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be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website: (usually she updates her blog every Sunday evening but she can and will surprise you) **Special Note: all of Joan's archives are now up--almost ten years of 'bitter girl.' As Joan says, go wild!**

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ten Little Ponies

Scootaloo looks up from her hiding place in the dark, her eyes wide with fright and genuine horror. Since she stowed away on the hydrofoil two days ago, she’s been almost caught twice by the same purser; it appears the third time’s going to be the charm.

“’Ten little Indians, travelling to dine,’” the white-uniformed purser sings to himself as he catalogs the inventory of the ship’s stores. “’One choked his little self and then there were nine.’”

Oh noes, Scootaloo thinks as the purser rummages closer and closer to where she’s concealed herself. Confound that Spike! I wish he’d never gotten me into this.

Her mind reels back to the beginning of this mess as she imagines all manner of nasty punishments the crew has for stowaways. It had all started when Rainbow Dash read her Pony Express letter:

“Holy Celestia!” R.D. exclaimed as she ripped the envelope to shreds in her haste. “I’ve been invited too!”

“Invited to what?” Scoot asked her mentor, pawing at the fragments on the ground for a return address.

"The Fashion Show, squirt,” R.D. spat out, barely pausing to explain. “I have to tell the others.”

Scoot had gotten the rest from Spike after R.D. had taken off on her. “It’s this super-big-deal invitation-only event,” he related in the library as he packed Twilight Sparkle’s suitcases. “Some of Rarity’s designs got picked up by this hipster fashionista and she gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Manehatten along with nine of her closest friends. Only guess who isn’t going.”

“Me and you,” Scoot adroitly deduced as she watched Spike practically throw T.S.’s things around with more than moderate disdain. “What a bummer. I wanna go too.”

“Exactly what I was hoping to hear,” Spike tossed off with his usual evil grin. “I have a plan.”

Spike’s plan had been simple enough—although it required a certain amount of audacity to actually pull it off. When the baby dragon had gotten cold feet at the last minute, that left Scoot by herself on a one-way ticket to walking the plank.

Now Scoot holds her breath as the purser moves closer and closer to her hiding spot.

“Hello—what’s this?” the purser asks as he sets his clipboard aside to move several cartons of fresh vegetables to reveal the small pony’s erstwhile hiding place. “What are you doing there?”

“Keeping the mice company?” Scoot replies with a silly grin on her face, hoping the make the stern-looking man in the white uniform smile.

“Excuse me Captain,” the purser blusters as he drags a very reluctant Scootaloo onto the bridge, “but look what I found hiding in the galley.”

“Just what we need,” the Captain sighs as he engages the intercom to Twilight’s cabin. “Another pony.”

A few minutes later, as they leave the bridge together, Scoot sheepishly murmurs to Twi, “Thanks for not turning me in.”

Twilight Sparkle gives Scoot a sideways glance that doesn’t exactly register warmth in the younger pony’s eyes. “You’re lucky we’re so close to the island. If you’d been found earlier, I’d have ratted you out for the stowaway that you are. As it is, if I’d told the Captain back there the truth, we’d all probably be heading back to Equestria right now.” The island she’s referring to is where the event is being held—in the middle of the ocean with very tight security; not Manehatten, as Spike had said. There had been a last minute change of plans.

“So where am I going to stay?” Scoot asks as they clop their way down the metal stairs.

“Oh no,” Rainbow Dash aggressively asserts at her door after Twi explains her plan. “I’m not taking the kid.”

“You have to,” T.S. counters in equally determined fashion. “You’re her mentor.”

“What’s wrong with your cabin?” R.D. tries one last time.

“It’s full of books, that’s what’s wrong with it,” T.S. explains in no uncertain terms. “Now I’m not asking you—I’m telling you. She rooms with you. End of discussion.”

“I don’t deserve this, but I don’t feel like arguing any more,” R.D. finally capitulates as she grudgingly swings the door to her cabin open, seeing that T.S. isn’t backing down. “You owe me, big time.”

“Later gators,” Twi sings as she prances off down the corridor.

