea for us each to carry a white flag. Thankfully rocks again proved lovely raw material with enough overwhelming raw magic behind it. I know we were taking a lot from the rock farm but Jack was a member of the family so it wasn't, technically stealing. Besides, I'd grabbed a bunch of gems before I left the palace and planned to pay them back, I wasn't stupid enough to assume we wouldn't need something valuable out here. Where did I store them? Um...you don't want to know.
It would have been a lot more logical for Derpy and Dinky to lead our party, it wasn't like they couldn't see Spike a mile off anyway. But AJ wanted to go first, she was the immortal one and it was her family after all. Compromise worked wonders and the two shared the marching position, once again Dinky on Derpy's back. She wouldn't let another protect her child more than needed.
I couldn't shake the demented curiosity of whether or not Dinky was still a fresh muffin after a thousand years or had gone stale. I could tell she hadn't molded at least.
I really, really, really should have marched along in my Half-Light Dawn alter-ego, cause then maybe Cream Pie might not have greeted us with a grenade.
AJ thought fast and used herself as an Equine shield for Derpy and Dinky as it went off. Me? I was too shocked at having a bomb thrown at me. Cream Pie was my friend, or at least, Half-Light Dawn's friend, I hadn't stopped to think after they had saved my soul that they weren't going to waste time looking into the eyes of Discord's second-in-command to see if they recognized a friend in there. Yes, I was naive, you don't have to tell me! Spike brought a claw down between the grenade and me plus Rarity.
"Ya want more-?! We got more!" Cream Pie shouted sounding ready to fight to the death.
"WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU-!?" Derpy snarled at her, tears coming down her face that didn't make her the least bit less furious. Dust and debris still settling she stomped over the surprised filly and got in her face pushing her muzzle against hers. Cream Pie's eyes became like dinner plates and her centers shrank as Derpy looked into her soul. She had to crane her neck to look up at the furious adult. Both their legs were shaking, but for different reasons. "You could have hurt Dinky! Don't you know what a white flag means-?!"
"Erm, nope?" Cream Pie sweated and couldn't blink.
"Blip Neighpon 'Celestia top booking tour a kite can trust taunt woo walk!' MEANS WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR A FIGHT AND JUST WANT TO TALK!"
"Don't you hurt my little cousin!" A green Earth Pony with three swirl rock candies on her flank shouted coming up from behind part of the crop looking ready to fight.
Okay. I didn't care if it added more chaos to the mix or not! I shape shifted to Half-Light Dawn in front of everypony.
"Minty Pie we ARE here to just talk! We don't wanna fight!"
She stopped dead in tracks in shock. "Hey, you're-you're the filly that was with Apple Pie the other day."
"And we're all here to just talk!" I calmed down a little. "Minty...please, just hear us out, ok?"
"I knew what a white flag meant," Banana Pie's head came out wearing her green headband from over a rock behind us. She was carrying a one-shot rocket launcher strapped to her side with wheels to make up for her small size. I'd have been more worried for her if she had been carrying a bazooka, a rocket launcher had nearly no recoil in comparison. "I thought it was a false flag."
"That we were lying," I said, "Do you blame them?"
Rarity did the smartest thing she could and kept her mouth shut. We weren't in her area of expertise. Spike looked ready to end things fast if things did turn into a fight, immortality or not.
As the dust settled a lone cowpony hat slowly drifted down from where the blast had knocked it into the air and was caught by one of AJ's waiting forelegs and placed it back on her head. She did not look happy herself. "Watch it! You almost destroyed mah hat!" AJ had protected that hat from explosions, dragon fire, lightning strikes, machine gun bullets, and plasma cannons, and had sewed it up whenever it got damaged. What made that hat so special? "Derpy are ya and Dinky okay?"
"Thank you, yes."
The Earth ponies stared at the pony revealed by the parting dust.
"Saint Liarjack!" They echoed and bowed.
"We didn't recognize you! Sorry! Sorry!" Minty Pie said breaking out into a Mea culpa. "Please don't be angry at Cream and Banana! I'm the mare I should have known better!"
"Saint Liarjack?!" I turned to see AJ blushing like an apple. Just when I thought I'd been burned out of surprises for today.
The three fillies suddenly looked very guilty. "Uh oh..."
"Why am I not 'Saint' anything?" Spike asked.
"EEK! Boss Discord's dragon!" They shouted like they had just noticed the giant dragon. Were these ponies that used to dragons? Cream threw a pipe bomb at Spike's face. It left no real damage but soot on his muzzle. "I've had worse giant bee stings."
"Enough with the bombs!" Rarigreed exasperated.
