My Little Pony: Magic Is Fiendish

Room To Let

September 22, 2018

Sunny is checking the others who were partying with Blown Grass to see who else might be infected. Everyone is. The pot from the party has an odd bitter cherry smell and there are little black seeds there too. Autumn is checking on everyone at the cottage. Joneigh is researching ‘the pit’ and asks Aura to check with C. Hobb to see what he knows. Jimmy & Shucks are tending the fields. Jimmy notices that the harvest/drying shack for the pot plants is not locked. He opens the door and has to cover his nose with a bandana. The hanging-drying pot is ok, but the stuff on the tables and in the bags seems to be infected. The padlock that usually is on the door was obviously blown off by a unicorn horn. He looks around for hoof-marks. Buffalo Grass Wately will have to decide how much to burn of that stock. Jimmy goes to tell his friends and C. Hobb about the infestation. Aura discusses the pit with C. Hobb. Pit wasn’t there before house was there. Previous Constable and Arctica explored the Pit, pretty far down. The sides are pretty shear, and a Pegasus (Lunar & Savory Seed) took a light down till it got colder and creepier. Also, Hobb reminds her that she and her friends were exploring Velum Index’s house when it collapsed into the Pit. Hobb says that on nights with a new moon, the partiers do not meet at the Pit. They won’t talk about what happens on that night. Egg White hangs out at the Pit at midnight on nights with a new moon, to make sure nothing came out of it. Check-Me-Own-Teeth Dibbless, who runs the tourist kiosk of things to toss in the Pit, has a new display. National Equiner with sick Caviar picture and a camera. One can have one’s picture taken with it and a Pit. Aura compliments Dibbless and asks what happens around the Pit. But nothing she hasn’t heard before. He finally confesses to her that he is always packs up and leaves before sundown because he has heard voices singing. And the singing follows him home all night, so he leaves before sundown now. HurryUp whispers at Aura that she wants to push the old calliope Aura just bought into the Pit. The party group did mention that they go out after it is FULLY dark and no one shows up early anymore. It makes a weird and neat sound as it is kicked into the Pit. It slowly fades as they wait… wait… wait… till they can no longer hear it. Aura takes the intel back to Joneigh at the library. Jimmy finds Autumn and Joneigh in the library and tells them about the drying shack and the eggs in the bags of weed. Joneigh wants to find and talk with Egg White now. They check his shack in the swamp, but it is deserted and is reverting back to swamp. They check the cave under the jail next. Once into the cavern, when Joneigh says “Shhhh!”. She hears a soft snoring sound coming from the wall. She gets closer to hear better and taps on the wall. Her hoof goes through the wall at one point, it is an illusion. Joneigh steps through, Aura follows. There is a small chamber, with a little table with a bell on it. The sign says, “please ring”. Joneigh rings the bell. She hears a snort and they feel a pulse of magic go through them. Then they hear Egg White wake and say “Wha what’s happening? Is everyone ok?” “We were looking for you, sorry we woke you.” The wall moves with a grinding sound and he appears, rubbing sleep out of his eyes. Joneigh tells him about the others who are sick, the drying shack and that she knows he has been studying the Pit. There’s a part of the tunnels here that go to the Pit, but further down than you can see from the top. The critters here in this cave don’t like to go there. He says there is something there. On moonless nights if you listen very carefully, you can here it singing. We tell him what C. Hobb and Dibbless told us about the Pit. He is very interested that folk have heard it at twilight. Joneigh wonders if the song is different at twilight than it is at midnight on moonless nights. She asks if he knows WHAT it is singing, but he doesn’t understand it – even when he tried spells to understand it. She asks if he thinks the Pit is bottomless. “Physically, no, can’t be.”

Meanwhile up at the infirmary. She hears a terrified whinny coming from the lab. “Oh, dear.” Sunny goes to check and finds Moonbeam in the furthest corner of the lab with wide eyes and a magical shield around himself. “Keep away from them! We have to kill them!!” “When they get big enough, they can go through solid stuff. They will get through the glass.” Sunny starts to burn them on the inside of the glass containers, one by one. Moonbeam says not to do that, makes them grow faster. “We need Pegasuses!” Sunny sends Moonbeam to find Joneigh and any Pegasuses and send them to Sunny’s lab. Jimmy notices a frantic galloping coming from street level and then hears Moonbeam calling “Joneigh, Autumn, Anybody.” Joneigh flies up and out looking for Moonbeam. She finds him with a small crowd of ponies, wanting to know what’s wrong. “Void things, void things in the lab! We need fog and rain and lightning inside a containment field to kill them before they kill everyone!” Joneigh calls for folk to find Borealis and Egg White and other unicorns to help, then hurries toward the lab with Moonbeam. When they get there, Borealis is already at the lab helping Sunny. When Aura gets to Garnish Towers, Borealis isn’t there, but when she peeks at her room, she sees there is a letter in her dragon thingy. She grabs the letter and goes to the General Store to get the Lunar, Savory and Tulip Seed to help with weather stuff. The Unicorns make the field and the Pegasuses make weather and now there is a pile of wet ash. Autumn checks with Jimmy to make sure Shucks didn’t keep one of these. Sunny wonders out loud if there are other infected weed sacks than what was found than what was in the drying shed. Someone mentions that Blown Glass’ dad was gonna burn the infected bags. “We need to stop that!”

Aura tries to teleport to New Moon Acres and Joneigh flies out that way too, looking for Buffalo Grass before he torches the weed. Aura miscalculates and ends up in the pond again. She slogs out and gallops up to the farm/shed. She finds that they were about to burn a huge pile. She starts hollering for them not to do it. Aura contains the pile and Joneigh weathers it into a soggy mess. A teacup and saucer levitate up in front of Joneigh and Egg White says, “I didn’t want to leave the kettle on.” Autumn and Joneigh go look into the shed and Joneigh sees a tuft a fur and upon examines it with her magnifying glass and it looks just like the tuft that was stuck in that lasso that Jimmy caught Nightmare Moon’s Guards in …on the moon. She tells the group after picking it up with tweezers and putting in a pouch. Jimmy suggests that she look for other clues. Aura opens her letter and it is a congratulations on finding a unique way of eliminating a suitor; from “a friend”. Joneigh notices that the pony who blasted the padlock, targeted it so well that it only fried the inside of the lock. Joneigh goes to each Unicorn and stares in their eyes. Egg White projects a sundial and says it is almost twilight so he is heading to the Pit. They all follow him. Egg White goes into the closest woods and disappears. HurryUp is already there tossing pebbles into the Pit. Egg White is watching. Sun slips toward the horizon, wind starts to pick up and a soft song starts to drift up from the Pit. Everyone but Joneigh raise their heads and start to sing along in whatever weird language (not pony) that none of them understand. Joneigh tells them to STOP IT! But they don’t. She tells Egg White to make them STOP. “Alright, can you please close your eyes and turn around?” “Sure.” She turns around toward Autumn and slaps her to see if she comes out of it. She says “What?” … then there is a bright flash of red light. Egg White tells everyone to back away from the Pit and we can discuss what just happened. “Let’s get away from the Pit.” Aura, Jimmy and HurryUp were just discussing tossing a torch in the Pit a second ago, and now they are all are on the other side of the Pit with their friends. HurryUp says she hasn’t blacked out like that since the last time she was flashy-thinged. Autumn says, “Egg White, Really?” “I don’t have a memory transducer.” “In order to protect myself from one, I had to figure out how one worked, didn’t I?” Autumn asks if that was the same song he heard before. “No, it is a different song.” Autumn asks if Egg White could hypnotize her to find out what she was doing before Joneigh slapped her. Joneigh wants to leave and find tea. Egg White suggests they stop at the infirmary to let Borealis and Sunny know what happened. They gather out on the patio around the fire pit and light the fairy lanterns. They set up a slab of slate and stick notes, drawings up on it, use chalk and sticky putty to put string between things, so they can share all they have learned about void babies and their eggs in the weed and the Pit and the singing. They realize that Egg White, Joneigh and Autumn still hear the singing, like an earworm. Then it is suggested that they go dig up the dead guy and talk to him. Autumn says we might be able to find how to just talk to the dead by looking in a book. Joneigh starts rummaging for a slim fragile volume and she hears something in her bag… it is a book she hasn’t seen before that is wrapped in chains with a padlock. It has a light cover that looks like dragon scale. The one in Joneigh’s hoof has a dark cover. Autumn goes for tongs and gloves so she can pull it out and put it on a table. It looks like the padlock has been filled with lead and then sealed “Do Not Open”. The padlock is covering a lock on the book itself. They discuss how this is like “do not open before xmas” tags on presents. Autumn decides maybe shaking it could help, since they can’t peek. So, she picks up the book with the tongs and shakes it. She looks across at Egg White “Are you humming again?” Egg White and Joneigh shake their heads no and tell her she isn’t either, that the book is. She keeps shaking it and it keeps humming. “Put the book down.” Then it quit humming. “Well that was some fucked up shit.” So, they set up the squeegee board – it is like a twister pad – and Aura wants to know if this is like Prance-Prance-Revolution. There is a discussion about who should the invocation. They decide that it should be Aura as she knew Caviar best, plus she has some mad magic skills. HurryUp starts. “I am here” is spelled out. Autumn is up next “Who killed you?” and gets “Void.” Joneigh does this next. “Why did the Void kill you?” “To incimina… te o h… ?” “Who is O H?” It is Egg White’s turn and the spinner’s letters mutate and lands on horn. “I didn’t do it!” He says. “I don’t know. I only (here Aura says ‘Oh, buck up!’ and the puck bounces off her knows) heard the name!!!!!” is what came out. “So, he doesn’t know how to spell it?” HurryUp sneezes and the puck spins over and lands on “YES”. (The spinner now says ‘sneeze’ where ‘horn’ was before.) Jimmy’s turn. “Who spoke the name?” Jimmy gently nudges the puck; it flies round bouncing off the walls and finally lands on “Agents of the Void.” We talk about the guards from the moon whose names are ShadowStar, MidnightGleam, StellarAbyss and SilkenStar. ShadowStar is the one we made into a blank pony and later names White Vinegar. “What does the name sound like?” Sonny touches the puck. “Ooooooooooooooo.” “Do you want us to try to avenge you?” Borealis’ turn. “Please!!!” “Is there anything else you want us to know before we let you go?” HurryUp’s turn. The spinner mutates again and lands on butt. She twerks it. “Don’t make me go back.” He doesn’t want to go back. “Wait, I have a Pony Skull!”, says HurryUp. “Is this vessel acceptable?” Puck zooms at Aura and bounces off a wall and imbeds itself in “Yes.” They decide to move the spirit into the pony skull that HurryUp pulls from her tail braid. Aura casts the Black Star Know Vacancy spell on Caviar’s spirit. HurryUp is so excited! They talk about where he should reside and HurryUp puts it back into her tail braid. They then wonder what would happen if Caviar were taken to hear the singing at the pit.

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Bullion Loses Value

September 1, 2018

[Players updated character sheets for Minor and Significant milestones received last episodes.]

Joneigh and Moonbeam have moved in with Autumn. Mountainberry stops by to bring some mail that might be Joneigh’s and some of Mrs. Garnish’s yummy teacakes. Joneigh and Autumn look back n forth between the two uniponies. Mountainberry could be Moonbeam’s twin if he were a year older or had a cutie mark!! “I’m supposed to casually mention that your room is still there if you want to move back in!” Autumn stifles a giggle and Moutainberry leaves to do chores before school. HurryUp is on the widow’s walk peering through her telescope and her mom is calling up to tell her to get to school. HurryUp is ignoring her. She sees a dust cloud coming up the road from the horizon. There is the weekly coach with the mail and behind it are two more coaches. One is fancy and has a coat of arms on the side that looks like one belonging to one of Aura’s snooty friends from Canterlot. It is the Bullion coat of arms! HurryUp heads to town to tell Aura, who is now curious why Ginger Harmony might be HERE of all places. Autumn and Joneigh take Moonbeam with them to town. They need to see if they got more books and need to help in the library and clerk’s office. Jimmy has come to town to see if his CornSmut Monthly has come. They all see the mail coach, a Longhorn Charters coach and the Bullion Coach. A bunch of ponies stream out of the Longhorn Charters coach. A male black and white unicorn jumps out and sets of a camera that he aims at the Bullion couch. The next is a green and black pony and she is directing the first pony’s efforts. “Make sure you get the right angle as he disembarks.” Aurora notices that the green pony is a famous reporter. Joneigh and Autumn notices that a servant starts to debark from the Bullion coach is yanked back, there is some mumbled discussion and then a male pony steps out. It is Ginger Harmony’s older brother, Caviar Bullion (cutie mark is a small dollop of caviar on a small gold dish). He is a black pony with dark blue mane and blue n black tail and his hooves are very very black. There is a flash from the camera. The reporter notices Aurora. Sage E. Inkwell oozes nosily at her, “So nice to catch up with you out here in this pastoral place.” Caviar greets Aura and gives her orchids. Aurora takes this in stride. He inquires about the inn and suggests the two of them have dinner somewhere. The reporter is trying to talk to Aura and the photographer is taking pictures of she and Caviar. Then the paparazzi and Caviar send their retainers off to Garnish Towers. Joneigh has sidled off to the library as soon as there seems to be a crowd growing. Autumn takes Moonbeam off to the clerk’s office, she asks Aura if she would like to come help introduce Moonbeam to the town. Sage E. Inkwell is trying to figure the angle of her story and Caviar is trying to make small talk. Aura is acting as tour guide and they end up at Garnish Towers. She off-handedly sends Mountainberry off to make reservations at the badminton club for dinner for “us” at 7 and tips him. Borealis shows up about that time and greets his old chum Caviar.