A few hours later, at dinner, Scoot could see at least one reason why R.D. had been so reluctant to take her on—the ponies had paired up, as they say, leaving her as the proverbial fifth wheel. Apple Jack was sitting with Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie was with Rarity, Fluttershy with Octavia, and Doctor Whooves with Zecora at the long rectangular table. This left Twilight with Luna as the most simultaneously ill-at-ease but most watched and eavesdropped on couple.

“I still don’t see how this is going to work,” Rarity is gassing, almost beside herself with stress. “The designer Versailles was quite specific that there be ten ponies on board—no more and no less—and now we have eleven." She glares at Scoot, who tries without much success to hide under her napkin.

“I realize that Rarity, and I’m not trying to make excuses for what she and Spike did,” T.S. tries to placate and keep her own temper in check. “But I really didn’t see any other choice. The Captain was furious. I was afraid he was gonna take us all back.”

“What’s this about Spike?” A.J. nasally interjects in her southwest twang above the din that erupts after Twi’s last comment, the former attempting to both catch up and simmer Rarity down. “Did that thieving little varmint stow away too?”

“No, Spike’s not here,” Fluttershy attempts to explain to any pony who can hear her with only limited comprehension. “But all this was his idea, and he chickened out at the last minute.”

“I don’t see the problem at all,” Doctor Whooves declares. “Just leave Scootaloo on the hydrofoil and we’ll take her back on Monday when they pick us up.”

“Unfortunately, Twi made that impossible this afternoon,” Luna dispassionately comments in the hushed silence that follows any utterance from her.

“No no no,” Pinkie Pie is offering to any pony who’ll listen while trying to eat her dinner. “We’ll make Scootaloo my assistant. That way she can still come and not get counted.”

“Ten little ponies, floating up toward heaven,” Zecora ad-libs to herself in gaiety and mirth. “Then one more stowed away and now there are eleven.”

“How is that going accomplish anything?” Rainbow Dash is petulantly asking Pinkie from across the table. “Any way you slice the little foal, it’s still one too many.”

“How’s your chicken?” Octavia inquires of Fluttershy while indicating the other’s plate, pointedly ignoring the conversation. “I’ll trade you some of my fish.”

“We’ll have the Doctor teleport to the island ahead of us,” is Pinkie’s brilliant rejoinder. “That way, we can still be ten when they count us getting off the hydrofoil.”

“I didn’t bring the TARDIS,” the Doctor casually informs the gathering, resuming eating himself. “I didn’t think I was going to need it.” He shoots Scoot another guilt-inducing gaze, as if she needed one.

“All I know is,” Rarity sums up before returning to graze on what remains on her plate as well. “If you mess this up, Scootaloo, it’s off to the glue factory with your mangy hide.”

“Ulp,” Scoot manages to swallow as she considers her complicity in this ill-conceived adventure.

A little while later, during dessert, Twi looks up to notice Fluttershy’s turning many shades of red while coughing. “Shy, are you O.K.?”

F.S. manages to shake her head no while hacking and snorting in the most histrionic and flamboyant manner.

“She’s choking!" Octavia almost shouts. “Doctor, do something, please!"

Doctor Whooves rises from his chair and advances toward Fluttershy. He’s preparing to perform the Heimlich maneuver on her when the pink-maned pegasus manages to swallow what had been giving her fits. “Can you breathe now?” the Doctor asks her at length.

“I think so,” she coughs out while settling back down. “Thank you for your concern. Thank you all.”

“Come on kid—let’s hit the hay,” R.D. informs Scoot a little later.

“Goodnight guys,” Rarity says in parting as her way of apologizing for being harsh earlier.

“’Night, fillies,” Pinkie contributes, still working on her third chocolate mousse.

“Should we also?” Luna quietly inquires of Twi.

“I think I’ll go for a stroll on deck,” T.S. informs the Princess as well as the assembled ponies. “See y’all later.”

The next day when they land, Rarity is the first off the ship; she’s also the first back on. “There’s no one here!” she complains to the Captain and any pony that will listen. “I know the event isn’t till Saturday and today’s only Friday but still—the house is empty!”