"Hey! That's not nice!" Derpy reprimanded.
"Little gals, calmly down, they, erm... please get really excited, they mean lots of harm. And it's totally not okay ya slipped up there. That was a biggy."
"Oh, sorry," Cream Pie apologized. She looked confused at Applejack's last sentence.
"What's a filly like you doin' with all them bombs anyway?" Applejack asked.
"Make'em mahself," Cream Pie replied with an air of pride.
"Wait, so, but, then, what does Boss Discord want with us?" Banana Pie interrupted.
"Ahem, Ah have not gone back to my old name 'Applejack.' Ah am in no way related to you all. Ah am still serving Discord. Mah three friends here still work for Discord. We most certainly did not free ourselves. Derpy here is still trapped goin' round the castle to NOT undo the curse on the muffin that ISN'T really her baby girl. We don't need your help at all to break the curse on the muffin. Ah'm most decidedly NOT going to start talkin' the kind hearted truth after this sentence... It's wonderful to see mah family has lived all this time, you've got one Apple you can add to the Pie." AJ hugged each of them.
"Huh?" Derpy blinked, her eyes out of sync.
"Shush, 'Lairjack' remember? She's talking in opposites!" I magically distance whispered.
"Yah...yah are related to us?"
"Yeah, Ah am...You're Applebloom's descendants, aren't yah?"
"Saint Applebloom Of Sunnytown? Yeah, we've still got her picture in the house."
Applejack smiled at hearing her sister called a Saint. "Ah'm her big sis. Ah guess in a way, Ah'm yer aunt..."
"Well technically you're their multiple times great-Ow!"
After I elbowed Rarity for interrupting, the pies all looked shell shocked. They clearly respected Applejack...I imagine they felt the same as I would've if I found out Celestia was my multiple times great aunt.
"And these are mah family too...just not by blood, if that makes sense."
Minty Pie nodded slowly. "We have some ponies in our family like that..."
After a few moments, Cream Pie stepped forwards and hugged Applejack. "Welcome back, Aunt Applejack!" Her sibling did the same.
Then came the awkward silence of them getting ready to talk to the rest of us.
"Half-Light Dawn, is that really you?" Cream Pie asked.
"It's more me than last time Cream Pie, I promise." I hugged her and she hugged me back so hard my spine popped.
"Can someone please tell me what's going on-?!" Minty Pie cried out before somepony else did.
Where did we begin?
AJ said, "Ya may wanna to get some cider, this'll take a bit."
"What cider?" Banana Pie asked.
Applejack sighed, "A really long bit."
We sat comfortably in the living room of the stone house of the Apple/Pie Clan. We only had one maybe two rock pies aimed at our heads, but the knowledge Applejack was family had calmed things down...Applejack actually cried when shown the picture of Applebloom, I wasn't sure which kind of tears they were. Spike was reduced to sitting outside observing the delightful exchanged through a window just big enough to fit one of his gentle, delicate, giant, destructive claw through.
I kept trying to explain that being immortal meant that we had little to fear, and that Apple and Pies should be serving the rock pies instead of being ready to throw them. I think I was making progress, Banana Pie had put away the rocket launcher. Considering we had been the tools of evil not ninety-six hours ago, I had not lost my faith the hospitality of the Apples.
'Saint' Applejack's promise we really weren't there to cause trouble, combined with me staying in my form of Half-Light Dawn, and Derpy and Dinky's presence, had a lot more to do with it than Spike's presence of force could hope to. Minty Pie even took a few waste gems out for Spike to eat...While Cream Pie was ready with the biggest bomb I had ever seen, just in case. Where did she get the raw material for all those bombs?
"So erm, what's your name?"
"Kenbroath Gillspotten Heathspike The Seventh."
"Don't you mean Master Kenbroath Gillspotten Heathspike The Fifth?"
"No, it's not 'Master' though it sounds cool, and it's the Seventh, the Fifth was my grandfather. Why?"
"Dunno, just felt familiar for a bit."
As I looked over the family, I was more and more convinced of one thing; I was happy we were getting them on our side.
(And wasting time.)
One; it's Applejack's family, show some respect. Two; Apple Pie is my friend. Three; they're all tough as nails and we need all the allies we can get at this point.
"But Applejack, darling, how can you possibly be known as a 'Saint?!'" Rarigreed asked actually managing to enjoy the rock candy and marble cake Minty Pie had served (ok, it wasn't that bad once I actually tried it, but she didn't even hesitate). "Not to air dirty laundry, but... " Rarity couldn't think of how to say it without it being that hurtful.
"Well, actually..." AJ blushed.
