My Little Pony: Magic Is Fiendish

Episode 15 The Museum

May 5, 2018
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 eyerolls. 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 every 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 & Sunny are making out and she is doing eye-daggers at them. Hurryup notices a Joneigh taking something out & 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 she 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 & 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 his wedding, others of Barstormer’s mother, but none of Spyglass (his father). In the wedding picture there is mother & 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 uncomfy, 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 sees 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 & 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, “I can’t get them.” 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 one goes through Aurora, but they seem lost. “Good, leave them off, they can’t find you.” Aurora twirls around and yells at Hurryup, “Its 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 satcel. 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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Episode 10
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Death of a Surgeon :: Episode 9
Who last saw Dr Sir Jeckyll Steel alive?
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Mysterious Equestria! :: Episode 8
It's the convention that brings together the stories of ponies who have lived through experiences that defy explanation!

Teaser: The stars have aligned in such a way that the Grand Galloping Gala takes place the same weekend as the Mysterious Equestria! convention in Canterlot. The pony gang are looking forward to engaging other intellects in their search for clues to their own mysteries. Aurora, on the other hoof, thinks she’s finally ditching the hicks for a night of splendor, romance, dancing, and catty comments about other ponies’ ensembles.

GalaAu-SMLL.png

How… how did this happen?

Aurora Jane left Brindlebury in a chartered coach with Dr Sir Jeckyll Steel and her aunt, Arctica Buckminster to attend Aurora’s first Grand Galloping Gala. Her return to Canterlot, attending tea and a dinner party with her family, reminds her of everything she has missed about pony high society. She is a little worried about some odd reactions that her grandfather, Sir Carbonado Buckminster, has to her boyfriend the doctor, but otherwise all seems well.

Meanwhile, Hurryup Ann, Autumn Gallery, Joneigh, Jimmy, and Shucks take the ordinary coach to Dodge Junction, and then the train to attend this year’s Mysterious Equestria Convention. Shucks becomes increasingly nervous about forgetting something important that he wants to do at the convention.

While standing in line at registration, Shucks notices that one of his favorite writers, Hasty Pudding, is listed as an attendee on the voodoo message board. Hurryup Ann says nothing as she collects her badge which bears the name Hasty Pudding. The Brindlebury ponies split up: Jimmy accompanies Shucks to some panels, Joneigh hits the dealers’ den, Hurryup Ann meets with an editor and then the den, while Autumn takes her first tour through the art show, then joins Joneigh in the den. Joneigh finds a tentacle hat, and soon all her friends own one, as well. Then the Brindlebury group meets up for lunch.

Aurora is irritated by the arrival of her brother in Canterlot the next morning, and a bit suspicious that Borealis seems to have changed colognes to match Sir Jeckyll Steel’s favorite choice. She begins to wonder if some earlier signs she saw that indicated Dr Steel and Borealis were more than friends actually meant something, so she sneaks into her brother’s room to check his cologne. He does not own any of the cologne in question, which does not ease Aurora’s mind. After getting her mane done, Aurora goes to a restaurant to meet her mother and Aunt Arctica for a late lunch, and is shocked to see that her old school rival, Ginger Harmony Bullion (of the San Palomino Bullions). She can’t decide whether she is amused or annoyed to learn that Ginger Harmony is to be Borealis’s date for the gala. But then she is distracted as she recognizes the voices of her Brindlebury acquaintances at a nearby table… talking about attending a banquet and dance!

After Arctica arrives, wearing her Guest of Honor badge for the convention, Aurora figures out that her “hick” friends probably aren’t talking about the gala, and is able to focus of the banter battle with Ginger Harmony. She has a few too many martinis, not noticing that Ginger Harmony slips her a few extras. Aurora excuses herself to find a restroom and try to cast a sobering spell. She gets lost briefly, is assisted by the head of convention security.

Hurryup Ann, meanwhile, thinking that perhaps they had embarrassed Aurora, had purchased a drink for Aurora as an attempt at an apology. When she saw Aurora flee the restroom, she snuck away to check up on her. Then, realizing that Aurora was arguing with her own reflection, she imitated Aurora’s voice and encouraged her to go give Ginger Harmony a piece of her mind. Aurora returned to the table, delivered what she thought would be a deeply cutting remark about how long Ginger Harmony has pined for Borealis, how he dumped her in school, but now she’s finally worn him down. Ginger Harmony is devastated… and fires back with the accusation that the only reason Dr Steel was with Aurora was because Aurora reminds him of her brother, and adds that everyone knows it. Aurora loses her temper and splashes the fruity drink that Hurryup Ann had sent into Ginger Harmony’s face.