“I’m sorry that’s the case,” is his indifferent reply. “Would you like to go back with us then? To the mainland?”

Rarity consults with Twilight. “Let’s look around a little more,” she suggests. “Captain, can you give us one hour?”

He checks his watch. “One hour then—and we’re leaving,” he tersely responds.

The ponies investigate the big house and find plenty of food and drink in the kitchen. Also, they find a game room and the electricity is on, so they decide maybe the designer was delayed and will be along shortly. The hydrofoil sets sail for the mainland with promises to return on Monday.

Scoot asks Rainbow Dash while standing on the beach, watching the ship take off, “Is this really a good idea?”

R.D. scoffs at the younger pony’s trepidation. “Are you kidding?” is her reply. “This is a great idea! We are having one blow-out of a party this weekend.”

“Yaay,” Scoot responds with more apprehension than enthusiasm.

Twilight Sparkle organizes the herd in the kitchen; Zecora is in charge of cooking while Pinkie handles the other party details. The Doctor helps Octavia, who spends most of the day practicing while every other pony is dragooned for manual labor.

“How many balloons are we blowing up?” Scootaloo wearily asks after several hours with the helium tanks.

“You’d have to ask Miss Pinkamena Diane Pie on that one,” Apple Jack's resigned sigh resonates across the high-ceiling dining room. “She said not to stop until she said so.”

“I think her exact words were, ‘There’s no such thing as too many balloons, especially at a par-tay!'" Rainbow Dash relates in commiseration, plainly indicating that she also is reaching her threshold of tolerance.

Twilight emerges from the kitchen a little while later and sees the helium brigade and ascertains their dilemma. “Pinkie dahling—I think that’s quite enough with the balloons,” she informs the other filly.

“Are you sure, Twi?” Pinkie immediately inquires. “Because—you know—you can never have too many balloons for a par—˝

“I’m sure,” T.S. confirms while cutting the other off. “Besides, we need more help in the kitchen.”

“Why aren’t you helping?” A.J. pointed queries T.S. while being corralled.

“I am," Twi tosses off, clearly annoyed with the suggestion she was sitting around when she’s asking other ponies to work. “I just came out here to get y’all.”

A little while later, Rarity consults with Twilight. “What do you think? We’re about ready on all fronts.”

“Let’s run with it then,” Rarity decides with resolve. “If Versailles arrives in the middle, so be it.”

“The sun is setting, the natives are restless,” Zecora contributes. “All those for a bash, we’ve got the bestest.”

Scoot giggles at this, beginning to relax while the stowaway stigma finally begins to fade.

Octavia makes a graceful entrance with The Doctor, showing off her new Little Black Dress for the occasion. “Thank you,” she addresses the assembled ponies after the applause dies down while cradling her cello. “This is one of my favorites and I hope it’s one of yours.”

As the evening wears on, after Octavia runs through most of her repertoire, Twi ventures to Luna, “Wonder what happened to Rarity’s designer.”

Luna considers this for a moment before she observes, “I don’t know, but he sure is missing a great party. Even a Princess such as myself is impressed.”

T.S. takes a similar amount of time before she offers, “I know—it’s a little too good. Where did all this stuff come from, if not the designer?”

Pinkie, overhearing this exchange, barges in with, “Oh would you lighten up already? Let’s not look a Greek horse in the mouth.”

“Or something like that,” Luna dares to crack, although wary of criticizing Pinkie too obviously.

“Doctor!” Pinkie exclaims with noticeable volume. “Wherever did you learn to play the piano?”

“I’m a time lord,” the good Doctor sniffs with substantial aplomb. “I do many things well.”

“I’m sure that you do,” Fluttershy contributes, joining their circle as well. “I was wondering if I might borrow you, Doctor Whooves, for just a minute.”

“Of course,” he graciously responds.

“Well. What are we to make of that?” Rarity inquires of all after F.S. and the Doctor take their leave of the group.

“Oh Rarity,” T.S. dismisses with a wave of her hoof. “You’re such a gossip.”