"You're doing a wonderful job keeping the library intact Owlowiscious, I'll borrow these books this time. Sorry I need to go now, but see you next time," Ah said as Ah patted the old owl on the head and walked out of the library. The owl was old, and gettin' older, but Ah still wondered if he bought Mah Twilight act or whether he was playin' along because it made us both happy.
Ah was just wonderin' around one day and saw him still taking care of the library...waitin' for Twilight to come home. Ah remembered the stories of animals who had waited years for their masters to come home after they died...waited and waited but they never came back...Ah just couldn't bare lettin' that poor owl live out the rest of his life without ever seein' Twi' again...even if it was just me pretendin'...
"What! You finished already! Couldn't you have left some for us?" Fluttercruel barked as Angry Pie growled somethin' fierce at me.
"Sorry, Master wanted'em done, and they're done, ya should have said somethin' if ya wanted me to save some for ya." Ah grinned.
Fluttercruel grunted, slashed my throat and stomped off, followed closely by Angry Pie.
"Are they gone yet?" Whispered one of the 'corpses' in the stage make up Ah had pilfered from Rarity's old place.
"Shush!" Ah whispered back.
Yeah, Ah know Ah'll get hurt...They always hurt meh for 'stealin' their kills'. But Ah can take it. Every hit Ah take is one someone who can't doesn't have to.
"Thank you Bon-Bon, thank you for helping me remember, and thank you for forgiving me, I can sing in peace now," Lyra said, the seapony sticking her head out of the water and nuzzlin' all sweet like the Earth Pony.
The winds blew, and Sky Ocean floated away from the mountain peak.
Ah turned to 'Bon-Bon', "Thanks Moth."
"My pleasure." The elderly changelin' nodded, shiftin' back into her true form, holdin' her shape wasn't as easy as it used ta be.
Lyra had killed Bon-Bon on the day of chaos...the poor mare almost went mad with guilt...Ah know what it's like to never be forgiven, to have that hole in yer heart nothin' can fill. Ah knew even bein' a Seapony didn't take all that hurt away, even if she couldn't remember why she hurt in the first place. Ah might not be able to fill the hole in mah heart, but Ah could fill the hole in hers...besides, Moth deserved some closure too, she loved em like her own family.
The poor mare set on Fluttercruel's table...yah-yah don't want ta know more than that...just know she didn't have much time left.
Fluttercruel had gotten bored...a lot of times that was worse than when she finished up. "P-please...don't let her do this to my family..." the mare pleaded, tears running down her cheeks.
Ah looked her in the eyes. "Ah promise, the bad mare won't get her claws in 'em."
"T-thank you..." she said, before she let go and her spirit left her.
Was that truth or a lie? It's happened both ways more times than Ah care ta count. But it don't change the fact it let their last moments be in peace. That's all that matters.
"Remember, ya should totally act like ya know me and say all over the place how Ah didn't hurt ya behind mah Master's back."
"Alright Saint Liarjack."
"Ah'm totally ah Saint."
"Yes Saint Liarjack."
"And all the time Ah told the truth about not doin' the deed when we were out enforcin' the 'no magic' rule."
"But what about-" I shoved another piece of marble cake in Rarigreed mouth.
No one but Discord, Spike, and us six knew what happened to Cadence at Avalon. Wait, no, that's a lie. Applejack had taken the heat for me during Grogar's invasion. But I wasn't about to bring out Jack's sins right after she had confessed her secret virtues.
"So everyone knew about this except us, Discord and Spike?"
"Personally, Ah think Discord might've known, didn't matter if Ah was helpin' ponies, since Ah was bein' sneaky and lyin' 'bout it, he thought it was cool."
Ah remembered Discord's reaction earlier...ugh, I wish I could erase that image from my brain.
Minty Pie gasped, "But Big Rock Discord LIKES seeing ponies die!"
"No, because that ends the game," Rarigreed said, "He likes to see ponies squirm like a rat in a trap, he likes people being as insane as he is, he likes emotionally breaking ponies, he likes people to be like him. He is vain. And that shade of green of his tuxedo Ponythulu gave him was garish."
"What does that last one have to do with anything?" I asked.
"It's true isn't it?"
"I didn't think it was such a bad shade," Minty Pie admitted.
(She forgot a psychopathic manchild, cowardly, a bully, uninspired, lazy, greedy, a liar, and terrified of his own feelings.)
"If you wish to call her 'Saint', then I think 'Saint Jacqueline' has a nicer ring to it," Rarigreed gave her honest opinion.