Egg White finds Sunny and tells her that she needs to go check on Mauve Finery, an elderly pony. She lives in town in a run-down house. Sunny goes to see Mauve. Has a pony walker and is a bit of a homebody. She had congestive heart failure and probably isn’t long for this existence. She says its so nice to have another visitor, she usually only sees that nice son of the chef in the morning and that nice Constable in the evening (Egg White and Hobb). When Sunny leaves, after recommending that Mauve get out and get fresh air, she finds Borealis there with a picnic basket. “Well hello there Beautiful, what are you doing?” He tells her about the extra couches arriving today. “I think he is attempting to woo my sister!” HurryUp makes a comment, startling the others. “Aren’t you supposed to be in school, HurryUp Ann?” “What? My decoy is in place.” “What should we do about it?” “I have a plan so cunning you can clean your teeth with it.” She plans to go spy on them, perhaps as a waiter. They decide they will make sure the RSVP is for a bunch of ponies and ALL show up. Aurora is waiting in front of the Towers waiting for Hobb (moonlight stroll), when Caviar comes out and calls for the coach. Hobb shows up and Aura introduces them. Then Jimmy and Arctica join them all and they start walking to the club. Caviar is startled but regains his composure and hurries to catch them up… with the coach and reporters following. They turn the corner and there are Sunny and Borealis! Shucks and HurryUp have supplanted the waitstaff and are whispering behind the kitchen door and doing a ‘rock, paper, scissors” game to determine who greets them. HurryUp wins… ‘Halllllloooooo’ “Don’t you all look so smashing tonight! Please come this way.” Shucks is waiting at their large table, where they find Autumn and Bone. HurryUp is going to sabotage each of the dishes served to Caviar, leaving everyone else’s as prepared. Arctica notices what HurryUp did and sees Caviar start to grimace, then says “Isn’t this dish exquisite! I haven’t tasted anything so good since I was at the Palace at… etc.” Caviar is trying to ignore the odd tasting food and wine and tries to steer the conversation back to him and to keep Aurora’s attention. Aura uses magic to make the drinks Caviar is having much stronger. About halfway through the dinner, Caviar’s veneer of civility starts to slip. He starts tries more desperately to get the attention and insults Hobb in doing so. Autumn asks why is he in town, she is sorry but she missed that bit. Borealis is starting to fume. Caviar then waxes eloquent in a drunken way about how special Aura is, getting to marry anyone she wants, how vile the food is, how he ended up in this place with a few good ponies, but a whole lot of bumpkins who keep interrupting. There is a flash of the photo and the reporters are getting all of this down. About that time HurryUp says “Anyone for fruit or dessert?” HurryUp disappears shortly after to take Caviar out to party with the photographers and town farmboys. The next day there are headlines all over Equestria “Bullion Loses Value”. Caviar has been admitted to the infirmary by morning. At the Towers, Sage is wondering to the breakfast crowd where her photographer has gone to. Aura says, “HurryUp!!!” “Yesssssss???” Gardenia says he checked out and was on the early morning stage. Caviar’s servants have joined him at the infirmary to make him more comfortable. Sunny doesn’t let him leave for 8 days. On day 7 the mail coach arrives and in the news is the National Equiner with the picture of a green Caviar and the “Bullion loses value” as the headline. He decides he can leave a day early. Aurora is on hand to wave and say “Bye-ee, come back soon!” Aura offers a hoofbump to HurryUp.

A couple weeks later, Constable Hobb shows up at school and tells the teacher he needs to take HurryUp out of class. He asks if she put stuff in Caviar’s food. Then he latches her to the water wheel. Then he goes to talk to Borealis. Then he goes to see Aurora… “I am here not as your boyfriend, but as the Constable.” “Oh please tell me he didn’t die?” “Well, I can’t as that would be a lie.” “Yes, under suspicious circumstances. He was poisoned with in the last 3 weeks. So, I need to interview everyone who interacted with him while in town.” Later that week, Hobb receives a letter from an investigator from Canterlot. Iconic Flare is dead of mutilation, it seems he died 24 hours before Caviar. There may have been a murder – suicide. Or what… it is a mystery. HurryUp is on the widow’s walk looking through her telescope. “Can I have a word?” comes from behind her. She knows this is Agent Aaaaaaa and wants to know if she can have her flashy thing back. “The transducer? It wasn’t yours to begin with, it is the property of the princess.” “Can’t blame a girl for trying.” He wants to know if she gave Mr. Bullion anything unusual or that she may have brought back from Windsmouth. No, gave him over-the-couter-laxative. He’d heard you took him out to continue partying after that dinner. Did she lose track of him at any time during the evening? She just pointed him in the direction of the party but didn’t go with him. He wants a list of what she puts in the food and who she sent him to party with. She tells him what she can remember. He tells her Mr. Bullion was poisoned by a teeny egg that smells of bitter cherries. HurryUp knows nothing of them. She asks if Iconic Flare, who was mutilated, did he still have his horn. No. Also, Gardenia Dream’s family has to plan a funeral, sadly. She was missing her horn. HurryUp asks about Caviar’s horn… it was still attached when he was taken to the morgue but was missing later. He suggests she warn all her friends. He wishes her goodnight and she squints at him, not wanting to be flashy-thinged and when she opens her eyes, he is gone. She heads out immediately to spread his warning. Sunny wonders if the authorities were involved, if the horn went missing between morgue and funeral. Joneigh wonders if the followers of the Dark Stallion have infiltrated the authorities. The last horn-crown to be put together by Aura’s great uncle, could it be more of her family. Autumn asks if the cousin that didn’t get to marry her could be part of this crazy bit of Aura’s family. Egg White appears next to Sunny. “Grab your bag and follow me.” “Wait, what?” “I think Blown Grass is dying.” Autumn asks Aura if she can take us where they just poofed off to. Joneigh asks HurryUp knows where her cousin could be. New Moon Acres farm is her answer. Aura transports all but Autumn, whom Joneigh carries through the air. Blown Grass is being hovered over by his mom when Sunny and Egg White show up. Sunny figures out that there is some sort of larva in his intestines. Shortly after, the group that transported manifests in the farm’s pond. Joneigh and Autumn fly in and wonder why they are climbing out of the pond. Sunny says she is going to attempt magic surgery to remove the larvae. Jimmy runs to the kitchen and brings back the empty cookie jar. Sunny succeeds and there is something wiggly in the cookie jar, so Jimmy clamps the lid on to it tightly. Aura is asked to get a message to Agent Aaaaaa that the group has one of the things. Jimmy transports Blown to the infirmary and Sunny levitates the cookie jar in a forcefield on the way back to town. Once they get Blown settled and comfortable and treated for internal damage. The group next tries to figure out who all was with Caviar at the ‘party’, who might all be infected. They need to be diagnosed and treated. Joneigh also wonders about what the pit has to do with it all.

Aurora wants to go after those who are taking the horns, but “I don’t know which them they are yet.”

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Fire over Windsmouth
...but I didn't shoot the deputy

August 4, 2018

Minor Milestone TIME!

Spells in a journal Joneigh read: “moth wings not look like moth wings” “earth ponies and unicorns walk on clouds”. She thinks these could come in handy to get around in Windsmouth. Joneigh shares the spells with Sunny. She casts the moth wing spell on herself. They take the train to Brindlebury.

  • Autumn & Joneigh check in with Bristol.
  • Aurora goes to see Constable Hobb.
  • Sunny is trying out her cloud walking spell on Borealis.
  • HurryUp goes home to check in her parents.
  • Jimmy does some tidying on the farm.
  • Shucks checks all of his critters.

They meet at the river and head towards Windsmouth. Joneigh stomps, jumps and just splashes along the edge of the river. Getting everyone wet.

They come to the ferry dock. It is old and worn and the sign is very faded.” How long has it been since this has been repaired? 500 yerars?” “No, about 37”, from under the dock. It is Babs n Sandy Brook – water fairys.

They bring out a balloon, blow it up and ties a string to it. “Who’s first?” They all point at Aurora, at the same time as Autumn tries to volunteer. They tie a balloon around her middle and she floats up. The rest follow suit except Joneigh, who just flies. They try blowing at the balloons, which makes them float up faster (right next to the waterfall coming from the cloud above).

There is some thunder and lightning from the cloud and it is always raining. Finally, they are all up there and start to land. Sunny casts the spell on everyone but Joneigh. There is a rusty metal arch with Windsmouth written out in metal. There is a sign that says “Ferry Dock”. It is very dark and gloomy up here.

They go through the gate and Aurora bumps into a pony no one saw there. Blue pony with big moth like eyes, moth wings and antennae. She looks startled. Aurora asks where she fishes. Then Joneigh says maybe she has a really long line. The pony sees Joneigh and apologises for impeding her. Aurora peeks in the side baskets the blue pony is wearing and sees eels. Joneigh asks if she is fishing for them or if they are bait. “No, they are cloud grubs.”

“What do you do with them?” asks Aurora.

“Usually I just fry them up then eat them.”

This takes Aurora aback. She asks “Do you feed them to your pet crow?”

“Why would we feed good food to the crows?” Aurora throws up over the waterfall.

“Could I interest you in some deep fried alphalfa cakes?” Says a pony with a cart from across the road. Sign on the cart says Dibbler Is Everywhere. “You ponies would prefer Alphalfa cakes!”

Some of us buy some cakes and HurryUp gossips with Dibbler. Asks if there is good place to stay. “The only pony that rents out rooms is ol’ Blue Moonchaser up on Cirrus Lane.” “Do you need a map?”

“How much is it?”

“A bit.”

“Half a bit!”

“I can’t sell half a map! I’m plucking my own wings at this price as it is!”

“Throw in one of those cakes and it’s a deal.”

“All I can do for ya is one of these glazed lavender sprigs.”

“Done.”

They look at the map, it has lines and some squiggley bits that look like maybe descriptions. Joneigh looks at it and starts reading our names of roads and areas. Autumn asks if there are other levels because they keep hearing fluttery flutters, but see no ponies. They head up the road looking for Cirrus Lane and the BnB. From the houses lining the streets, an occasional pony peeks out (moth eyed ponies) until they are seen by the group and then they back off. The group (except Joneigh) are worried about seeing their way, as they keep trying light sources.

They find the BnB. Autumn rings the bell. [Flutter flutter clomp clomp] and the door opens on a unicorn; dark blue with white mane and white horn. “Can I help you?”

Aurora says “I will take the Royal Suite, if you have one.”

The pony looks her up and down, “You could afford it!” Then he sees Joneigh and says, “I’m sorry that suite is already taken.” “Ms. Owlmstead, we were told to expect you.” Joneigh asks if there is room in the Princess suite for she and Autumn. “I believe we have rooms for all of you.”

Joneigh asks his name: Moonbeam Moonchaser. He explains his birth parents gave him Moonbeam and his adoptive parents gave him the Moonchaser. He shows us to our rooms. The place looks ok to most, but old to Joneigh (she expects Bruce Campbell to pop out of a closet with a chainsaw). The princess suite has a view of the clouds and has a couple rooms that are connected. All looks tattered and dusty. There is a painting in their room of Nightmare Moon. They decide that it might be familiar… from a dream, when they went to the moon. “Lets not show this to Aurora, k?”

“Yeah, maybe just HurryUp.” They look around and sure enough, she is hiding in potted plant. She remembers the whole going to the moon and the cake and everything.

Autumn, Joneigh & HurryUp come out and bump right into Aurora (who is standing guard).

Moonbeam clomps up the stairs and asks if Ms. Owlmstead is accepting callers. She asks why. Because Nimbus Penniform is here to see her, he is awaiting her in the south parlor. Blue grey moth pony with the wings, eyes & antennae and a cloud cutie mark. They greet each other. He hands her flowers “To welcome you to our town.”

She thanks him and asks Moonbeam if he could take them up to the suite and put them in a vase. She asks Mr. Penniform if there is anything they should not miss while they are in town. She asks if there are many from their family in town. “There are a number who have resettled here.” In the background, we can hear doors opening and closing and voices that we can’t quite make out, talking. Autumn asks if it is tourist season. Nimbus says “Well this is the only place to stay. Oh, and there are a couple more of our relatives now.” A cream color stallion and a lunarmoth green mare. Nimbus says this is our cousin Cirrus and our other cousin, her husband Vaporum Moonchaser.”

Autumn tries to figure out the relationship of Moonbeam to Joneigh (second cousins-once-removed to Joneigh; all first cousins to each other). They seem sorry that they weren’t here to meet Joneigh when she arrived. Joneigh is confused as she didn’t send word ahead that I was coming. Nimbus asks them all to dinner, they beg off due to traveling all day. Autumn suggests tomorrow. Vapporum says we should speak with his aunt, when she heard Joneigh was coming she said she missed seeing Neightaniah. Nimbus says “It was so sad, such a tragedy, so many died.”

Finally they all leave and Autumn & Joneigh head to the library. Autumn asks Joneigh if maybe the cylinder post-pony may have gossiped with someone that we were coming. Aurora agrees with her. Jonieigh says others know… like the Princess and maybe her agents. “It is weird to be expected.”