“Speaking of gossip,” Pinkie Pie segues. “Would you look at the way Octavia is shoveling it? We’re going to need a hand truck to start getting her around.”

“Pinkie, please,” Luna scolds the other. “She has been performing all evening, unlike some pony I could name.”

“Yeah and now she’s choking!" Apple Jack observes. “Sweet Celestia—let’s help her!”

It’s true; Octavia is now seriously red in the face, coughing and gagging, as every other pony comes to her aid.

“Where’s the Doctor?” Rainbow Dash asks above the pandemonium. “Some pony find Doctor Whooves!”

“I saw him leave with Fluttershy a little while ago,” Scootaloo supplies.

“Which way?” R.D. demands of the foal.

“I don’t know,” Scoot admits after a blink. “Maybe toward the kitchen.”

By the time Dash returns with the Doctor, it’s too late. “I’m sorry,” he states to the hushed crowd after checking her vitals, feeling her temperature and, finally, gently closing the eyes. “There’s nothing I can do.”

“Oh Octavia,” Pinkie softly sobs, beside herself with grief.

“She’s—dead?” Rarity demands of Twi, who’s trying to deal with the enormity of the situation herself. “She’s dead?!"

“Rarity—cool it, willya?” T.S. snaps back at the other unicorn, now meeting the other’s eyes. “There’s no sense in freaking out here.”

“Oh mah stars,” Apple Jack interjects under her breath as she stares at Octavia’s lifeless form.

Luna blinks a few times herself in disbelief before she pronounces, “We need to report this.”

While she and the other ponies are consumed in the search for a telephone, Twi approaches the Doctor again once they are alone with Octavia’s body. “I—I know what you said before, but surely a time lord such as yourself—˝

“Twilight,” the Doctor interrupts her. “How many worlds in all my travels, all my journeys, do you suppose I’ve been to?”

“A lot,” Twi admits.

“And how many deaths do you suppose I’ve witnessed?” he follows up with.

“A lot,” T.S. repeats, beginning to get the gist of where this is going.

He nods again before he continues. “And how many friends and relatives do you suppose have asked me to do them a favor by bringing a loved one back?”

Twi gestures as well. “I guess that’s another ‘no,’ huh?”

Doctor Whooves snorts. “I wouldn’t be doing any pony, least of all Octavia, any favors by interfering with the local time stream at this juncture. Besides,” he segues, his voice going lower. “It may not have been an accident.”

Before T.S. can inquire specifics, the herd returns. “There are no telephones in this entire house,” Rarity announces to Twi and the Doctor. “No radio, no nothing.”

“And the hydrofoil’s not due back till Monday,” Pinkie wails in emphasis.

“Three days from now,” R.D. repeats. “Well that settles it,” she continues. “I’m flying for the coast.”

“Rainbow, that’s over two hundred miles away, over open ocean,” Twilight protests. “What if you get tired?”

R.D. shrugs before she answers, “I’ll rest on a cloud.”

“Suppose there aren’t any clouds,” Luna now speaks up, not happy with the idea either. “Then what’re ya gonna do?”

Apple Jack places a hoof on R.D.’s shoulder. “Please don’t do it,” she quietly entreats the other. “I don’t want you to.”

“Don’t want you to what?” Fluttershy inquires, rejoining the group at last. “What’s going on?”

“Maybe we should all hit the hay,” Twilight collectively suggests when no other pony ventures anything else after all bring a stunned F.S. up to speed.

As the sleeping arrangements are being negotiated and nailed down, Scoot wanders back into the kitchen to find Zecora. “How did the rest of that song go, that you were teaching me earlier?”

“’Nine little Indian boys, stayed up very late,’” Zecora sings to her. “’One overslept himself and then there were eight.’ That reminds me—I must catch the Doctor before he creeps. With all this excitement I know I’ll need something from him to help me with the sleeps.”

“That was the same song the porter on the ship was singing when he found me,” Scoot recalls after the older pony departs. “I wonder what’s going on.”

A.J. sticks her head inside the kitchen. “Scoot—let’s hoof it,” she calls out in her twang. “Bedtime—now.”