This sparked a new debate amoung the Pies and Apples on which sounded more 'Saintly.' Jack politely kept her mouth shut.
Ah let'em call me a Saint. 'Cause that gives'em hope, it helps give'em a reason to believe, and that's what they need more than ever with the storm up ahead, but Ah reek of sin. If there was an Apple that deserved to be called a Saint, it was Apple Bloom. She didn't let her curse stop her from lovin' Lance or Sword Bloom, she used it help Sunnytown, she didn't let herself become a monster. She beat Discord in a way none of us could. Bloom, you were a wonderful adult. Ah just pray Ah can live up ta the faith yah have in me, little sis.
When Ah told 'em Saint Applebloom saved mah soul, that got them right excited. Yeah, Ah told 'em. Because Ah knew just what it'd mean ta them ta know their ancestor had finished her the last thing she had wanted ta do with her life; fix mah heart.
"So ya heard mah, our stories," Ah said after they agree to disagree and ta save what to engrave on mah statue after Discord is history. Yeah, we told'em what we were out ta do, and they didn't none call us crazy or liars. We were gonna save the world from Discord. Cream Pie offered us her favorite bombs.
We got a dozen questions 'bout what Equestria was really like before Discord came along. Ah promised Cheery Pie she wasn't gonna split into a pegasus and griffin when Discord was beat.
No Ah wasn't thinkin' 'bout making the farm fer apples again, they were happy farmin' rocks, and Ah wasn't gonna dictate different ta them how ta be happy. "What do ya all say?"
Apple Computer took mah front hoof with a big grin, "Welcome back ta the family Saint Apple Jacqueline!"
The rest of the clan cheered. Ah shuddered, Ah tried not to cry and failed. Humble Pie and Cheery Pie hugged me. Ah actually cried harder. After a thousand years, Ah was accepted back, just like that. Ah was family.
I, Rarity or Rarigreed (both are true), was envious of Applejack. So very jealous. Ugly, but honest. After a thousand years, her line had endured, and they accepted her with open arms. If we save Pinkie Pie (Honesty now remember?), then she has a family waiting to heal her too. I lost the family I had before Discord, and now I've lost the family I replaced them with, painstakingly brought together from those who needed a family of their own. Why did they leave me when Twilight made me face myself? Because they saw how ugly I was inside after a thousand years? Or were they like Sweetie? And felt they had served their duty of keeping my heart from completely abandoning bonds with ponies? I didn't think about it until now, but I never forced any of them to stay with me.
Or maybe I was simply a mad mare and the power to house them within me was all in my head, and being made sane again made them vanish.
I felt a tap on the the shoulder. I looked to see Spike having reached his arm in to give me a gentle hug, I hugged his hand in return. Or maybe they just saw I had finally found my own family again after all. Does it matter?
"So," Applejack spoke, "Do ya accept mah friends too?"
Mr. Apple Computer turned rather solemn, "We ain't the ones who need to accept Miss Tragedy, er, Miss Twilight. Apple Pie's the one's she put on an act fer, Apple Pie's the one has to say whether she's welcome here or not."
"Of course she's welcome silly! Friends are always welcome!"
It was her, the orange filly with orange skin and green mane. She still had the scar on her forehead from Fluttercruel's weapon, at least she wasn't wearing that ugly bonnet now.
She had also apparently been hanging from the ceiling this whole time eavesdropping!
She is beyond all doubts descendant from Pinkie Pie's family.
"Apple Pie!" I gasped.
"You-" I kept myself from suffering a brain error. "-Apple Pie. How long you were there? I was about to ask where you were!"
"Oh, Ah was holdin' onto the ceilin' since ya came in. Ah was gonna give Big Banana Discord's buddies a big surprise! But it was you instead!"
"Lazy," Banana Pie deadpanned.
"Why didn't you say anything earlier?"
"Ah didn't wanna interrupt such a heart warmin' scene! Ya and yer friends were all gettin' smiles on yer faces!"
Her family didn't seem phased one bit.
Derpy smiled at her.
She was still the same filly with the scar on her forehead, she had that same weird positive aura, but it felt more focused.
"So," I asked, "You accept me?"
"Like duh! That what Ah just said ain't it? We're friends aren't we? Ya didn't steal Granny's secret recipe for Rock Pie so ya didn't take anythin' we'd not have given ya anyway. Goin' 'round undercover for stuff we would have just told ya? Kinda fun!"
"Well, I didn't think I could have just asked."
"Well that's just silly . . . we're friends aren't we?"
"We weren't friends then."
"Oh! So you wanted to make friends! I gotcha."
"No Apple Pie, you made me into a friend." I hugged her, "And thank you so much!"