And she fled.

She breaks down crying on the sidewalk, and is approached by the head of convention security, a buff, handsome unicorn stallion named Moon Ray. Moon Ray comforts her for a while. She winds up going back to his hotel room, and despite learning that he was another old classmate, who was a skinny, nerdy pony everyone called Dew Dropper back then, decides to let him comfort her rather more than she probably ought.

Aurora missed her pedicure appointment, and barely arrives back at her parents’ home in time to get dressed for the gala. Sir Jekyll Steel picks her up as planned, and she finally arrives at the gala.

Meanwhile, Shucks was shocked to find Hurryup Ann sitting behind the autograph table in Hasty Pudding’s spot. He is convinced she’s going to get in trouble, never quite realizing that she is Hasty.

Hurryup Ann’s Uncle, Tom Whately, who is another Guest of Honor, asks Joneigh to be his date to a “little dance” which turns out to be the Grand Galloping Gala. Hurryup Ann, meanwhile, is shocked when a couple of palace guards show up to take her to the gala. She never opened that one envelope that came in her convention packet, and therefore didn’t realize that the princess invited all the convention Guests of Honor to the gala. She grabs Jimmy as her plus one. Shucks sees Hurryup Ann, Jimmy, Joneigh, and Tom being taken away by palace guards, and is convinced they are being kidnapped, so he disguises himself with his MIB (Mares In Black) cosplay, and drags Autumn with him to the Gala.

At the Gala, Aurora becomes slightly concerned that no one seems to want to talk to her. Then Tom, Joneigh, Hurryup Ann, and Jimmy were announced… and then are presented to the princess! Shortly after Shucks and Autumn Gallery crash the gala, someone comes to take Sir Jeckyll to the presentation line, but Aurora’s mother takes her aside and explains that she should not be presented. She informs Aurora that Sir Carbonado has had to pay a large sum of money to prevent publication in the newspapers of the fight between Aurora and Ginger Harmony, and more specifically Aurora’s indiscretion with Moon Ray. Because of Aurora’s behavior, Sir Carbonado wished to send Aurora away, to some post in Neighbraska, but Arctica had intervened and promised to take Aurora back to Brindlebury and help her sort herself out.

Aurora leaves the gala, though she doesn’t go home right away. She finds a quiet spot in the garden to cry. Which is where Shucks finds her, and asks if he can help. She explains that this is a problem only she can solve, and tells Shucks that he can call her Aurora rather than always trying to pronounce Miss Buckminster-Kimblewick. Shucks tells her he was sent to find out if she wanted to go to the dance at the convention. Aurora says she should just go home.

Then Aurora notices an odd aurora-like light, and a voice asked Shucks, “Mr McKorn, have you found your friend?” Shucks informs Her Majesty that his friend isn’t feeling well and can’t accompany them to the dance. Aurora bows to Celestia. When Aurora agrees to attend the dance, Celestia comments that she has so wanted to meet Aurora ever since finding out the Miss Pudding based the character of Miss Bustle-Haunches on Aurora.

The opening night dance of the Mysterious Equestria Convention is a success. Many people are delighted at the mysterious fan who showed up in such convincing Princess Celestia cosplay. Aurora winds up wearing vampire fangs and a few other costume accessories, and finds out she can have fun with the Brindlebury ponies at the ordinary dance.

Shucks comes to Joneigh to ask what a word that the Princess said to him means. Then Joneigh has to calm Shucks down and assure him that the only reason the princess probably mentioned an assassination order was in reference to his Mares In Black costume. It’s a joke, surely. Joneigh is almost certain it is a joke.

When Aurora Jane arrives home, at nearly dawn, she is amused to see Borealis sneaking in through the window, and wonders just how many assignations he had that night. As she is getting out of her costume and gown, she hears an urgent pounding at the main door, and a sleepy servant answering. It is the Canterlot Police, and they must talk right away to several members of the household. They have to determine who it is that last saw Dr Sir Jeckyll Steel alive!

To be continued…!

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True Friends, Blue Friends… : Episode 7
Autumn hopes for answers at last

After killing the transmogrified Carnellian Carter III, the ponies each go home for a well-earned rest. Jimmy is the first up in the morning, and gets busy in his fields. Shucks finds an incredibly large number of spiders taking refuge among his rows of corn, and goes to the general store to buy vine stakes and/or “mater cages” to set up better places for the poor spiders to weave their webs.