R.D. is up early the next day at dawn. She stops by F.S.’s room to invite her to come with. There’s no response so she heads out alone.

When she returns, Twi has some bad news. “You’re not going to believe this,” she begins, her eyes red from tears. “But Zecora’s dead now too.”

“Zecora?” Rainbow Dash incredulously repeats. “How? What happened?”

“The Doctor’s not too sure,” T.S. relates in hushed tones as the other ponies gather in small groups to assess the latest developments. “He gave her a sedative last night—to help her sleep—and he said she might have taken too much. It might have been an overdose.”

“Or what?” R.D. asks back, sensing from T.S.’s tone she has at least some suspicions she’s not voicing. “Zecora was so careful about things like that—when she cooked, she always followed the recipe to the letter.”

“I know,” Twilight immediately responds with vigor. “That’s what I was thinking. Don’t say anything to any pony, but last night the Doctor said that what happened to Octavia may not have been an accident.”

“Really? Wow,” Rainbow Dash exhales in wonder. “I just did a flyover of the entire island and there’s nothing here except this house. No other ponies, no nothing. We’re all alone here.”

“Just like in that movie,” Twi makes the connection.

“What movie?” Rarity asks, having overheard while joining them.

“It’s an old mystery called 'And Then There Were None.' A group of ten strangers are invited to an island and get killed off—one by one,” T.S. uneasily explains.

“Scoot was singing some song last night in our room that she said was important,” R.D. contributes. “Something about ten little Indians.”

“That’s the song they used in the movie,” T.S. confirms. “’Ten little Indians, all travelling to dine; one choked his little self and then there were nine.’”

“Oh no,” Pinkie Pie, having come over with Rarity, exclaims, her eyes widening. “That’s what happened to Octavia last night.”

“So is that why we were all invited here?” Rarity asks in genuine apprehension. “Because some evil pony wants to kill us?”

“Some evil pony or one of us that's flipped out,” R.D. offers with great hesitation. “I was just telling Twi—I checked out the island this morning and there’s no pony here but us.”

“O.K. you guys—let’s cool it with the baseless speculation, all right, shall we?” T.S. decides to mediate. “Why don’t we have breakfast and maybe--I don't know--divine intervention will--intervene.”

So all scavenge the kitchen and sit down at the long dining room table to eat. Once clean-up is finished, Apple Jack announces, “I don’t know about any other pony, but I’d like a swim, to clear my head. I’m going down to the beach for a little bit.”

“Scoot, why don’t you tag along,” T.S. suggests. When the Doctor joins them, she inquires of him, “Well?”

The Doctor sighs while deciding on breakfast. “I really can’t tell what happened with Zecora, other than she died in her sleep. We need an autopsy, is the bottom line.”

“Maybe it is just a coincidence,” Rarity contributes, as the guilt for this trip begins to build in her.

“Who would want to hurt us?” Pinkie throws out for discussion.

“I think,” the Doctor surmises at length. “That we need to keep track of where every pony is at all times. And the sooner, the better.”

“Why?” Twilight asks with apprehension now in her voice.

The Doctor levels his gaze at her. “Just to be safe. Where are the others?”

“Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy went out to fly around—survey the island again,” T.S. catalogs. “A.J. and Scoot are down at the beach. I don’t know where Luna is.”

“You two stay here together and wait,” the Doctor advises Rarity and Pinkie. “Twi and I will go outside to collect any pony we can find.”

“O.K.,” Pinkie and Rarity both reply.

Once outside, Twi scans the heavens. “Well, I see Fluttershy,” she observes at length while waving to the aforementioned pegasus. “I wonder where Dash is.”

The Doctor takes his time, glancing about also, before he replies, “I don’t know, but I hope she’s all right.”

“Huh,” Twilight says to herself. “I guess she didn’t see me. She’s heading for the other side of the island.”

“Hmm,” the Doctor rejoins. “There’s Scootaloo—but I don’t see Apple Jack.”

T.S. observes Scoot in the surf as the Doctor had. She waves to her as they make their way down to the water. “Where’s A.J.?”

“I don’t know,” Scoot relates. “We got separated by the tide. By the waves.”