Spike blinked away hot tears at the scene.
"And Rarity?" I asked looking Apple Pie in the eye.
She looked at Rarity then back at me, "She yer friend?"
"Rarity's yer friend too?" She asked Applejack.
"Whao kay then! If friend and family say she's trustworthy? Then she's trustworthy!"
Rarity startled. "I, thank you young miss."
"Call me Apple Pie, and it's nothin'."
"No, please, thank you. But, darling...you do realize...all the horrible things we've done...and you still trust us? You still...forgive us?"
"Do yah want ta do those things again?"
"And would yah have done 'em if yer brain hadn't been monkeyed with?"
Apple Pie gave a smile. "Then yah were just Discord's toys, no different than anypony else. And besides, what's the point in holdin' a grudge on somepony? Grandma had a sayin', before she got turned into a dragon; 'Apple Pie, now justice is like apples. It's sweet and yah eat it, then it's done. But holdin' grudges is like a poison apple, no, not yer sister. Yah eat it, and everythin' seems fine and dandy, but then it starts eatin' away at yah till there ain't nothin' left. And eatin' more just makes it worse. So don't go eatin' poison apples, or grudges, cause they'll both make yah sick'...Grandma liked Changelings, eatin' grudges makes 'em sick."
Rarity blinked. "Yes...I see you point." Rarity, shaking, nuzzled Apple Pie.
(You can't blindly trust them! If they betrayed their bastard master, why wouldn't they betray you?)
'Cause Ah ain't their bombasted master silly! Didn't yah just hear what Ah said about grudges? Yah must be hard of hearin'. Maybe Grandpa Rock Pie can lend yah a hearin' aid.
"And this is Spike, and Derpy."
"Hey!" Derpy admonished.
"And her daughter Dinky, who's cursed. They're all friends of mine too. And Spike is my Number One Assistant."
"Heh, well, ain't that somethin', Ah know ma and grandma would like ya! But this ain't the way ta do things!"
She shook Rarity's hooves. "Ah'm Apple Pie, nice ta meetcha."
"Erm, Lady Rarity 'Rarigreed' Bell. A pleasure to meet you."
She hugged AJ, "Ah'm Apple Pie, nice ta meetcha too, Auntie."
"Nice, nay, wonderful ta meetcha Apple Pie."
"Ah'm Apple Pie, nice ta meetcha three." She reached out the window and shook the tip of one of Spike's claws.
"Seventh actually, Kenbroth Gilspotten Heathspike The Seventh. But please just call humble old me Spike."
"Ah'm Apple Pie, nice ta meetcha four." She shook one of Derpy's wings.
"I'm Derpy Hooves, or Ditzy Doo, you can choose, nice to meetcha five." She smiled back happily.
"Oh and, erm, Ah'm Apple Pie, it's nice ta, meetcha, six." Apple Pie reached out to touch Dinky, Derpy's wings folded around Dinky like a venus-pony-trap. Derpy gave her a 'hooves off' look as powerful as any force field. "Oh, sorry. Yah remind me of how mah ma was like around us after Big Banana Discord her inta a dragon."
Banana Pie nodded. Apple Computer hugged her.
"What about me?"
"Don't be silly Half-Light, I already know you."
I shifted form.
Apple Pie startled, I expected her to scream and run. Instead she stared for a few seconds and shrugged, "Ah still know ya." She shook my hoof, "Welcome back ya'all."
They finally put away the pies after that. And we got invited for dinner. I paid Apple Computer for the bath rocks despite his protests. I still hesitated to tell Apple Pie the real, my reason for coming back here. I wasn't sure how to even begin. I kept forcing Rarity extra helpings of marble cake until she was on the verge of whining about her figure. I would just grin and nod. AJ would give a pat on the back.
Spike ate like a horse... you know that phrase never did make sense. The Apples and Pies were more than happy to keep shoveling rocks down his gullet. Was there anything dragons couldn't eat? But after awhile, he stopped because he didn't want to eat up so much there was none left for us. That's my Spike.
Whatever secret they had for making rocks edible, they were only willing to share with Applejack and she, "I can't go tellin' the rest of ya. It's a matter of principles."
"Friends don't keep secrets, secrets don't keep friends." Rarity said.
Derpy came between the two, "There's a difference between secrets between ponies and secrets about things."
Rarity sighed but conceded.
Spike volunteered to helped move some of the rocks from the storage barn (promising his wouldn't eat the profits) as trading time came around and Rarity choose to help him.
Yes darlings I know, 'Honesty' not 'Truth' as the lady of details I should know the difference. But, after a thousand years of Discord's delusion, even an open secret as simple as a family recipe rubbed wrong against my raw skin.