Hurryup Ann, meanwhile, has been dragged out of bed by her excessively cheerful mother for a hearty breakfast before going to school. On exiting the mill, a tiny spider, busy weaving its web, drops down in front of Hurryup Ann’s nose, which makes her scream profusely. Autumn Gallery is awakened by the screaming, and rushes over to help her friend. She finds Hurryup Ann’s mother trying to calm her down. Hurryup Ann, meanwhile, can point precisely to where each and every spider is in the immediate environs outside the mill. Autumn Gallery convinces Hurryup Ann to go to school by agreeing to walk her there and protect her from spiders.

Joneigh is trying to have a nice breakfast when she hears Hurryup Ann coming down the road, going on and on about the evil spiders and their conspiracy to hurt everypony. She can also hear Autumn sleepily agreeing, so JoNiegh grabs some extra food, recruits young Mountain Berry (who was just heading out the door to go to school himself) to help her take breakfast and tea out to Autumn and to help walk Hurryup Ann to school.

Aurora Jane, meanwhile, is sleeping fitfully, dreaming of giant spiders, and when she dreams of blasting one, she shatters the window of her room, sending broken glass down onto the road behind Joneigh and the others. This sends all the other ponies inside and up the stairs to see if Aurora is all right. They find her door unlocked. Aurora is twitching in her sleep.

Aurora wakes up to find herself surrounded. She does not admit to the nightmare and either refuses to believe the broken window is her fault, or just doesn’t want to admit it. She is not happy that everypony is in her room. She is even more disturbed when Hurryup Ann asks why the strap-on unicorn horn is sitting on the floor, surrounded by a circle of what appears to be ground unicorn horn, and why there is a note nearby that says, “Don’t leave this out where just anypony can find it.”

Shucks arrives at the door to the room, having been tasked by Lunar Seed, the postmistress, to deliver an important-looking letter to Aurora Jane. Shucks realizes that Aurora is still in bed, blushes intensely, leaves the letter, and flees.

Aurora read a simple note from her mother about the upcoming gala. She decides she must see her designer.

The school bell is heard ringing in the distance, so Mountain Berry and Hurryup Ann rush off. Joneigh goes to the library. Autumn follows Hurryup Ann to the school to make sure that she isn’t sent into hysterics by any more spiders.

▲▼◆▼▲

Jimmy brings his cart to the old Carter House in time to meet the other ponies when Hurryup Ann gets out of school to take on the task that the Select Ponies have given them of cataloging all the books in the Carter House private library and transporting them to the town library.

Joneigh carefully sets aside any books that give her a funny feeling or seem to be trying to communicate with her in a separate pile under a rock. Aurora Jane is getting books down off the shelves, particularly the high ones. Hurryup Ann is putting books into whichever pile Joneigh tells her. Jimmy is carefully checking every single flagstone, floor tile, wall-mounted candle sconce, and andiron to find more secret passages. He discovers a hidden compartment in one bedroom full of very old copies of Playpony and Rustler magazine. He finds a secret door connecting two of the other bedrooms. Autumn Gallery is going through the house with a big duster getting rid of the cobwebs and looking for more unusual artworks.

Playpony.jpg

Joneigh and Aurora Jane get into an argument about one particular book. It tried to get out of the pile and into Joneigh’s bag on its own (which prompts Joneigh to find a bigger rock to hold the suspicious books down). Aurora decides to look inside the book, since there is no title on the outside, and reads, That Sweet Master Race.

This causes the book to start behaving oddly toward Aurora, which makes Joneigh even more convinced that it is a cursed book. Aurora thinks Joneigh is being superstitious: that merely looking at a title page would cause a curse, and their discussion becomes quite heated. Jimmy makes one attempt to get them to stop fighting. Autumn ends up in the corner muttering to herself. Hurryup Ann is too distracted pretending to read one of her schoolbooks into which she has inserted one of the porn magazines that Jimmy found. Aurora stomps off in a huff.

Aurora is frightened by a spider, and blasts a pair of Fancy doors to oblivion. Hurryup Ann has noticed that both Joneigh and Aurora are shedding excessively. Autumn notices that they both look unwell. Aurora and Joneigh begin arguing about the door and the book and a possible curse again until Hurryup Ann shows Aurora all the mane she has lost. Autumn points out that they both appear sick. Aurora shrieks something about being hideous and leaps from the second story to gallop to the doctor. Joneigh grumbles something about being cursed and flies out. The pegasus, of course, gets to the doctor first.