“Maybe you are a special person here.”

“I am special everywhere, not just here.” And she stands tall and proud and hauty. Her glasses slip when she does that and Aurora & Autumn see that Joneigh has 4 pupils in each eye.

Aurora starts lecturing her about being cautious and careful and not get too involved. Borealis asks Sunny if Aurora is suggesting that maybe Joneigh shouldn’t accept the courting of that cousin.

“I’m sorry did someone say something about being in trouble?” A green unicorn with green eyes and horn is standing there. This startles Joneigh. “Where did you come from?” “I’m on patrol, I am a jr. deputy.”

“Oh you have one of Mr. Dibbler’s map, that was before the big fire. You want to go this way instead of the way you were headed.” It seems it got evaporated. That point on our map says “Oriel family mansion”.

Asks the jr. deputy about her job and name. She says “My name is Starbeam.” Autumn is asking questions of Starbeam. She and Moonbeam are the only adopted ponies up here and are both unicorns. Autumn asks about all the shy ponies in the houses. “A lot of ponies here are not good with outsiders.”

Joneigh asks if they are related, and Starbeam doesn’t think so, but their families both died on Smoky Top. Joneigh asks HurryUp if she didn’t have family at Smokey Top. Aurora notices that the yellow in the her mane is the same as HurryUp and the green coat is a color in HurryUp’s mane and their eyes are the same. Then it dawns on her that when they met Moonbeam that his smile was just like Borealis’ and his eyes are just like HurryUp’s. Autumn and Joneigh notice that Aurora looks a bit white. “Are you going to throw up again?” Autumn offers her mint.

They arrive at the library. There are two Nightmare Moon statues just outside the library. Joneigh, HurryUp and Autumn admire them and Joneigh mentions that they have a picture of this pony in their room! HurryUp says “That one winked at me:” Autumn dared it to wink at her. It doesn’t but out of the corner of her eye, she swears she saw the other one shift a hoof.

Aurora complains about the dark.

“I’m sorry, can’t you see?” and torches light up all over the library. You can see the big stain glass window of Nightmare Moon… and the copulating moth ponies surrounding her.

Autumn is looking for the librarian pony that spoke. A card catalog drawer closes and hoofbeat sound go toward the front desk. Joneigh can see a faint outline of the pony and she asks about a book on the Orial Mansion family. Clop clop clop, drawer opens, card comes out and goes back to the desk. A quill comes out and draws a map and writes down the book name. There are notes of how to get to the Family Records Hall. “Ah Ponyyyyy, I wish I could read your language.” Another card comes out of the drawer and goes to the desk and the quill writes VERY SLOWLY. “So you Decided to Join the Order of Twilight.” Oh.

They all head to the Family Records Room, except HurryUp is wandering to see if any books call out to her. Joneigh finds the Oriel family registry. All died in the fire, except Joneigh’s grandmother who moved away. Autumn and Joneigh decide that is very sad. They talk about the Twilight book a little. Meanwhile, HurryUp tries to take a book that ‘called to her’ off the shelf, but it is attached to a wire and a secret passage opens up. As she starts down the passage she’s says “I really shouldn’t go but it is secret and they would be ashamed of my performance if I didn’t.” ‘Didn’t what?” says Shucks. They can hear voices, and HurryUp says they may not be good ponies. So, Shucks pulls out his MIB dark glasses out puts them on, then tippyhoofs after HurryUp. They come to a gallery that has the statue in the center with an alter, and 6 mothponies with little black capes. “I think we would have a much a better chance of getting her to join if we leave her friends alive.” “But we need two of them to sacrifice so we can cross the beams.” There is more banter along these lines. HurryUp decides that they need to tell the others rather than do anything now. They find the rest of the group while they are looking for the Twilight book. Autumn greets them and Shucks shushes them “Bad Ponies”. She looks at HurryUp “What did you do to Shucks, and why are we whispering?” “Shuuuuush” HurryUp tells what they saw. They decide to head back to the BnB to plan.

When they get outside, there is a pony waiting. She is black with orange mane, is a Pegasus and is wearing a badge that says constable. “Are you lost? It is dangerous to be out at night somewhere unfamiliar to you.”

We explain that we are just headed back to the BnB. She offers to escort them back, fearing they could lose their way.

Autumn introduces herself and asks the constable’s name. “Starhunter Eclipse”. It even looks dark n gloomy to Joneigh. Sunny sees something out of the corner of her eye and she suddenly falls through the clouds. “Sunny where are you?” and Borealis starts shooting into the gloom. Everyone stops and looks around. From the opposite side of the road the darkness swallows him up.

“What happened? Aurora? Can you sense him?”

“I told you it was dangerous at night, we need to go now.”

Shucks sees HurryUp get sucked into the darkness. Joneigh flies up a bit and starts a ball lightning spell.

“Where’d Ann go, Where’d Ann go??”

“Constable, we’ve had some kidnapping!”

“We get you to safety and come back for the bodies.” Aurora says that we are more resilient than that.

Somewhere in the darkness above, they hear a smack and a flash of unicorn magic… more flashes and smacks and crunches. Some teeth fall out of the sky and lands at our feet. Something is fluttering down, is it scorched moth wing? Joneigh’s ball lightning is forming and lights up the area… Borealis and HurryUp are in a swarm of moth ponies. Joneigh is hit by lightning and that releases her ball lightning. Constable shot her! Joneigh flew higher and is kicking. Aurora shoots at the Constable. Autumn is ready to head butt someone. Aurora levitates Autumn and drops her between the wings of the Constable. There is lightning flying from unicorn horns and Joneigh’s magic and scortched mothwings are falling. HurryUp kicks and Autumn is choking Starhunter, Shucks launches Jimmy into a moth pony and Joneigh is still throwing lightning. Sunny sees Shucks falls through the clouds and a uni-wand flash off to the side. Sunny sees Joneigh diving for Shucks and shoots at the uni-wand and hears a yelp, the pony shoots back (while saying something) but misses. Joeneigh helps Shucks, but he is blowing up a balloon and tying it to himself and he is now weightless. Aurora shoots “disarmed” at the uni-wand weilder. Sunny hits the pony who has a wand with an amputated unicorn horn at the end of it, and Aurora hits him in the face. More teeth fly and the wand goes flying too. Shucks & Joneigh fly up through the ground, Shucks is holding the wand and Joneigh is all crackling with lightning around her. It expands out from her and fills the space above the ground, so everyone blinded for a minute.

HurryUp, Jimmy and Borealis inside Borealis’ force bubble floating down. Lots of moth ponies are falling from the sky. Autumn fell with Starhunter, who broke her fall, so Autumn is winded and the Constable is out. Even the clouds are on fire. Autumn suggest we head back to the ferry and grab the balloons and fly for it. Everyone agrees.

“Tactical retreat… engage!” Aurora and Shucks lead the way and Jimmy brings up the rear as they head out of town. There is smoke but it is less gloomy due to the glow from the fires. They hear the Pegasus fire brigade… and directed rain.

“What a vivid color of blue” says Aurora. “Leaving so soon?” says an elderly very large pony in a wheelcart (Moonbeam is behind her to push).

“Great Aunt Moon?”

“Blue, my dear” “I told them when the last Oriel came back, it wouldn’t go the way they wanted.”

“You’re right”.

There is discussion about the cult and that she was sorry she was asleep when they arrived. She says she would have warned them. “I do have this that your grandmother left behind.” She pulls out a scorched book. “Her diary.” There is discussion about taking her with us. She says there is no way she can go, and there are reasons they can’t kill her. “But can you take Moonbeam for me, he won’t be safe.”

They agree and take the proffered balloons and float down to earth. Joneigh kisses Great-Aunt Blue on the forehead, thanks her and flies down. There were many comments about the sunset storm being so beautiful.

Aaaand Significant Milestone.

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Cherries are Delicious!

July 14, 2018
Joneigh absently hands a gardening book to Autumn when she checks on her. Then she calls Hurryup over to show that back in her own genealogy table there is a Whately! They are distant cousins somehow. Aurora is wandering about the town after studying the map in the Post Office. As she goes down one lane full of creepy houses, she notes that the moon is rising. The trees have silver blossoms opening to the moonrise. Then bumblebees start flitting from blossom to blossom. She continues on. She notices that the buzzing of the bees is getting louder. Now she stops to watch some hummingbirds, that are glowing somehow, flying from flower to flower. Now one stabs a bee with its beak and the bee disappears. Then goes to the next bee and does the same, and again and again. She looks back to see how far into the alley she is; she is at the midway point. She decides to soldier on… sees some squirrel things, some moths and the moon is going down. By the end of the alley they are all gone, the moon, bees, birds, etc. It seems to be dawn at this end of the alley. “Silvery Key Lane” is the name of the street (she remembers from the map). She hears hoofbeats and peeks around the corner and sees our group arriving the day before. She looks around to see if anyone else is observing their arrival. She sees someone duck behind a building, so she circles around to find them. Sees her backing away from the place she was watching from; she is a blue unicorn with shimmery blue/green/purple mane with anaurora cutie mark. This surprises Aurora, so she hides to see what her ‘other self’ will do. Other turns and dashes off with Aurora tailing her. She goes inside the Post Office and blasts the map and it falls as ashes to the ground. Then she sort of dissolves and the map reappears on the wall. “Oh, shit.” “I am sorry, I didn’t understand that.”
Back at the house, Joneigh and Autumn are totally focused on their books (genealogy and gardening). Hurryup pours them each some moonshine to help with studying. Autumn does a spit-take. Joneigh says “This isn’t soup.” Hurryup drops a cherry into Autumn’s drink. “Ooo fruit.” Then she notices that the drink is both being drawn in and not, into the cherry. “Is this a black hole cherry. Its wibbley-wobbley.” “You ain’t kididing.” Autumn asks if Hurryup had learned to throw her voice. She has been doing this for a while. “Come over here and I will do it for you.” Autumn shows her what it was doing. “I didn’t do that.” “I must have been drunker than I thought.” They all look at the cherry. Autumn pokes the cherry with a pencil and it is stuck on the end now. Joneigh asks if Hurryup wants the cherry. She eats it. It is a VERY tasty cherry. “Isn’t it tasty?” comes a voice from the other side of the room. Joneigh screams and tells Hurryup says “Stop that! Stop being two of you.” All three of them say “Ok” in unison. Hurryup seems delighted that she is now three. “Maybe we should make Hurryup throw up.” “No! That comes later, don’t hurry the process.” Autumn says the book suggests corn oil or the like. Joneigh says she might have to leave, but Hurryup takes her other two and left. “Remember all the times we wished there were three of us?” Jimmy follows after the Hurryup trio.
The three discuss the cylinders. One of them is down to 5 and the other is at 6. Feeding a cherry made one disappear, putting booze in another make it die and then the last was charged by Aurora, blasted and then Aurora disappeared! “Lets go up on a roof with a cylinder to see if we can get it to talk more.” They climb THE most safe-from-Aurora-house they can find. “I COMMAND YOU TO TALK!” “What do you want to talk about?” “How did you become cylinderfied?” One starts to tell her and she says “No, why did you decide to do it?” “Pony bodies can’t go some places.” “Where is that?” “The outer darkness.” “Is that where these cherries came from?” “Those come off of the tree at the Jubilee speical tree.” “Are they special cloning cherries? When I ate one, another me showed up.” “Very interesting.” “They have various magical effects, depending how they are processed.” “The whole town wanted to go? You got shafted, cause you aren’t there!” “I don’t know. We were to be carried along.” “So they just left you?” “What year did this happen?”
Hurryup sticks her head in the door of the house. “No I didn’t leave me here, where did I leave me.” “When did you change clothes?” “Clothes? Am I wearing clothes? When did I start wearing clothes?” “Where did I leave me? I didn’t pass me.” Joneigh tries to explain they left through that same door.
Aurora heads back to Silver Key Lane to go in the back toward the current day. As he is going up the lane, she sees a pony coming down the lane rather drunkenly. “Hey, Hurryup.” “Hey, baby.” They argue about where the Jubilee house is and this Hurryup sees the glowing hummingbirds around a mailbox that seems to mark the Jubilee house. This Hurryup is excited about this. “Because of the cherries.” “You haven’t had these cherries, you have to try one.” She swirls the bottle in which one remains. The cherry is glowing blue. “We should go this way.” “No, that looks like then not fun way.” There is more arguments about study aid and cherries and drunk and that cylinder that said where the cherries came from cause they are f’in delicious. Borealis says “Where have you been?” “Can we discuss this at the other end of this alley.” She is coercing them toward the sunset end of the Alley. Sunny asks if she has seen any of the other HurryupAnns. That is disturbing to Aurora. Borealis says there were 18 of them at one point. Aurora takes the jar away from HurryupAnn, who has disappeared into the Jubilee house. Aurora and Sunny go to find her. Borealis trails along, too. Then Sunny has an idea and runs back to the Penniform house. Aurora lights up the house and cockroaches flee and organ music starts. She runs into a pregnant Hurryup in the hall. They have an argument about the study aid she’s drinking. Apparently it is Borealis’ spawn. “It What?” says Borealis. “This can’t possibly all be from the cherries” says Aurora. “Oh there you are!” (Old version of Hurryup). Aurora and this Hurryup have a discussion about when all this started (multi Hurryup). “I also lost my last two cylinders, my brain buddies.” There was some discussion about time travel spells and a cylinder exploded after ponies said “Uh oh”. Sunny hurries back to the Jubilee house with the goggles. Sunny discovers that all the Hurryups are real and now slugs and trying to get to her brain. Autumn finds Borealis and they look at the tree of glowing blue cherries. They tried to figure out what to do to undo the cherries and Hurryups. Aurora tells them her time travel story. They are all trying to find the original Hurryup. Aurora thinks some pony should go to the east end of the alley to destroy the cherries before Hurryups ever finds them. The older Hurryup says that didn’t work and one of the Auroras, Sunnys and Borealis’ all died when that was tried. Autumn looks at the cherry tree and remembers the book she was looking at earlier… it is either a morninglory cherry or a dead of night tree. This tree was started from graft from the Mare in the Moon’s garden. (Joneigh had found references to a fight over whether the residents of the town should all go to the Outer Darkness and some said to just stay in town or to all go to Windsmouth.) After some discussion about possible outcomes, Aurora decides to go down to the basements of the Jubilee house and talk to the Hurryup down there. She is very old and there are lots of empty cherry jars and pony skulls. She is saddest about Jimmy (she pats a hugh skull). “Where’s your foal?” “I think she went to Windsmouth, I don’t remember.” “Why didn’t you go?” “Someone had to look after Shucks.” (Pats another huge skull). They talk about the study aid and would it help if we got rid of it.
Joneigh reaches out from under the bed, knocks a stack of books over and pulls one to her. She leafs through till she finds what she wants. Then she asks Shucks to help her find Autumn. They find her and Joneigh shows her the entry about the pony addicted to the cherries, you need to make a tincture from the rootball of the tree the cherry graft was first made on. Sunny helps with the tea, while Shucks helps Autumn find the rootball and Jimmy, Aurora and Borealis go back for Hurryup (original). Hurryup drinks the tea and ran to the privy to throw up. With each retch a copy of her “Pop”s out of existence. Autumn takes cool, clean water and a soft cloth to help Hurryup and Joneigh goes to hold her mane back (and collect the items that fall out of it). Just before the last older Hurryup goes, she hands Jimmy a book and says “don’t cross the streams”. The book is “The Journal of Prunella Jubilee”. Jimmy opens the book to the entry the last Hurryup dogeared – there are two entries; one is about the orgy with some mothkin that were summoned down; the other is about the fighting over whether to leave and the spell that tried to help go back in time to fix it. This alley was affected by that spells.
They go back to the Penniform house. Talk moves to what to do next. Autumn and Joneigh box up books to send to Brindlebury, the others get them taken to the Post Office. They get ready to go to Brindlebury and on to Windsmouth (Autumn pulls our a few books for she and Joneigh to study en route).