(You should have stuck with generosity.)
Even generosity is a desire to give, and I have no desire to let go of what's mine. I needed some air.
(You're giving help to Spike.)
Spike is helping, I merely go where he goes.
(Doesn't that make you his?)
I merely do not wish something to happen to him when he's out of my sight. A family of dragons consider one another each other's property.
"I'm sure he'll like that we have the stones for him ahead of time." Cheery Pie said getting my attention.
How did a hippogriff sneak into either family's tree? Least she carries hooves and claws well.
"Who is he?" I asked.
Cue dramatic entrance stage center. Out popped a diamond dog. No it couldn't be, living crystal or not now, diamond dogs did not live that long.
"Hello Guru Fido." Cheery Pie bowed.
No, it was still a common enough name, and besides, descendants could resemble their ancestors.
"Greeting Hippogriff Cheery Pie . . . And Master Heathspike, and Lady Desire."
The diamond dog just bowed at us politely as well.
"Lady Desire-?!" I let out. Not that I didn't like the name, it was just not one I had claimed yet.
"If it was a trap, you'd have attacked me at once. If you were holding Cheery Pie's family hostage she would not have greeted me in such a friendly manner. And you no longer smell of madness." Madness has a smell? "And if the dragon was still a slave, he'd not be standing so proud. If this was a trick, you'd have had Cheery Pie alone to speak positively of you first. You have lived a thousand years, you would not perform in such an amateurish fashion if this was a deception. If you only seemed to be who you appear to be, your scent would be different. Or if you came from another universe, your inner aura would be slightly off. Shall I go on?"
I was astounded at the logic coming out of the Diamond Dog's mouth.
(Is every servant of good in this Tartarus hole blindly naive!? *If voices were a visible medium, I'd swear it was like words were twisted into knots with rage*)
"So you're not going to hurt Rarity?" Spike asked.
"No. Master Heathspike, I am not. Diamond Dogs do not hold grudges. I would love to hear the truth of your awakening Lady Desire. But if I am not back within my window I shall be declared dead, mourned, and the pack will relocate. I best be off. But I hope we shall speak again next time I come."
"I promise we'll make time when we can," I said politely.
Guru Fido brought out jewels as Cheery Pie gave him rocks and quickly collapsed the tunnel behind him.
"He comes here often?" I asked.
"I'll have to speak with him when he can make time then."
"Rarity, just so you know, I'd never let them hurt you again."
I wondered if that was self-revised memory on Spike's part or simply wishing to have something nice to say. I patted him on the side. "I know Spike, I know you wouldn't."
'Lady Desire?' It was a beautiful name. I want it...but I do believe I will need to learn more of why he calls me that before I take it as my own.
We returned to the Apples Pies soirée and I shall admit, there was a certain feeling of liberty of not being as fixated on tact as I was once upon a time. The stone house reminded me slightly of the castle, that as a filly, I imagined myself living in once I became a queen. No I didn't have any imaginary friends thank you vey much. I had more important things to spend my imagination on.
Stone scones were surprisingly palatable, the chocolate milk was potable (lactose intolerance had died out from the genome hundreds of years ago). As for exploding chocolate milk, Spike and the Apples Pies had cast iron stomachs, and we were immortal. But I happily switched to the rock soup instead. It was surprisingly delectable.
Twilight appeared to be holding up well, and Applejack was an Earth pony. I could see traces of the Pie clan's staunch traditionalism and inherent insanity had survived mixing into the stubbornness and diligence of the Apple family. Maybe that was why they had managed to survive in a world where everything was a russian roulette.
"Hamburger?" Offered Cheery Pie (she was a Hippogriff).
Cheery Pie's beak quivered.
"Don't be weird!" Twilight reminded me. "All the sapient cows became supreme enlightened beings and ascended to a higher plane of existence away from our petty affairs three years after Discord began his reign, remember?"
I shook my head and hugged Cheery Pie, "Oh right, I greatly apologize Cheery. But I wonder what happened to them."
"Salad?" Daisy Jo the cow pushed the salad bowl across the table at Ponythulu.
"Certainly! Just let me add that special spice my cousins gave me." He picked up a plastic jar marked 'Wails of Madness: 100% Natural Healthy Screams of Mad Ponies' he unscrewed the lid and shook it upside down over the salad, howlings of raving lunatics filled the dinning room. Ponythulu then happily devoured the entire salad with his muzzle tentacles in one go.
Derpy was keeping Dinky safe first and foremost. She looked rather nervous as she looked at the mineral menu, before trying something. To my surprise she began coughing.