Twilight Sparkle turns to see Doctor Whooves galloping down the beach in the opposite direction into the midmorning sun. “Come on,” she suggests to Scoot.

The Doctor disappears behind some rocks that jut out into the churning surf. T.S. takes the high ground rather than venture out into the forbidding ocean. Scoot follows as best she can.

Twilight stops when she comes around the other side to see the Doctor dragging Apple Jack out of the water. “You stay here,” T.S. advises the younger pony.

“Oh no,” Scoot whispers under her breath as she watches T.S. carefully walk down to where the Doctor has lain A.J. down.

Twilight approaches the Doctor in time to see him remove a kitchen knife from Apple Jack’s spine. She can see from the look on his face the situation. She returns to Scootaloo. “Let’s go back to the house.”

Rainbow Dash is the first to confront her once there. “Where’s Apple Jack?”

“Down on the beach,” Twi quietly replies, in contrast to how loud R.D. is. “The Doctor is with her. He’s doing all he can. For her.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Dash demands of Twilight, now segueing to Scoot. “Weren’t you swimming with her?”

“I was at first,” Scoot tries to explain. “But it was really rough. The waves took her further up—away from me.”

“Rainbow,” Twilight addresses the other pony. “Apple Jack was stabbed. In the back.”

“Oh no,” Pinkie wails, closing her eyes.

“This can’t be happening,” Rarity incredulously declares.

“Rainbow,” Twilight resumes. “Where’s Fluttershy?”

“I’m here,” F.S. announces in her small voice, coming out of the shadows.

“Didn’t you see me—outside the house, waving to you?” Twilight asks her.

“No I didn’t,” F.S. replies in the same way. “I was scanning the ground and trying to find Rainbow Dash—we were supposed to be flying in formation.”

“That’s right,” R.D. confirms. “But we got separated, somehow. Are you saying A.J. is dead?”

“Yes,” Twilight simply answers. “Murdered, the same way Octavia and Zecora were.”

“But I don’t get it—who would do that?” Rainbow Dash in a rush continues, at least partly in the haze of shock, reverting to repeating herself. “I’m telling you, there’s no pony on this island.”

“No pony but us, you mean,” Twilight points out, reminding her of Dash's previous suspicions.

“What are you saying?” Rarity in turn buttonholes the purple unicorn.

“This is all happening just the way it did in the movie,” Twilight elaborates uneasily, not wanting to explain but seeing no alternative. “First one was choked, second was overdosed and third one was stabbed.”

“What about the next one?” Scoot hesitantly inquires. “The fourth one?”

“’Seven little Indian boys, chopping up some sticks,’” Twi recites as the others listen in rapt silence. “’One chopped himself in half and then there were six.’”

“Wonderful,” Luna dejectedly comments, joining them as well.

“Luna,” R.D. warily begins. “Where have you been?”

“I was in my room,” the Princess explains at length, not appreciating R.D.'s tone and manner at all. “I didn’t sleep well last night and I thought I might have a short nap after breakfast. But I didn’t.”

Rainbow Dash and Twilight briefly exchange glances. “So you’ve been alone this whole time,” Twilight elaborates.

“Yes,” Luna simply confirms. “Why? What’s going on?”

Scoot feels compelled to answer as the royal gaze has fallen upon her. “Apple Jack’s dead.”

Luna mutely closes her eyes in pain, her hoof coming up to her head.

R.D. now decides to turn on Scootaloo. “Twi told you to stay with her.”

“I did,” Scoot defends herself as best she can. “B—but then the waves pushed us apart.”

“Come on Rainbow,” Twilight is cajoling the other. “She’s just a little kid.”

“Who isn’t supposed to even be here,” Dash aggressively counters.

“O.K.—that’s enough,” Twilight announces with stark finality. “This is just what happened in the movie—all of a sudden every stranger started accusing each other and every pony was suddenly suspicious of every other pony.”

“At the same time,” the Doctor continues, coming out of the shadows himself. “I advise every pony to stay with the others. Or at least in small groups. That way, if something bad is happening, if one of us is responsible, then there’s safety in numbers.”