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Episode 16 On Top of Ol' Smokey
Joneigh and Aurora Won't Stop Bickering

June 9, 2018
The group is trying to help clean up and get out of the museum before someone arrests them. HurryupAnn diverts the group and tries to flashything the staff. But Agent Ayyyyy had swapped out her flashything for a fake one. Jimmy tells Shucks to get the group out the side door and starts trotting for the front door. The rest follow Shucks to the tea shop that Jimmy said to meet at if they got slpit up. Jimmy grabs the docent and heads out the front door. Jimmy shows up and tells the group that he’d just explained that it was an accident and that Aurora and Borealis would pay for everything. Aurora wants to know if there is any way to de-scary-fy the goggles (that are still in a lead box in Joneigh’s bag).
They work out how to get to Smokey Mountain. Joneigh and Autumn have done some research on the valley and the mountain. It looks like they need to go to Ashville, cross the valley and go up the mountain. The only problem they encounter is that Joneigh just wants to fly ahead, but tries to be patient for those without wings. Aurora keeps being over-mortified by the displays of affection between Sunny and Bori (her pet name for him). She can’t believe that she can be more mortified each time it happens.
They arrive at Ashville. Aurora was hoping for a villa to rent. Folk point them toward the village inn. Joneigh says “but we are only going across the valley and up the mountain, we don’t need the INN!”. They decide to get supplies. Joneigh is impatient. They finally start out. Aurora has her in a bubble because she keeps floating off. As they make their way past the “L” landmark and head left up the stream, Joneigh notices a projectile coming her way. She goes up and hollars back “someone is shooting at us”. Aurora shoots at it the large orange object now coming at her. The pumpkin explodes in midair, covering several ponies in pumpkingoo. They hear someone say “They hired a Pegasus bomber” “no, wait they got a unicorn” “unicorns can’t fly”. Then Autumn asks Borialis to put up a large shield over all of them. Another pumpkin flies at them, smashing on the shield. Autumn asks Jimmy what he heard about the fight. He says that it is between the Hoofields and the McColts. Autumn calls out “who’s firing at us?” No one answers and Aurora is hollering insults at them. Autumn asks if someone can stifle Aurora. They do this. “What are you two idiots doing, they have called out to you why haven’t you answered?” “We thought they were coming to git us.” Hurryup says “We aren’t revenuers!” “But what is a Pegasus doing down here?” Autumn says “she wanted to go ahead, but she stayed with us out of the goodness of her heart.” Joneigh gives Autumn the stinkeye. Soon a couple ponies come out of the woods, one of them has a contraption that looks like a small catapult strapped to his chest. Autumn explains who we are and that we are looking for information about Joneigh’s family. “Well that explains why you’re going to the mountain.” They don’t seem to like somepony named McColt. The older one says “I’m Old Rant and this here is Crazy Jim Hoofield.” “If you are just passing through, I guess we’ll let you go, but you want to stay on this side of the river.” “What’s on the other side.” “McColts!” The group says goodbye as Joneigh tugs at Aurora to get moving. Eventually, Joneigh again notices something coming at them. They are now surrounded by javelins. They are accosted by a group of what is apparently McColts. “Kindly remove your spears, we have unicorns.” All of a sudden there is a pony standing next to Hurryup. “Where did you get that thing.” She is holding the fake flashy thing. “The Heck!” says Hurryup who jumps. “Are we related?” “Are you a McColt?” “No, ahm a Whately.” “Hey, Little Sandy, this here is a cousin, she must be related to greatgreatgreat grandpa Elmer!” “I’m Devil Ann”. While the group is arguing about hanging around, Devil Ann and Hurryup have disappeared.” Now everyone is arguing with Joneigh about hanging around to find Hurryup and that we might learn stuff about her g-g-g-grandfather from them. Joneigh heaves a huge exasperated sigh and sits down in her bubble and pulls out a book. (Aside – Little Sandy is Jimmy size, Big Sandy is the smallest one here.) “Did we lose Hurryup?” someone asks; “We don’t lose Hurryup, she loses us,” sighs Joneigh. “Since you are traveling with a cousin, I spose you can come on back to the house and we can show y’all some of our books.” When they get to the McColt place, it is sad. The garden is a shambles, the stores are very empty. Autumn and Jimmy offer some of theirs. They do have a library, but mostly it is architecture and engineering books. There is a family tree. Not much there about the Owlmsteads. Elmer settled here after retiring from the military. “What do you mean you don’t know how to make a plant grow?” Joneigh has started twitching uncontrollably. Joneigh faints. Sunny checks Joneigh. Says she is stressed… they try to wake her. They force feed her a sammich. She is not happy. There is more arguing, and Joneigh heads out the door toward the mountain by wing. Aurora tries to call her back. Hurryup suggests that maybe Aurora was the only danger Joneigh had been in. “Who better to protect her from me than me.” Shucks says “Sometimes you need to just let Ms. Buckminster-Cornsyruplick do what she is gonna do.” Joneigh is following the river up the mountain.
Autumn notices that Joneigh seems to be wobbling in the air. Hurryup checks through her spyglass and sees her trailing feathers. “Do Pegasuses molt?” Jimmy says “That’s not good.” Sunny agrees. Autumn is full on running after Joneigh. The others do too, Jimmy passing her up shortly. Joneigh sees a swarm of things in the sky (like the slugs in the museum swimming through the ether). Joneigh creates some wind magic, which speeds her up, but she seems to trying to buffet the slugs. The others can now feel the wind change blow stronger. There is even some lightning. Several of the slugs go splat on her wind, but some get knocked aside. Joneigh looks as if she is falling out of the sky, then her wings flap and she keeps going. Jimmy has managed to get right below her from shear strength. They get to the top of the mountain and Joneigh is sitting atop the sign that says “Welcome to Smokey Mountain”. There are building and homes, but they look deserted, it looks like a ghost town. The group notice that she now has moth wings. Aurora tries to coax her down, but Joneigh is having none of it. So she says “Huh, that’s weird. Where are all the ponies.” And then she faints and falls off the sign. Jimmy catches her. Aurora tries to do the same and runs right into the side of Jimmy. The others check the buildings, but it still seems deserted. Hurryup opens the door, “Yup, its empty but the fireplace is ok.” Jimmy goes in and puts Joneigh on the bed. Hurryup starts rummaging around the house to see if she can find out who it belongs to. It is very dusty, nothing seems like it is rotting, so maybe only empty for a few years, rather than decades. “I think we found the place, LOOK.” She points at a picture of her g-g-g-grandpa Elmer with Barnstormer. The others have built a fire and gotten out provisions and Joneigh is sleeping in the soft bed. “So what, is she finally home (using air quotes)?” Shucks runs out of chores to do, so rummages through the house looking for books and setting them near Miss Joneigh, because she likes books. Aurora is searching the town. She doesn’t find anyone. She does find the town hall and starts looking for the post office and post-mistress. She finds the post office and calls out “Hello?” She gets a whispered “Yes” in response. “Who are you looking for… who’s mail are you looking for?” “I am looking for any pony.” “This is the post office, you are here.” “What is your name?” “I have no mail for that name, can I interest you in some stamps?” “Is there anyone in line behind you?” “No.” “We received a letter, it has been a long time since we got a letter.” Aurora sees a metal cylinder on the counter and that is where the voice is coming from. She picks it up in a field and shakes it. “Ow!” “Do you know Sir Jekyll Steel?” “Poor fellow.” “You do! How many of you are there?”” One, two, three… it is a long list, are you sure you are not Jimmy McCorn.” Jimmy comes in to the post office “I’m Jimmy.” An envelope appears on the counter in front of the cylinder. “Who would write to you HERE?” “Lets find out.” Jimmy picks up the cylinder and then the letter. The return address says Egg White, Brindleberry. Jimmy reads the letter. Aurora tries to see what is in the letter. It is encrypted. “Son of a bitch.” “Can I interest you in some stamps?” “Yes, please,” and buys some. He goes to write a note, but the ink is dry. Meanwhile, Hurryup found a secret passage back at the house. The secret room seems to be FULL of brass cylinders. There are eleven of them. She picks one up and it sloshes. “Anyone there?” “Yes, hello?” She says “Howdy.” “Are you here to take us to the beyond.” “The comic store in Canterlot? I go there all the time.” “You don’t seem like a mothkin.” “How do you know I am not in league with one?” “So the Mare in the Moon sent you?” “No, but the mare in the upstairs bedroom did?” “Gasp! You’re one of THEM.” “It doesn’t work on us.” “What doesn’t?” “The memory eraser.” “Well, no you don’t have eyes!” “We will tell you nothing more.” “I know a pawn shop… or a bunch of fillies who would love to play with a bunch cylinders!” (Cylinder Cylinder fun for a girl and boy) Suddenly, something pops and fluid start leaking out of the cylinder. Hurryup commands them to tell all. The rest of the cylinders follow the first’s lead. Hurryup starts plugging holes. Shucks has wandered down the secret passage and helps Hurryup by plugging four more. Hurryup tells Shucks that he has been doing really well today. “What are these things” asks Shucks. “Brains, ponies put their brains in these cylinders.” “Oh dear!” and Shucks hurries out to the privy. Hurry up takes the cylinders and looks around for any thing else she might need to take. There is a statue of a black alicorn with gems for eyes sitting on a pedestal behind a blood-splatter alter. “Hey brainiacs, was it your bodies that were sacrificed on this here alter. You better tell me, cause I know how to plug up the holes.” They remain silent. At the post office, the post-master-cylinder keeps trying to sell Aurora and Sunny some stamps. Sunny asks the price and buys a set. Joneigh is dreaming, whimpering a little in her sleep and her eyes are moving under the lids. “It doesn’t have legs, they don’t have legs” she murmers. Jimmy says that Egg White was letting him know that the guard ponies were leaving Brindleberry. Also, was wondering how was the group and making sure they hadn’t been kidnapped. Jimmy wrote back in detail what they were doing and that they were ok. Jimmy puts it on the counter, uses the cylinder to cancel the letter… then it ‘poof’ disappears.
When they get back to the house, they see that Hurryup has 7 cylinders. “Friends” interjects Hurryup, Aurora says “Why are you being so weird?” “Well I had to put them somewhere.” “They’re going to travel with me.” “Where are you taking them?” “To the Beyond, I am going to buy them some comics!” “What happened to their bodies?” “I think they were sacrificed on the scary alter downstairs.” So, she heads down the secret corridor. There are 4 cylinders here with a puddle of liquid around them. And the statue. And the alter with the blood. Hurryup explains how they pissed themselves to death. Aurora wants to know who extracted the brains and put them in the cylinders. Sunny tests the blood to see how long it has been there. More than 5 years and less than 10. Jimmy says he is gonna make some dinner. While they are all eating downstairs and trying to decide if they should wake Joneigh soon, Joneigh sits up in bed and says “I have MOTH wings??” They can hear that she is awake and so everyone hurries upstairs and then Aurora starts to accuse Joneigh of being in a trance and that is what caused it. There is argument and it upsets Joneigh. “I am done talking with this one, next?” When no one seems to understand that Aurora had kept her prisoner and why should she do anything she asked, she says “I smell soup!” She goes downstairs for a cup of soup and to sort some of the books Shucks found. She looks for family trees, journals, family history, etc

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Episode 15 The Museum

Jimmy is back in Brindlebury, taking care of both his and Shuck’s farms. The rest of the group is still in Canterlot, some have been to WackyLand. Joneigh has notebooks full of notes from the library. There is a museum devoted to the great hero Barnstormer Penniform in Eagle Harbor just outside of Baltimare. Joneigh is dropping hints that she wants to go visit Eagle Harbor. Autumn glances at the pile of discarded picnic baskets, “We will be stopping for food and naps, right? Or I have to pack a lot more picnics. About that time a phoenix flies through the library and drops a scroll at Joneigh’s feet. It is a note from Celestia letting her know that Aurora is supposed to help her on her quest. While we are reading it, Hurryup pops out of a discarded picnic basket “that was tasty”. Aurora strides in saying that she knows about following Joneigh. They decide to clean up, pack, get tickets and send notes to the others, then get headed out in the morning. Aurora asks “Why are we going to this museum? Museums aren’t dangerous!” Joneigh is a bit frustrated with how long it is taking. Autumn offers to read to her. Joneigh just sighs. The overnight trip seems to take DAYS to Joneigh.