"Derpy?" AJ asked worried.
"S-Sorry, it's just, it's just been so long since I've actually -eaten- anything. But I was beginning to get hungry after we made the black birds go away."
We three immortals were given our umpteenth glass of cold water. I had, we had, slipped back into eating and drinking so naturally, it was natural, but our immortality made eating something I didn't really think about. When was the last time any of us had eaten save Fluttercruel and her, blech, hamburgers? It was like going to the theater, something regular, but not needed. We certainly hadn't starved ourselves in the last thousand years but . . . it was just not something we gave much thought about. I think the only reason we still slept was to keep ourselves from going totally stark raving mad.
"It's alright darlin', here, I'll help ya," AJ said calmly as she helped Derpy through it, like Derpy was a child, but the humble pegasus accepted without complaint or humiliation. No one laughed at her.
For a moment, just one moment, I could close my eyes, listen to the happy sounds around me, and pretend it was a thousand years ago, that this was still Sweet Apple Acres, that this was an Apple Family Reunion, and I was doing my best to be polite and civil among a herd of rural rubes who just wanted to be your friend and stuff you like turkey. Wonderful times.
I opened my eyes.
"Catch me Half-Light!" Apple Pie jumped off a stack of boxes.
Twilight caught her (with magic). "Apple Pie, it's Twilight."
She nuzzled the adult mare, "You'll always be Half-Light to me."
I saw the tiny smile tugging at Twilight's face. It was so beautiful to see.
Spike allowed himself to be used as jungle gym as the day and night flipped slides in a projector. I saw him smile! He didn't try to hide it! Underneath those wings and muscles, Spike was still Spike who waited a thousand years for me to come out of the darkness. And I loved him for it.
This was a trap. Not all traps are made by enemies or are made with malicious intent. It would be so simply to pretend we could stay here forever, pretend we could stay hidden under Discord's nose with Spike outside and us inside, maybe use Applejack's illusions to hide us and him. Just enjoy this tiny island of happy in an ocean of chaos.
But that wasn't reality. Element of Desire, I know more than anyone how important your desires are to you... Twilight didn't want the sparkling little thread between her and Apple Pie to change now that she had tasted it. Poor Twilight, a thousand years later and she's still petrified of loss.
I'm sorry Twilight, recess is over.
"You know Apple Pie," I interrupted calmly, "We came all this way just to see you."
This time I dodged the slice of marble cake Twilight tried to shovel in my mouth and she ends up feeding Applejack instead.
"Hey! Can I have some?" Derpy asked happily licking Applejack's face.
I know Twilight had given her speech... but I just felt like this was a time telling the truth would help. Like the Element of Honesty itself was telling me.
"Oh yes Apple Pie, you. You see Apple Pie, Twilight believes your special in a way that can help everypony."
Twilight looked a bit scared and opened her mouth, this time I pushed the cake down her pie hole.
"Now as I'm sure you heard while eavesdropping as we explained ourselves, in our amaranthine existences only you has managed-"
"Amaranthine, it means something that never fades and is immortal, named after a mythical flower. My dear, out of all that time, out of all those centuries, out of all the many, many, many mortal ponies who were actively trying, you're the first person to ever break through Twilight's cold icy shell and find the pony inside."
"It was nothin'."
Out of Apple Pie's vision I held back Twilight and gave her horn a wobble as she tried to interrupt.
"It was quite the opposite of that dear. ~Or rather, that's why it's so amazing. You see, your brilliant summary, exploration, and demonstrations of antinomy-"
"Ah'm not a doctor."
"No no no, antinomy 'a contradiction between two beliefs that unto themselves are reasonable.'"
"They got a word for it?"
"There's a word for everything. You did all that Apple Pie. Your siblings may have helped, but you were the key that unlocked the room inside Twilight that she had hidden herself away in. And the most amazing part is, for you, it was nothing. It came as second nature, you didn't NEED to know to be able to. Twilight believes, that this might make you somepony we really need right now! And there is no harm in finding out."
"So . . . what do you want me to help you do?"
"Just save the world." I could hear Twilight's brain have a break down.
"It'll be great!" Derpy waved a hoof. "This isn't the first time I've been in a 'Going To Save The World' Club! It's really scary, and there are lots of times where you can get hurt! But it's wonderful!"
"Say what now?" Applejack asked, looking confused. I did not see that coming.
"Me and the Doctor, before...before Discord got to him... He... he helped a lot of ponies. And I helped him."
"The V-Valeyard, before Discord made him a bad pony." That was the same look we had when hoping to free the others.