Autumn asks Jimmy to load all of the books into the cart and get them to the library while she follows the other two to try to look after them. When she gets to the infirmary, Dr. Sir Jekyll Steel is busy examining both Aurora and Joneigh, making notes as he takes measurements, et cetera, then he begins examining Autumn, and informs her she has the same fever, bloodshot eyes, mane beginning to shed, and other symptoms. He whips up three doses of medicine and urges them to take it.

Aurora downs hers immediately, without question: after all, the doctor is her boyfriend! Joneigh drinks hers normally. Autumn sips at hers suspiciously. Aurora falls into a deep sleep. Joneigh starts yawning and lays down. Aurora starts protesting that the doctor has tricked her… but also falls to sleep.

Hurryup Ann has followed just to see what’s happening. The doctor asks her to find Jimmy to help them carry the three to their beds. At Aurora’s room at Garnish Towers, he notices the strap-on horn still in a magic circle in the room, and that he can’t touch the horn, because the circle is acting as a force field. He tells Hurryup Ann to keep an eye on Aurora and goes to consult with Arctica Buckminster.

Aurora wakes up with Hurryup Ann looming over her. After some initial confusion, Aurora tries to figure out why she doesn’t remember making the force field/magic circle. She had assumed that Shells—the mad unicorn formerly known as Egg White—was responsible, but when she touches the barrier, her own voice asks her for the password!

Joneigh is awakened by Icy Garnish, who has delivered breakfast including a small pot of Jimmy’s corn leaf tea, which Mrs. Garnish said the doctor recommended as a restorative. JoNiegh only takes the tea once she is convinced by Mrs. Garnish that Jimmy made the tea. Mrs. Garnish has a similar tray for Aurora. Jimmy, meanwhile, knocks on Autumn’s cottage door with some of the tea, as well. Mrs. Garnish also had notes from Arctica for both Joneigh and Aurora, indicating that their symptoms sounded like an ailment she encountered years ago in her travels, and that she is looking for an herb necessary to treat it.

Aurora figures out how to take the force field down and get to the horn. (“BOREALIS MUST DIE!” does the trick.) All of the ponies end up at Garnish Towers. Autumn and Joneigh are very unhappy with the doctor (who is apparently also researching a possible cure). Aurora is upset that the book has found its way out of the crate they nailed it inside. Aurora decides the book must be destroyed, and persuades Autumn to hold it up so she can target it. Joneigh huddles around a corner, just in case.

Aurora blasts the book, which explodes and burns up. The strap-on horn inside Aurora’s saddlebag also explodes, as do the strap-on wings, which Joneigh had hidden up in her room.

Arctica arrives with some ingredients and explains about the time she was exploring in the jungles of a small island near Marelaysia and a pony became sick with symptoms similar to Joneigh, Aurora, and Autumn, and how a native pony taught her a concoction to make with several herbs that would allow the pony’s natural recuperative powers to shake off the effects. She explains the recipe and how she is going to brew it.

While this is happening, Dr. Steel arrives, having himself found a treatise about a similar potion, and tells them he is ready to brew it for them. Autumn and Joneigh say they would rather use Artica’s. The doctor is a little surprised, but then seems mollified when Aurora agrees that he can observe the effects of the potion.

Once every pony feels better, Aurora Jane casts every detection spell she knows on all of them again.

Jimmy, meanwhile, has finished reading the diary he found underneath the cache of Playpony and Rustler magazines. The diary belonged to Hefty Brick, the deceased butler of the Carter family (Autumn has been studying the diaries for Coral Belle and Merry Oak Carter, the owners of the house). Hefty Brick’s diary mentions several times how, as each pony who eventually succumbed to the illness and died, they also became extremely argumentative and antagonistic, though notably only with the other sick ponies.

Autumn mentions that while now she knows how her parents died, she still doesn’t know why they were involved with the Carters’ rituals. Jimmy asks her why she hasn’t just written to the princess to ask why the police reports were redacted. Autumn isn’t sure she would get an answer, but said she would think about it.

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Cobweb Rings and Phantom Wings :: Episode 6
Continuing from Episode 5...

Autumn Gallery continues to search for the explanation of her parents’ death, JoNeigh wants a closer look at an abandoned library, HurryUp Anne seeks the key to the pattern of disaster, Aurora Jane is distracted preparing for the upcoming gala, and Jimmy ponders asking a direct question…

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