Joneigh and Autumn are looking at a map to see where the museum is located. Eagle Harbor is a very small town; Autumn and Joneigh chat up Clyde (ferryman aboard the Isle Royal) about the town. He knows a bit of history and shares it. Borealis and Sunny take every opportunity to make out. Aurora about wears out her mascara doing huge eye-rolls. There is always a cloud over the town and there are buildings both in the clouds and on the ground. Joneigh leads the way down the Eagle Nest Lane and around the corner to Harbor Way. When the group gets to the museum, Jimmy & Shucks are already there munching on butter-drenched ears of corn. There is a bronze statue of Barnstormer Penniform outside the museum. Sunny and Aurora go to the hayburger stand down the street. Joneigh takes a rubbing of the plaque below the statue. Joneigh is pacing in front of the museum door, waiting for everypony to finish their food.

Joneigh gives a donation at the box, as do Aurora and Autumn. Joneigh heads down a hall. Aurora misses everything because Borealis and Sunny are making out and she is doing eye-daggers at them. Hurryup notices Joneigh taking something out and putting it back into her mane, and a big painting of Barnstormer Penniform with a bunch of others including someone that looks a lot like her grandfather Noah. She takes a circuitous route to the painting, she goes by Joneigh and whispers “Good technique!” When she gets to the painting, she notices that one of the names on the plaque under the painting is Elmer Whatley. She sneaks over to Joneigh “Come check out this painting”, and zaps back. Joneigh goes back to where Hurryup is standing. She shows Hurryup the book, then puts it back.

“The exhibit I want to see is down this way”, and Joneigh heads down the hallway. There is an exhibit about Commodore Penniform’s family she wants to see. Aurora notices everyone is gone, except for Sunny and Borealis. She looks about frantically, realizing she has lost her charge already. She hurries through rooms looking and listening for Joneigh. Finally hears Jimmy telling Shucks to put something down and heads that way. She finds the group standing before a display of pictures, including one of Penniform wedding, others of Barstormer’s mother, but none of Spyglass (his father). In the wedding picture there is mother and father of the bride, and mother of the groom but his father is not there.

A docent points out a replica of a painting of Spyglass, an important business pony of Smokey Mountain Township, but it is a very young Spyglass. Joneigh goes back to look at the medals Barnstormer received. Autumn checks against a book of medals that can be awarded. There is a commemoration for making 40 kills during the war. Joneigh asks the docent if there is something about Commodore Penniform’s home town. She nods and takes them to the exhibit that mentions Smokey Mountain Township. But mostly all there is seems like a footnote to the Commodore’s life.

Jimmy is telling Shucks, “I think this is a storeroom, Shucks, I don’t think we are supposed to be back here.” Shucks has open the door and finds the docent with Hurryup, who says “Supplies!” Joneigh is still looking at the information (so little) about his life before the war. She takes the little book out of her mane, consults it and puts it in her satchel. Then pulls out her notebook and makes some notes about Spyglass and Smokey Mountain Township. She puts her sketches and rubbings in there, too. The storeroom Hurryup is in has not-currently-on-display museum stuff. Barnstormer’s scarf and goggles, some awards, weapons, and Shucks knocks over a box of letters.

Aurora is looking a bit uncomfortable, but stoic. She notices something tangled in Hurryup’s mane, it looks like pieces of jewelry (jet and gold). Aurora plucks it out with a field, it is a pair of glasses with black crystals in place of eyepieces. Joneigh trots up, looks at Autumn and over at Aurora, who looks back at her and sees a fully formed mothpony. So, Aurora puts them on ‘for just a moment’ and can see the museum and some skeletons and a mothpony. She hasn’t seen Sunny or Borealis for a while, but she sees them now in the broom closet being very busy. She can also see Flame and Bone near the Autumn skeleton. So she pulls a mirror out of her satchel to see how she looks and sees her own skeleton with glasses on and there seems to be something floating towards her that looks like a leech, a very large leech.

“Oh fuck!”, she says and hides behind Autumn (and Bone & Flame) and Joneigh. Autumn tries to grab the glasses, but knocks over a display which causes a domino affect of other artifacts. The leech is still coming right at her. She looks over the glasses and shoots at the leech. The group just notices that she has shot the wall. To Aurora it looks like the leech is stuck to the wall in horrible pain. Now she see three more leeches coming out of the ether. Sunny and Borealis both say “There’s a fight!” and head to the door of the storeroom. Joneigh can see the leeches too. She yelps when Aurora shoots the first one. Joneigh says “Take off the glasses!”. But she notices three more leeches coming up behind Aurora, unseen by her. “There are even more, take the glasses off”.

“That might be the dumbest advice I have ever heard”, Aurora says. “I can’t shoot what I can’t see.” Sunny tries to magically lift the glasses off Aurora, who stops her. One has attached itself to the back of Aurora’s head. “Oh, shit! Aurora, there is one latched to the back of your head, take off the fucking glasses, already," says Joneigh. Borealis blindly shoots at the back of Aurora’s head, hits the leech and singes her hair. She feels goo slime her head. And she removes the glasses, provisionally. Joneigh sees the leeches flailing about and one even goes through Aurora, but they seem lost. “Good, leave them off, they can’t find you.” Aurora twirls around and yells at Hurryup, “It’s your fault! What did you do!” Joneigh argues with Aurora, they should destroy them… Aurora thinks they need studying to see how they work. They end up putting them in a lead box that Joneigh has and put it back in her satchel. Aurora wants to know where the glasses came from. Hurryup explains about the storeroom and the docent and tries to look innocent. Everyone is trying to put shelves and boxes back where they belong.

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Episode 14: Crashing Down

April 8, 2018:

Sunny is heading for Borealis to see if she can heal him. Agent Ed is wearing the Strap-On (unicorn crown). Joneigh notices that Aurora’s horn is smoking, and Aurora she goes into full defense and shield herself. Reinfield continues his charge at Agent Ed. HurryUp does a ninja vanish with a big Cheshire grin. Jimmy charges Agent Ed with his axhandle. Joneigh goes UP to keep an eye on the whole room. Autumn & Bone start to barrel through Agent Ed and Flame pops out to join them. There are earth ponies hiding about the control room behind consoles and furniture, dodging blasts. Joneigh sees a problem a IronPony (steampunk armored) appears in the upstairs part of the lab, with all 4 types of ponies (including a zebra pony).

Agent Ed shoots eight different bolts energy at Aurora. Reinfield is suddenly surrounded & suffused by lightning – Ed is also. Jimmy is just steps behind Reinfield, swinging his axehandle. Flame hits the last guard during Autumn’s charge. Ed is knocked off his hooves and through the wall by Jimmy & Reinfield, leaving a pony-shaped hole. Reinfield & Jimmy follow him through the wall. Joneigh lands next to Sunny to see how Borealis is doing. “Its just a flesh wound” says the sitting up Borealis.

“Beware, beware, you pony folk, these iron hooves are not a joke!” says Ironpony as he jumps down. Jimmy notices that the strap-on he was aiming for, has disappeared! Ed tries to use the ‘crown’ and nothing happens. Jimmy bucks him over and Reinfield kicks Ed at the same time.. Joneigh asks Sunny “Can you unweld that?”, nodding at Ironpony. Joneigh flies up and does an in-flight buck at Ironpony’s head. Suddenly, Joneigh has a bad feeling about HurryUp. Aurora is hit by Ironpony, shaking her up a bit. Joneigh and Sunny hit him at the same time. Autumn, Bones & Flame crashes into the group of minions coming to aid Ed. Ironpony’s armor is glowing and his helmet is all floppy, confusing him.

Aurora looks for the strap-on and sees a glow… an outline of a pony wearing the strap-on… it looks like HurryUp’s silhouette. She aims her horn in that direction to take it away. Borealis yells “No” as he rushes across the room. Noisy Cricket sound Borealis leaps in front of the shot that was aimed at Aurora. Sunny breaks off unwelding and goes off to Borealis, mumbling “I just fixed him.” Joneigh aims her next in-flight buck at Agent Hay’s head, sending most of him in Aurora’s direction… but his horn snaps off and goes tumbling away. HurryUp gets pulled along toward Aurora with the strap-on. One horn on the strap-on and tumbles in slow motion in the direction of Eggwhite.

About a dozen bubbly-stuff-ampules are raining down from the second floor. Aurora and Sunny aim telekinesis at them as Joneigh works on an updraft. Jimmy calls out “HurryUp, over here!” HurryUp stops still, still focusing on whatever she’s planned. Potion bottles fly back up into the office, there is a loud click, sounds of breaking glass and yells coming from above. A large green cloud floats out as Pegasus ponies try to send it out against Joneigh’s updraft. HurryUp has appeared and has her eyes are closed in concentration. Jimmy walks up to HurryUp to see about the strap-on. Autumn notices that something is happening to Jimmy, his cutie mark has changed, and his mane & beard look tidier.

HurryUp can tell that the owner’s of the other horns are far or dead. Just before she passes out she hears “Does this smell like chloroform?” She slumps to the floor as Autumn charges the “fake” Jimmy.

Jimmy is in the other room trying to save Ed from Reinfield’s biting through his neck. “That’s not how we do things.” “But they are bad, very, very bad.” He tries to calm Reinfield down, successfully. Agent Ed is not moving; Jimmy ties him up and checks him for weapons and removes his glasses and flashy-thing. Jimmy looks around the room and notices one crate marked “this side up, no. 342”, but it has airholes. Trussed up Shucks was inside! Jimmy frees him, leaving the straight-jacket on him.

Autumn & herd crashes into fake Jimmy. Cloud is billowing and billowing, back & forth. HurryUp rouses blearily “Did it work?” “Oh no”, she notices most of the horns are still attached and the strap-on is being pulled off. Autumn is grappling with the not-Jimmy, who is trying to flashy-thing one of the Autumns. One of the upstairs ponies (zebra) is fiddling with a laterny-thing and looks surprised that Joneigh is still in the air. The rest of the group is starting to notice the odor from the gaseous cloud, as they only have the one pegasus versus all those on the upper floor. Jimmy looks out from the other room to see how the rest of the group is doing… winds, smelly gas and Autumn is fighting with Silk. Shucks is saying “Are you sure you need to drag him along with you?” “Interesting shaped hole in the wall.” Jimmy is looking for a vent button or chain.

Borealis sits up and tries to toss his mane, shouting “It is only a flesh wound! What is that loud ringing sound? Where’d he go, where’d he go?” Sunny says, “Its all sorted now, my good man, come along.” “What? Are you talking? I can’t hear you over the ringing!”

Shucks stumbles through the wall in his straight-jacket. Jimmy hit something and there are loud mechanical clanking noises. Autumn and Silk are still wrestling, and Silk doesn’t flashy-thing her, but lands a kick on her knee. “This would be so much easier if you would all just come along quietly!”

“Jimmy, would you come over and make your doppelganger stop already.”

“Twin,” says Jimmy.

“Well you got the best bits and he got the worst.”

“You think he got the best bits?!” Jimmy leaps, summersaults and lands nearby causing the stinky stuff to disburse. Joneigh dives at Silk, aiming to land all four hooves on him. HurryUp sees two Jimmys, but she thinks she knows which is the real one. So, she grabs a hoof-ful. Shucks says, “It is the BAD brother!” and runs at Silk all floppy sleeved and hits him, then trips.

Joneigh growls, “You hit my Autumn!”

Jimmy says, “You haven’t wrote Mom”. Now Silk’s snout doesn’t look right, “Not the face!” and he tried to stomp HurryUp but only manages to destroy his flashy-thing. His eyes have rolled up.