"Did ya ever bring Dinky on those 'adventures?'" Applejack asked. It looked like Applejack wasn't too comfy bringing it up.
Derpy moved her eyes at her, not moving her head. She folded the wings around the muffin slightly tighter. "When I had to. When I needed to. When she could help when nopony else could. I was scared sick for her every time. But . . . she was so happy to when she could help us."
"And we want you to help us. That is, if you can, we're not sure yet, I'm sorry for not saying this part first, but--, well: Remember those Elements of Harmony we mentioned?! The glowing marks? Twilight's hoping you could be Laughter!"
"So THAT'S what this is!"
Apple Pie turned around and pulled up on her mane, showing on the back of her neck the glowing outline of an Apple slice and Orange slice together, the color was that of the blue element of laughter.
"Ah had to wear mah hair bonnet while sleepin' cause it wouldn't turn off. Where's the switch to'em? What's with the silent treatment all of a sudden? Erm, are you gals okay? Huh? Half-Light! Half-Light! Aw' man Ah think they fainted!... Where did she get the couch to land on?"
We are legion, we are one, we are united in thought, and our thought is thus: I/Ah thought immortals didn't get these kind of headaches!
"Hey! Ah think they're wakin' up! So after ya left, and Ah thought all the fun we had when ya visited, how good it felt to get a laugh out of yah and laugh 'bout the good times Ah had with Poison, Magica, Caster, and Puella. Ah was feelin' tired and pulled the drapes over mah bed and found this funny light on mah neck. Ah figured it was just some random joke by Big Banana Discord and giggled at it and it glowed brighter."
(No matter how many times that happens it's still cliche.)
The three of us had cool washcloths on our heads as we laid on our backs, Derpy and Apple Pie looking over us. Their backsides and our faces were reflected in one of Spike's eyeballs above us.
"Did we dream ya havin' the Element of Laughter on yer neck?" AJ asked.
"Ya mean the glowin' second-cutie mark thingie? Nope!" She showed the Element of Laughter once more.
"Can't we go on one epic adventure to find an Element? It's going to seem hackneyed when they write my biography," Rarigreed complained.
So if that was Rarigreed, and before that was AJ, that means I must be Twilight! Oh right! "We're going to get plenty of 'epic' when we face Discord, Rarity, so please stop, you're not even using the Whining Voice, and I still feel like hammers pounding on my ears."
I waited for somepony to say they were wondering where they left those tools but thank Cadance none did.
"It's not that bad."
"You're slipping AJ, that lie was lousy," I said.
"Sorry, wasn't tryin' mah hardest."
"Anyway, remember when we became the Element bearers?" I said, "We ALL ended up in Ponyville at the same time, five of us lived there before I arrived. The Elements of Harmony are a set, it makes sense they're drawn to one another."
"I'm so happy you're alright!" Our loyal blond with the boyish voice said hugging us.
We just laid there (apparently in a bedroom with a big window for Spike to fit his head through) for a while as the headache faded. Some things regeneration just couldn't cure.
"So that's five down, one to go right?" Spike asked.
"Actually," I said, not happy about Rarigreed's bluntness, "We never got your answer, Apple Pie. You want to help? Fight Discord? Save the world? Make it so nopony has to be his toys ever again? And get a couple of rulers who CARE about you all, the way you care about your family?"
"Hmmm? Whose that?" She asked.
It took several hours to explain Celstia and Luna to Apple Pie, who only knew about Queen Cadence. She never knew there were OTHER Alicorns out there. She listened, she just listened absorbing it all, smiling.
"Too good to be true," "No way they can be real," "I'm not that little to believe in the Tooth Flutterpony." Apple Pie said none of these.
"They sound fun," was her only response.
And it made me smile!
"They were, and Princess Celestia was, is my mentor. Once Discord's gone you can meet her... " Time to get back to the point.
"So Apple Pie, it'll be dangerous, you could end up dead. Three of us are immortal and a dragon, you're not. But none of your family or anypony will have to suffer because of Discord again. Do you want in?" I asked, wishing I had more experience with foals other than the CMC.
"And you'll get to be a hero who will be forever remembered as one of the ones who ended the thousand year rule of an evil tyrant," Rarigreed added. "Probably get a statue."
Some things never change.
"So...what do you say?"
"Huh? Ah didn't say so before? Sorry sorry! Of course Ah'm in! Ya couldn't stop me if ya wanted!"
I smiled (about the only muscles I could move), "Welcome to the Elements of Harmony, Apple Pie."
"Glad to be in! Now one question."
"Yah never told me how ta make it stop glowin'."