The walls are cracking, and the floor is too. “I don’t think this place is going to last,” yells Borealis. Aurora checks on Agent Hay, who is dead. Agent Q calling out rhymes about evacuate. The group makes for the exit.

A shining bright light comes from one side of the room, “I think this is the way out!” Jimmy has piled as many of the downed ponies as he can onto his back to carry out. HurryUp and Autumn are leaning on each other. They find themselves in the middle of town square from under the fountain there. Sunny and Borealis wander out “Oh, good light! What is that LOUD ringing?” There is an explosion off in the distance. Smoke billows up from the fountain. Joneigh has picked up Shucks to carry him out. Reinfield is dragging Ed behind him. Aurora comes up last, with blood on her front hooves. Aurora sees a flying chariot coming from the castle. Interrogations ensue. Celestia trots over and looks at everyone. “Is anyone hurt? Does anyone need medical assistance?” Jimmy is laying ponies out on the ground. “Oh, yes your majesty, there was a big explosion!” yells Borealis

Celestia asks “Will it be Miss Buckminster-Kimblewick or Ms. Owlmstead who tells me what happened?”

Aurora explains a bit and pokes at Agent Ed, saying that he may have more information for them. The group is taken to the castle and separated for questioning. Celestia decides to have the group sign non-disclosure contracts that are magically sealed. Each member gets to ask her for one thing (not sharing with the others). Because Aurora was violated by a royal agent, Celestia has informed Aurora’s family that she gets to marry whomever she wants when she wants to marry. When each of us is brought in to sign, each of the group meet Agent Aaaaaay, from Pleasant Prairie branch of MIB who is the new Director of the MiB.

Shucks wants a day at WackyLand with Celestia. Celestia will do that first; and will ask Aurora to chaperone. Suggest that they might have to go via Mt. Void on the way.

Joneigh presents her request to Celestia in private.

Autumn asks for access to the big library. Celestia summons Autumn and Joneigh to her and gives Autumn a medallion on a chain making her an Associate Deputy to the Royal Librarian, then gives them both scrolls of access to the most secret parts of the library. She does let all know that flashy-thinging was on the table but decided that they wouldn’t do that or HurryUp would end up like Reinfield.

Aurora asks to be Celestia’s student. Celestia thinks about it and says that for her first assignment, she is to report to Joneigh to help her however she can with her quest… then report back to Celestia.

Sunny asks for an all access pass and is made an Inspector General for the Crown.

Jimmy only wants to get back to his corn.

Hurryup Ann asks for a pardon in advance.

Eggwhite wants two weeks of peace and quiet. So, while some of the ponies spend days in the library, and others go off the Whacky Land, and help Borealis move into his new apartment, Jimmy and Eggwhite are returned to Brindlebury. Eggwhite’s swamp is surrounded by a bunch of soldier ponies for two weeks while Eggwhite cleans up his home and spends time reading. Jimmy spends a couple weeks working his farm

Borealis makes his request in private.

Reinfield has been in medical care.

Aurora & Borealis’s great grandmother, Lady Hyalite Splendor Buckminster, holds a small memorial service for her deceased son, the former Agent Ed. Aurora does not attend. Borealis does to support grand-ma-ma. Borealis tells Aurora he’s moved out of mother’s house, and informed their parents he needs some time along to figure out how he feels about them pretending that Great-uncle Peridot never existed.

**HurryUp has an extra, temporary, fate point

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Episode 13: Breaking In
Because Nothing Bad Ever Happened in a Fog Bank

In Canterlot. The group is getting ready to invade the lair of the Mares in Black. HurryupAnn, in a mask, hooks up a grapple and zips down an incredibly deep hole. Realizes her lockpicks got left behind, zips up and back down. Unlocks the door, opens it and sees Joneigh hovering there “You know that I could just carry you down, you didn’t have to practice.” They are just outside Aurora’s parents’ house.

Autumn spends time wandering around the house looking at all the family portraits. All the unicorns and magic and oh! that is where she gets her fashion sense. There is one that keeps drawing her back. A family portrait; mother, father, foal that is all black (fur, & horn) with silver mane & tail – seated at mother’s right hand, and mother is holding a black baby blanket that has silver fringe in her left hand. Mother’s eyes are very light blue with black mane and body is darker blue than her eyes; foal’s eyes are a darker blue, and dad’s eyes are indigo with black body and varied shades of blue in mane/tail. Borealis comes upon Autumn staring at the portrait. She askes if this is the Kimblewick side of the family. No, that is grandfather (Sir Carbonado Buckminster), and our Great-grandparents (Sir Adamantine & Hyalite Splendor). Why is there a blanket in his mother’s hand. Is she missing a foal? Perhaps his twin? Borealis says maybe. He mentions a portrait of Aurora… that he soon remembers is hidden in a store room (the oh nevermind room). The group decides to go check it out. Find Aurora standing by a closed door that has smoke creeping out from the door jams.

Aurora suggests it might be time to get to work. The group agrees and they head to the café where the entrance to the headquarters are located. Joneigh creates a fogbank and Aurora surrounds them in a bubble so they can traverse the waterfall. There is a sign denying access, but it goes ignored. Rusty chains are avoided. The sign goes up with levitation (thanks Sunny). Hurryup notices a slightly different rumble (than the waterfall), like a big rock rolling toward them. Joneigh goes UP, Jimmy grabs his ax handle and charges ahead. He jams the ax handle into the ground – like a wedge – for the ball to stop or go to the ceiling. Autumn is looking for a side passage. The thing that is coming must be as big as the cave! Hurryup checks the other side of the passage. Aurora poises to make a divot in the ground for the group to hide in as the boulder rolls over. The boulder hits the ax handle and shatters. Everyone ducks and dodges and all the bits fly past and hit the waterfall. Hurryup falls through an illusionary wall/door. Autumn runs across to her and calls to all the others.

They are in another cave, that opens to a bigger chamber. There is an enormous box with a huge stick holding the box up that has a string attached… going into the darkness. Under the box is a file folder under the standing box with a big TOP SECRET stamped on it. Joneigh is holding Shucks with Autumn’s help. Sunny levitates the file and the box drops down trapping the file inside. As soon as the box hits the ground, the group hears alarms and a SLAM from behind. There is now white goopy stuff falling from the ceiling. We trail the rope. Shucks tries to turn about to go back for the file and takes Autumn and Joneigh down into the marshmallow goo with him. Their forward motion carries them into the rest of the group. At the end of the rope is a machine with a winch. They look around for an off valve for the marshmallow and a drain. Jimmy tries to lift a side of the box to see if there is an out under it. Marshmallow leaks into the box (Sunny levitates the folder, just in case). There is a valve under the folder, Borealis turns the valve with magic. Just after the nozzles stop delivering marshmallow, the other nozzels start raining water down. There are now grates on the sides walls, now that the water is on. Aurora has been working a magical umbrella to divert the marshmallow and then the water. Hurryup points to the back of the box where there is a painting of a door (with painted doorknob). They cut the cable, put the stick back and Autumn is gone in to examine the painting. Joneigh pulls a broken cane (stick) out of her bag and a piece of paper comes out with and floats to the ground, she makes a puff of air under the paper and looks at it. She mutters “Oh not again.” Autumn taps and pokes and it sounds like a door. She says “Hurryup Ima open this!” and she does. There is a room behind the door with a big grey pedestal that has big shiny apple red button in the middle of it. Joneigh grabs Hurryup by the tail and hauls back, keeping Hurryup out.

The group moves into the room, and Joneigh lets go of Hurryup and rushes through the door. The button has large letters Do Not Push. There is a speaking tube with a bell pull. It is right next to the door on the inside. On the other side of the door is a painting of Celestia. Borealis leans close and says “the password is Swordfish” and the painting says “No it isn’t, I tried that and it didn’t let me in either”, giggling. Autumn looks at the painting sideways and tries to step through, but falls into the room. Aurora jumps in behind her. Jimmy is trying to keep Shucks and Hurryup away from the inviting button (unsuccessfully) and Joneigh just is frozen looking from one group to the other stammering “no” “wait” “don’t” “OhDear”. Sunny jumps through the painting. Borealis says “but we shouldn’t split up!” and Hurryup is waiting for what the button does. The group in the button room, cannot hear or see the others; those in the painting room cannot see or hear the group in the button room. In the painting room, there is no pedestal with a button, but there chains coming down from the ceiling, each with different color ring on the end. Autumn chooses a ring that has her coloring and she disappears (along with the chain). Aurora tries to peek through the painting at the other room and says “hey you guys, stop”. Autumn is gone. Did she push a button? No, but something and she is gone. Celestia says “Don’t push the button”, Hurryup says but but but, and a sign drops down that says “We’re serious, don’t push the button”. Joneigh gives up and goes through the painting, telling Hurryup to go ahead and push the button, I’m going through. Hurryup follows her. Jimmy & Borealis keep Shucks from the button and drags him through the painting. Once everyone is through, Borealis pokes his head back through the painting and there is a Zap. Then he pulls it back and says “That was boring”. Did you push the button? Yes, and all that happened was a sign popped down saying “Don’t push that again!”.

They all admire Celestia’s butt. Aurora describes what happened. Joneigh and Hurryup have grabbed their rings and disappear. Aurora is looking at all the rings to see what colors are available, Sunny helps her. Aurora pulls Agent Hay’s color and she vanishes, but the chain doesn’t. Sunny grabs the same ring that Aurora did and vanishes. Borealis grabs the same one Aurora and Sunny did. There are 3 Jimmy/Shucks colored rings. Jimmy sniffs at each of the rings. Two of them smell like a corn field, the other one smells like a pantry. Jimmy says to Shucks “he’s here” and grabs the one that smells like ‘him’ and disappears.

Aurora materializes in a big control room, of the Mares in Black. Agent Hay fixes her with a glaring look. “What are you doing here?” “Looking for you, you sack of shit. Get over here.” Hay’s horn starts to shimmer. Sunny appears above Aurora and lands atop her. Then Borealis appears and lands atop the two. Autumn appears inside what looks like the world’s largest filing cabinet repository. Joneigh materializes next to Autumn about 30 seconds later. “Oh good, I was hoping one of you would show up!”. Hurryup materializes in the guard room where one Mare in Black is watching all the magic mirrors watching all the prisoners. “Ah Ha!” “Where did you come from?” “Silence Cad!” and wallops him. She wants to steel his keys with walloping as a distraction. She wallops him. Jimmy materializes right in front of Egg White’s cell. Hurryup sees this. She misses the guard, but hits the alarm button. The guard tries to counter but what she burgled was a flashy-thing and he is frozen starting at her slack mouthed. She tells him to give her his keys and silence the alarm. He hands her his keys and gets on the calling tube, calmly explaining that he hit the alarm by accident. Meanwhile, Egg White is alarmed by Jimmy appearing in front of his cell. “Did you get the crown?” “We just got here”. Jimmy inspects the door, and Hurryup says “It looks this strong” and tosses him the keys. Jimmy opens the door. He looks at all the other prisoners. Jimmy asks who they can trust. Egg White points to a few. They all move toward the exit, Hurryup puts the flashy-thinged guard into the cell and to think about all the things he has done. [Hurryup hides the neutralizer in one of her braids] One of the crazy prisoners (Reinfield) goes galloping up the hall and Egg White says they should follow him. So they do.

In the File Room, Autumn and Joneigh look around and they see a tiny pony going through a file and making notes in a notebook. Autumn whispers “I don’t want her to see us” “No talking in the library”. When she lifts her head they see she has moth wings, antennae where ears should be. Joneigh creates a windstorm at the file pony’s desk, papers scatter everywhere. (No one knew she could be this evil.) The file pony is now very occupied. Autumn goes to see if the file cabinets are in alphabetical order, looking for the beginning. Joneigh goes to look for the Os.

In central Ops, the three ponies are surrounded by unicorns, all but one in dark glasses. Aurora goes into berserker fight mode, causing as much havoc as possible. Sunny will help. Borealis says “I’m here to make a citizen’s arrest!”, aiming his sword at Agent Hay. Sunny has gone to flame thrower mode and aims at control panels that are maned by a couple dragons. Hays manages to stop Borealis as he lunges, but he was feinting and his horn blasts. Same time as Sunny’s and Aurora’s horns blast. Stuff is exploding all over the place. Borealis’s blast hits the horn of the unicorn to the left of Hay and it goes to the next and the next and the next, but the only one he doesn’t hit is Hays. “What a stallion” What a guy” “TING” Blam, Boom, Crash.

In other parts of the building, the explosions are heard. Autumn is trying to grab files that seem appropriate to the group’s interest. Joneigh is searching for all her family’s files. She hears “Alright, stop right there and put down that file folder.” The mothpony is behind her, with a wand that has a large glittery pink heart. “Those files need to be checked out. We have a system, but you don’t look like you are authorized.” She pulls out a badge holder and flashes it at the pony “I am authorized, I have higher clearance that you do.” “I commend your diligence, now get out of my way.” “Oh, your disguise is slipping.” She waves her wand at Joneigh and flies off toward Autumn. She tries the same line as Joneigh. Autumn says “I am following orders, you know, for HER.” “Your disguise is very good.” The mothpony waves her wand and file drawers open and files start flying at Autumn. “Mistress, mistress, I need the one bag.” Joneigh flies back toward Autumn. “On my way, Agents!” The mothpony files up and starts to wave the wand around, then she turns and sends files at Joneigh. “Get her out, hurry! They may have seen her!” Joneigh is zooming to Autumn. “Let’s get out of here. I don’t know where it goes, but there is a door!”

Hurryup, Jimmy, Egg White and the prisoners are continuing to follow Reinfield and it seems like they are running toward the explosions that just started. Some Mares in Black appear calling over headsets, “Prisoners escape, prisoners escape!” Jimmy sprints at the Mares in Black as they run toward Reinfield; trying to shoulder them aside to clear a path. He knocks one aside and is fighting the other. Reinfield runs right over them and continues on. Hurryup runs up and puts her hoof to the one knocked aside. They get them down and run on, and as the approach where Reinfield they hear “Why did you flashy-thingy him” “But I thought” “But it is HIM” and Reinfield is on the pony that fashy-thinged him and biting at his neck. The others are trying to pull him off the guy on the bottom. Hurryup runs up and says “I know how to fix this!” The MIB all look up and she flashy-things them. She nullifies 2-3 of them. “You need to go to the locker room and get ready to deploy on your 4 day vacation”, she says.

Autumn and Joneigh run out the exit and up the stairs (the only option). They figure their friends are where the explosions are, so they hurry in that direction. Joneigh nods at Bone and says “Howdy.” They come up to Hurryup and Jimmy fighting MIBs. As they run by the knocked out MIBs, they grab sunglasses for Autumn and Bone. Egg White says “Have you got the Crown?” “Not yet” “What is the crown” “You know, with all the unicorn horns! We can’t let them keep it!” They help and say “We need to get to the others.”

There is chaos and havoc all around the Ops room Aurora is trying to get a shot at Hay. Her group keeps shooting and blasting. Hay blasts Borealis, who flies over Aurora and across the room. Aurora blasts Hay in the face and he flies back across the room and embeds in the wall. She follows after him to finish him off. “Alright Aurora Jane, I think you have have done enough.” It is Grandfater Sir Carbonara! “I’m not really sure that it is.” “Do you know what he did to me?” He is wearing the harness/crown with the unicorn horns… with Egg White’s horn added! “That is just Sick!” Aurora says. Then she notices he has no horn. There is more posturing and then he says, “You don’t know who I am, do you?” It is Aurora & Borealis grand uncle, their grandfather’s evil twin. “We will have to return the prisoners to their cells and remove your membories again.” About that time, Reinfeild bursts into the room and attacks Agent Ed. The rest of the group is following him.

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Episode 12: Stake Out

(A stake out turns into meeting the Lone Shooting Irons, who prove to be far less adept at this covert stuff than our heroes)

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Side Trip to Trail's End :: Episode 11
In which curious fillies' minds want to know answers...

Before boarding the train to Brindlebury and having packed quickly, Joneigh and Autumn decided that they would like to swing by and interview Pale Smoke.

WHAT was she thinking when she participated in the madness (and murders)?
Did she know HER parents?
Does she recognize Joneigh or think she looks familiar?
What’s Windsmouth actually like?

These were the questions on the two fillies minds.

When they asked at the front desk, the clerk seemed to be stalling and disinclined to allow them a moment with Pale Smoke, but then they watched as the clerk saw someone to their right, just out of eyeshot, who apparently signaled in some way to suggest it was all just fine. Instead of putting us off, the clerk told us to go to a designated interview room.

After a few moments, Pale Smoke was led in in hoof cuffs and wing clips. Upon seeing us, her eyes grew very wide and she showed every sign of true fear. Perhaps even paranoia. Joneigh surveyed the room, and while there was no such thing as a double-sided mirror, there was a small trumpet up in a corner that probably led to either a vent for others to hear, or a recording gramophone. Joneigh covered that with her cloak to muffle the sound and make it difficult for the Inspector (who we presume got us the chance to speak with Pale Smoke) or anyone else who might be listening in. Autumn watches without comment, although personally thinks it might be a step too far. Pale Smoke, on the other hand, only seems more terrified.

Joneigh tells her consipiratorially, “That’s to protect us both.”

Autumn murmurs, “That seems reasonable, for now.”

Pale Smoke is quick to say, “I won’t tell them ANYthing”.

Joneigh asks Pale Smoke how long she has been here.

Pale Smoke, answering the literal question, “Well, since I was arrested and brought here…”

Joneigh, “No, not here here. HERE, as in not home.”

Pale Smoke, “Oh! So, you HAVE come from there!”

Joneigh, “What made you doubt?”

Pale Smoke, “I wasn’t sure. Because. You’re with … her.” And looks at Autumn Gallery.

Joneigh, “Well, don’t you have other friends from out here? She’s my friend.”

Autumn, “And besides. I’m not as normal as I might look anyway.”

It is revealed that “The Windsmouth Look” extends to coloring, which explains why they look so similar. Joneigh coaxes Pale Smoke into revealing that her parents died, and she was raised by her grandfather. She didn’t get to go back to Windsmouth until she was an adult and researching her own history. Even once she was there, though, she didn’t learn much. They didn’t seem to trust her. In fact, they seemed on the edge of coming after her, and she fled in the night to avoid something nefarious they had planned for her.

Joneigh asked if she’d left any trace of herself behind and Pale Smoke said no.

Joneigh asked where she learned more then.

Pale Smoke went to Trails End in the Varmint Hills.

Autumn murmured, “But, I thought that had been abandoned…?”

Joneigh also questioned Pale Smoke, “I didn’t think there were towns there?”

Pale Smoke said that the area had in fact been settled by families with problems in Windsmouth. A very kindly old pony named Windworth took her in and explained his misadventures as a child, trying to research HIS own history. And that’s where she learned about the Beyond. She made it to Canterlot, because he told her that’s where the last door to Beyond was. He had intended to go also but, well, he didn’t make it.

Autumn had a moment of confusion, but Joneigh was quicker, and realized that Pale Smoke meant he’d died before being able to make the trip.

Autumn asked how Midnight Skies got involved at all. They were cousins! When she’d gotten back to her grandfather’s, she found delivered mail to him. Since he was dead, she’d opened it and some of the letters were from Midnight Skies who was researching his family tree, and had determined that they were cousins somehow. He wanted to go Beyond for answers to EVERYTHING, which they were promised was there.

Joneigh tries to determine if they were all going, or how it happened that Doctor Sir Jeckyl Steele made the transfer to brain-in-jar first, and Pale Smoke, the interview having gone on for a bit, was unsure. It rapidly becomes apparent that she’s somewhat mad, and definitely not all there, and even somewhat suggestible. Questions must be asked quite carefully. We determine we haven’t much else to ask, so before they leave, Autumn asks Pale Smoke if SHE has any questions for them. She’s very still, and calmly asks, “Well, are you going to kill me now, or make me go through the trial?”

Autumn, feeling somewhat guilty still about her part in killing the Princess wanna-be, notes that they don’t kill intentionally, and one of her dopplegangers (Bone, the paler of the two) flickers into view beside her.

Pale Smoke seems to accept this, especially when Joneigh reassures her that it isn’t their PLACE to kill her, just make sure she keeps any secrets she’s promised to keep. Joneigh collects her cloak, and checks herself to make sure she’s dressed basically as she was when she entered. And then they leave.

Upon leaving, they meet Inspector Morning Dove who says to exit in “that” direction. He then turns down the hall, and can be heard murmuring that he has “just one more question” for someone who sounds in a hurry. He’s obviously giving them a moment or two to escape. So they follow his suggestion.

The two fillies determine that a trip to Trail’s End should definitely be in the future. They meet Jimmy, Shucks and Hurryup Ann at the train and board to go to Dodge Junction, which is the first stop.

It’s a couple days ride on the train there, and the spend the time chatting. Once they deboard to stretch their legs and rest, the two review a map and determine that the Varmint Hills aren’t THAT far, and they could probably slip away while Jimmy and Shucks are chatting. And so they do.

Of course, Hurryup Ann realizes that they’ve disappeared, and ninja-vanishes to follow them. And then of course, Jimmy realizes that Hurryup Ann is unsupervised (Not Again!) and the other girls are gone and… he and Shucks follow soon after, hoping they remembered to pack some water in their bags. (Which he of course is sure to do himself.) “Shucks, you should put on your tentacle hat, to protect you from the sun. You don’t want to be struck with sun madness again, now.”

After a time (and a brief flight and touch down), the Autumn and Joneigh hear a scream they recognize. It’s Shucks. Once they’re listening, they hear Jimmy reassuring him. Autumn and Joneigh discuss their dismay at being followed, because “If that’s Shucks and Jimmy, then where’s Hurryup Ann?” who pops up immediately beside them upon being mentioned. Of course.

They hear Jimmy telling Shucks it’s all right, the dogs been dead ages, and is JUST a skeleton, which isn’t that scary. Although the cross-bow bolts are a bit concerning, perhaps. Hurryup Ann sees a farmhouse nearby, and notes that there are FAR more cross-bow bolts in the walls THERE, which might be worse. Joneigh is all set to leave, as obviously it isn’t THEIR problem, they’re on the way to Trail’s End! But Autumn notices that the name on the mailbox for the farm is Windworth – the name of the old pony who took in Pale Smoke. So now they HAVE to investigate.

Scattered in the yard are more skeletons full of cross-bow bolts. Mostly animals Windworth apparently bred, and two more guard dogs.

Hurryup Ann investigates the farm, while the others are discussing what to do. A LOT of somebodies shot up and then ransacked the house. There’s a massive bloodstain in the main room, and a trail of blood from there as some-pony tried to drag himself away to safety. She follows the trail and discovers the final resting place of the pegasus pony who is desiccated and mostly decayed away near the pantry. There are towels and other wrappings where he apparently tried to bind his wounds but was unsuccessful. Autumn and Joneigh come in to find Hurryup Ann poking the body with a stick to determine if he’s ALL dead or not.

Jimmy, outside, is looking at the cross-bow bolts, trying to determine if he recognizes them as palace guard bolts by any chance (or Mare in Black), but all he can determine for sure is that they are NOT Guard Pony weaponry.

Joneigh notes that the dogs were probably barking at the intruder, which is why they were shot, and the first dog they found had been trying to get away.

Joneigh notices upon looking at the pillaged home, that there are far fewer books lying about than there should be, considering the massive shelves in all the rooms. For the most part, they only find almanacs for a HUGE number of years going back, and a few business ledges for Windworth’s breeding business.

There are also an extreme number of cracked and shattered gramophone records everywhere. A single gramophone sits in a corner, relatively undisturbed.

Autumn had been thoroughly distracted by a large portrait on the wall of Windworth’s ancestor with one of his prize-winning stock – a Kimono Dragon. (Something like a frilled/cloaked lizard but with “wings” from their forelegs back to their ribs.)

They notice that several of the smashed records have hand-written labels, “Vacation at…” and so on. There are also some records of famous singers.

Jimmy goes back to what he determines is the old pony’s bedroom and pries up the floorboards to see if the stash of money is still there or not. It is. “Well, whoever did this obviously wasn’t after his bits…”

Autumn wanders into the kitchen, looking at the selection of herbs to see if he was involved in anything nefarious. But she doesn’t find anything. In fact, it appears to have only been searched – not as thoroughly ruined as the records in the main room.

Jimmy succeeds in finding a lone record way back and flat in the hidey-hole! He comes out and examines the gramophone to see if it works.

Joneigh, having been looking for a root cellar, or other cold storage dry cellar, finds a Moth Pony corpse, lacking any gear, who has been smashed in the head. They presume suddenly that instead of passing quietly to his death, that truly Pale Smoke must have somehow witnessed this, or at least been in the vicinity. Likely, it was her who killed the Moth Pony and dressed as it to sneak away unobserved.

Jimmy discovers the gramophone works perfectly well! “Bad search practice. Leaving it functioning like this.” But it’s useful for them, as there is the one record left, which is of course not labeled in any way. He checks as best as he can to be sure that playing the record won’t ruin it, and then, once he’s sure, sets it on the turn table.

Jimmy cranks up the gramophone and the record when played produces rustling sounds, as if the recording was happening outdoors. Perhaps leaves in the wind? And then, there are drum beats heard. A voice says quietly, “I think they’re going to chant now..” and indeed, the party hears the following chant:

“She comes victorious from the moon;
Her legions ready to unleash doom;
Her faithful shall not truly die;
But with her will forever fly!”

which repeats several times before a shout of “Over there! Intruder!” is heard. A zzzpsstrrrt scratching sound is heard and that is the end of the recording.

The group goes out to the barn, to see if anything else can be learned there. Indeed, after a shriek and duck, and more shrieking and ducking, they discover dozens of kimono dragons, which have been breeding unsupervised and surviving as best they can.

Jimmy, of course, goes looking for feed to put out for them, but finds very little. He does put out what he finds, but of course they’d eaten what they could find on their own. They appear to mostly be vegetarian lizards, and disinclined to attack the group.

Joneigh, looking back at the house, sees a destroyed light on the roof of the house. It is seriously shattered, in every way possible. It looks like the light fixture and lens apparatus of a lighthouse, but only the light and lens portion, on top of the roof. After going back inside, they realize some of the bell pulls they assume had simply been for servants back when the entire house had been used, actually run the light.

Shucks, out with Jimmy, manages to shove a couple (few) very small kimono dragons into his tentacle hat to take home.

They decide there’s nothing else to be done, although Jimmy does try to leave the barn in a good condition for the kimono dragons, and restock their water from the farm’s well (which is quite full, from disuse) and go into town – Trail’s End – to investigate further.

It is soon apparent that Trail’s End was a VERY small town. Even smaller than Brindlebury. There was only one single building which was a library/town hall/clerk office/post office/mayor office/etc. There are a few other buildings, but no pony is there. A lone tumbleweed rolls in front of them.

Joneigh opens the door to the library/town hall and kimono dragons fly out. They have apparently gone to find any shelter in the vicinity that they can find. They’ve taken over the town, essentially, and yet there are still so many spiders and webs and disused cobwebs. (Further reinforcing the idea that the kimono dragons are vegetarian.)

There seems to be one main room downstairs at first, with a General Store window. There’s also a cage with a post office shingle and pigeon holes off behind. To the side, there’s a door that they open to reveal a desk. Autumn recognizes the stamp with dates! It was last used about eleven months ago. Autumn continues on looking for records of outgoing and incoming telegrams or other correspondence and journal entries. The most recent one she can find mentions So-n-So Pony aggreeing to go in to Dodge City to collect any mail they might have for Trail’s End as they don’t have delivery any longer.

In the meantime, Joneigh is in search of the library. (Most of the doors have signs, and the library is upstairs on the second floor, along with some offices for the major and so on. The only other room downstairs was the main meeting hall.) It’s very dusty and not big at all. Archives are very basic, and the meeting notes for town meetings are very basic and matter of fact. Joneigh searches for walls that make the space seem wrong in dimension, looking for secret panels or passages, but find nothing. They decide to look for an inn.

What they find is a combination Inn/Saloon/Entertainment area with a shingle that shows it is called The Silver Key.

Hurryup Ann is already inside, exploring, and examining odd frilly-skirted costumes inside.

Autumn looks at the registration desk, and finds keys, and a large keyring of more keys, and everything very organized, just dusty and abandoned. Joneigh looks around and actually does find a hidden passage. Along the passage are head cavities shaped for pony heads! There are even eyeholes to look through. If they go out, and through the normal halls, they determine that each room has these spying devices. On the ROOM side, the head cavities look like dragon masks hanging on the wall. After counting, Joneigh realizes that the long blank section in the secret passage is on the opposite side of Room 1403. So they go back and use the key from the registration desk to enter.

(Shucks and Jimmy are exploring and find an enormous barrel of pickles. “Shucks, get your head out of there. Don’t eat those. You don’t know how long they’ve been there!” “They’re pickles! It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been here.” crunch muffled sounds of happy eating and explaining)

It looks like mostly a normal room, except there’s a tall antique silver mirror, from floor to ceiling. It doesn’t take up the whole wall, but is wide enough to allow a pony to walk through, if it was a door. Autumn looks at the mirror, and decides to reach out a hoof and touch the mirror. She yawns hugely and in the mirror, one of the alternate selves (Flame) yawns and falls down to the floor asleep. Joneigh nudges her away from the mirror with her shoulder. Autumn blinks sleepily, and wonders, “how long’ve we been walking so far?” Joneigh says, “We haven’t been walking. We’ve been standing. You should wake up.” Autumn looks at the mirror, and sees Flame, but doesn’t feel so much disturbed as vaguely concerned. She asks, “Can you…?” and before she finishes asking, Joneigh says, “Yes. I can. Is that at all normal? Really, you should try to wake her… you, up!” She’s obviously concerned and beginning to stress out. So Autumn, upon consideration of HOW to wake up herself thoroughly enough to wake Flame, who is normally just in her own head (she thinks) mentions that “Maybe you should just pinch me then!” And before she finishes, Hurryup Ann complies gleefully out of nowhere! It works. Flame wakes up, and appears beside Autumn and then winks out. Autumn yelps because, of course it hurt! but feels better.

The three examine the wall more carefully and note there’s a keyhole off to the side of the mirror. Hurryup Ann offers that it appears to have been left in the open position. There is some discussion of if it’s really a door or not, because Flame was on the other side. Autumn becomes agitated enough that Flame appears beside her. While Flame doesn’t seem to recall anything, they both stubbornly decide to touch the mirror, because, “You can just pinch me awake, it will be FINE!”

Joneigh is completely against this idea, but Autumn and Flame both put hoof to mirror and to their view, appear on a vast landscape. The ground is covered in brilliant green moss, and a tall archway gate of bone and ivory is before them. Otherwise, it’s quite desolate. They look around and realize, they don’t see a mirror to get back.

From Joneigh and Hurryup Ann’s perspective, Autumn and her other self have vanished. They literally walked through the mirror. Joneigh calls to Autumn, but Autumn can’t hear her, or at least is unresponsive. She begins to count. Hurryup Ann waits.

Autumn, on the other side, begins to argue with Flame, who is incredibly irritated with her. They eventually agree that they DECIDED to walk through, so they can just DECIDE to back right back up. It will be find. They can decide what to do after they get back to the party. They close their eyes, hang onto each other, and determinedly back up.

They back into Joneigh as they come through, tumbling over each other, but make it back. Among the commotion of what happened, and what they saw, and where they went, they slowly come to realize – there is another Autumn and, when it is noted that she can’t be real, because original Autumn has Flame and SHE doesn’t, another Flame, who are equally convinced THEY are the real Autumn and Flame Gallery. Autumn begins muttering about Peanut Galleries and gets agitated about other-selves who didn’t originate from her own head. The mirror Autumn persists in saying SHE’s the original and the mirror Flame does the same. Joneigh asks “Couldn’t you HEAR us?” and Autumn says no, explaining what’s there, and the mirrror Autumn and Flame explain you just go and come back, go and come back!

So, Hurryup Ann goes through the mirror happily. She sees the gate and landscape that Autumn saw, but beyond, she notices a beautiful castle of many iridescent colors. (Judy the player asks for clarification, and Hurryup Ann can see the castle both through and to either side of the gate. The gate is not another dimensional portal, just an arch of bone and ivory.)

So, Hurryup Ann starts blithely down the bath to the castle.

At The Silver Key, Jimmy’s danger sense goes off, and he makes it upstairs with Shucks and calmly finds a large ball of twine in his saddle bag, once he determines what’s going on, hands it to Autumn, and keeping hold of the other end, goes through the mirror after Hurryup Ann.

Hurryup Ann has made it to the first of 2 dilapidated houses on the path. There is an impossibly round pony (think the horse Bugs Bunny rode in the Ring Cycle opera cartoon). They chat, and he asks her name, pulling a notebook and quill to make notes in. She says it’s a secret, so he produces a lorgnette and eyes her, and TELLS her who she is, Hurryup Ann Whately, of the Brindlebury Whatelys, undecayed. She notes that it was a bit odd to ask, if he knew already, at which point he informs he that he keeps secrets. It’s sort of his thing. So she asks his name, and learns he is Abel.

Hurryup Ann grows bored when she realizes he’s not going to really tell her anything, and leaves him to go further down the road. There, she find’s an impossibly tall and thin pony, who is named Cain. He’s Abel’s brother. While chatting, she deliberately provokes him about not being particularly scary or effectual. Right about then, Jimmy shows up. Cain has produced a monocle and is reading from his notebook as he’s irritated, and sets it in his saddlebag and pulls out an enormous battle axe, cartoon style.

Hurryup Ann had asked what he saw about them, in his book. And he had said blood, terror, screaming. Upon pulling out the axe, he explains he’s just going to go ahead and get her a head start on that.

Hurryup Ann goes for Cain’s notebook. Jimmy’s there! He’ll save her! And she does in fact capture it in her teeth! …

And Jimmy watches as she’s decapitated and her head and one hoof go flying apart from her body.

Autumn and Joneigh and Shucks watch as Hurryup Ann appears in room 1403, unconscious, with a notebook in her mouth. Since Autumn has the twine, which is suddenly jerking about quite a bit more than it was, she is very upset and asks Joneigh to help! With the twine! Or waking Hurryup Ann! Or SOMETHING! They can’t just LEAVE Jimmy there. Joneigh sensibly notes he’ll get himself out, and dumps water on Hurryup Ann. It doesn’t work for waking her up.

Jimmy battles Cain and wins, mostly by bowling him over. In the end, he gets the battle axe and knocks out Cain (but doesn’t kill him, because Cain explains that Hurryup Ann isn’t REALLY dead, they’re DREAMERS, so she’s just gone back to the waking world, although she’s probably still asleep and having a wonderfully horrid nightmare. She is. The Dark Pony has had his way with her, impregnated her and….), and leaves. On his way back past Abel’s house, he tells him his brother Cain is asleep and not very nice. Abel wishes that Jimmy would’ve chopped him up a bit, and inquires if he can’t go ahead and do that? Just a little?

Jimmy simply walks back through the mirror. Coming through, the battle axe is now just an axe handle, although Jimmy can feel the weight of the axe as if it’s still all there.

They all try to figure out how to wake Hurryup Ann. Joneigh takes the book out of Hurryup Ann’s mouth and notes that it says it’s The Book of Mysteries. Although, trying to actually read the book is almost impossible. The letters squirm and squiggle and try to slide off the page.

Jimmy notes that since the water bath didn’t work, there’s only one thing left to do. Shucks is going to have to kiss Hurryup Ann awake. It’s HIS turn. Shucks is very embarrassed about this. But in the end, he presses a pickle-breathed kiss to Hurryup Ann’s muzzle. It works, and she wakes up just as in her dream she’s about to explode with the spawn of the Dark Horse … obviously he doesn’t want her for MARRIAGE as she thought!! Oddly, she tastes pickles…. Shucks passes clean out.

Hurryup Ann, upon talking after a moment or two, realizes she has a doppleganger as well, and initially loves the idea. Autumn is NOT PLEASED AT ALL, because these aren’t reasonable mirror selves and they didn’t originate from her own head. She doesn’t trust them, and wants them gone. She’s angry, but so far has not generated her third self.

Joneigh concentrates and defocuses, even as she realizes she’s going to have a horrible headache, and reads from the Book of Mysteries about how to deal with the mirror and mirror selves that have come through. It’s almost as if she’s narrating a bit of the Twilight Zone, and telling the actual story of how mirror selves happen, and how you must determine which of you is Real.

Autumn simply can’t stand it. She KNOWS she’s the real Autumn and her Flame is the real Flame. She walks to the mirror, to go through and get rid of the false-Autumn/Flame she’s named Peanut Gallery and … bounces off the silver as the other Autumn/Flame walk straight through and poof out of existence.

Hurryup Ann walks through the mirror, both herself and the Mirror-Hurryup Ann. Mirror Hurryup Ann says, “Well, you know we’re both false, actually.” Hurryup Ann looks at the Mirror Hurryup Ann and says, “that sounds like head smarts stuff, and definitely not something I’d do, so you really ARE false.” Mirror Hurryup Ann says, "No I’m no- " and poof! She’s gone. Hurryup Ann tumbles back through the mirror and crashes into Autumn. “Hey, you want pinched again?!” “We have to stop meeting like this!” and giggle in relief. Joneigh is unconvinced and asks them to prove they’re real. Autumn apologizes, and Hurryup Ann doesn’t, and she is satisfied they’re both her friends. Especially when Hurryup Ann wants the notebook she basically had to survive a horrible nightmare decapitation and rape and almost birth of monsters to bring back!

Joneigh does not think it’s at all rational to let Hurryup Ann have the book, and pretends it doesn’t exist. She didn’t come back with a NOTEBOOK, which is what Hurryup Ann keeps calling it. She appeals to Jimmy, but both he and Autumn feel that Hurryup Ann brought the book back fair and square, and besides, the thing Jimmy said was a battle axe just looks like the stick of an axe, so being stubborn about what the book or notebook is called isn’t fair or kind. Joneigh flatly refuses to give the book to Hurryup Ann regardless, because it isn’t safe or rational. She’s extremely upset that her friends aren’t making sense or listening to her. They’re extremely upset that she’s not trusting Hurryup Ann. So Autumn says she can give it to her, and then she’ll give it to Hurryup Ann. Joneigh does, but flees the scene immediately and goes out to the town and turns back to see if the inn explodes. Or implodes. Or is otherwise destroyed.

Autumn holds out the book, which Hurryup Ann takes. They discuss what they should do, as they wake up Shucks. Once he wakes up, his duplicate, which had been there, but not being intrusive particularly, disappears. They decide Hurryup Ann should pick the mirror LOCKED, which she does. It … shimmers, but otherwise doesn’t look very different. It’s simply obvious that it’s no longer able to be used as a door. They lock the room as they leave, and although Autumn returns the keys, she conveniently does not put them away CORRECTLY, at Jimmy’s suggestion.

Jimmy has the axe stick, Hurryup Ann has the book, and Autumn is back to just her normal duplicates. As they make their way back to Dodge Junction, they make up and mend fences. When they investigate archives there at the post office, they see no sign of fowl play at Trail’s End. The town just slowly got smaller and smaller in population, and when they quit showing up for mail, and somewhen went to look, they found the town abandoned. They did send a report to Canterlot, but never heard word back. They do note that there did seem to be an awfully high percentage of pegasus ponies for an Earth-bound town.

Hurryup Ann gives the book to Joneigh to keep for her, since she can’t read it at the moment anyway.

The book, next time Joneigh reads it, firmly suggests Joneigh should go back to the mirror for answers!! She does not want to, and shoves the book away, but does not destroy it to the group’s knowledge.

They board the train to head home.

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