“That’s right,” Twilight agrees. “From now on—no pony is alone with any other pony. We stay in groups—if not all together.”

“You mean—one of us is the murderer?” Pinkie blurts out what the others don’t dare even broach.

“Sure looks that way,” the Doctor eventually confirms.

A little while later, Luna catches Twilight’s eyes and gestures with a small over-there jab of her head. When they reach a more secluded corner of the dining room, Twilight begins with, “Luna, I don’t suspect you—but that doesn’t mean others won’t.”

Luna nods to show she sees that the whole Nightmare Moon episode casts her in an unfavorable light here. “I understand Twilight—and I appreciate your support. I just wanted to say that I don’t suspect you either.”

“Then who do you think it is?” Twilight queries the Princess.

Luna waits until Rarity wanders over before continuing. “Whom would you least suspect?” she asks as an answer.

“I hate to say this,” Rarity begins in hushed tones, blinking between very nearly every word. “But Rainbow Dash is pretty upset right now.”

“But A.J. was her favorite,” Twilight protests in equal vehemence.

“Which would be the perfect cover—if she wanted to throw us off the track,” Luna speculates.

From the other side of the room, R.D. asks Pinkie and Fluttershy, “Why do they keep looking over here?”

“Probably talking about us,” F.S. ventures, looking at Pinkie Pie though and not R.D. “Probably discussing who they suspect.”

“Hey—do you guys think anything is going on with Luna and Twilight?” Pinkie throws out for discussion.

“It’s possible,” R.D. comments, her eyes averted. “They have been spending a lot of time together.”

“And why is the Doctor talking so much with Scootaloo?” F.S. continues, her voice a little more insistent now. “What do you think, Pinkie?”

“I don’t know,” Pinkie initially whines. “I wish we were back in Equestria and this whole thing never happened—that’s what I think.”

“Let’s go downstairs to the game room,” Rainbow suddenly suggests. “Get our minds off of all this.”

Twilight, seeing the others leaving, asks, “Hey—where y’all going?”

“Game room,” Pinkie responds. “Wanta come?”

“Sure,” Twi answers after quickly glancing at Luna and Rarity for their reaction.

“Come on Scoot—let’s join them,” the Doctor prompts the stowaway.

So they spend a few hours playing air hockey, shooting pool and some Monopoly.

At one point, Twi advises the Doctor, “We’re going back upstairs—for some lunch.”

The Doctor nods. “Stay together,” he responds, glancing around the board at the group of Scoot, Rarity and Luna to see if they’re hungry also.

“Bring us something too,” Scoot entreats.

“We will,” Rainbow Dash asserts as she, Twi, Pinkie and Fluttershy depart.

Upstairs, the four ponies ransack the kitchen, searching for anything they may have previously overlooked. Downstairs, the Doctor inquires of Scoot, “How about—I trade you my Boardwalk for your Illinois Avenue?”

“But that would give you a monopoly,” Scoot protests.

“Don’t do it Scoot,” Rarity advises the foal. “It’s not a fair trade.”

“Ask him for Marvin Gardens as well,” Luna kibitzes in turn.

“Let Scoot make up her own mind,” the Doctor archly replies to both of the older fillies. “Let her make her own mistakes.”

“If he gets a monopoly out of the deal Scootaloo then it’s only fair that you get one also,” Rarity continues, unable or unwilling to take a hint.

“So who did you say you suspect Doctor? Whom?” Luna asks, correcting her own grammar lapse, to change the subject and possibly save Rarity from herself.

The Doctor doesn’t meet the Princess’s eyes. “I’d rather not say right now,” he eventually demurs.

“Then you do suspect some pony,” Rarity challenges him.

“What are y’all talking about?” Scoot queries them in a small voice.

Luna looks Scoot in the face. “Which one of us is the murderer,” she simply states.

“Do you think it’s me?” Rarity dares address the others.

“You were the impetus for this entire trip,” the Doctor points out, finally glancing up from his pile, as he's the banker for this round.

“Yes I was,” Rarity admits in honest embarrassment. “But I’d never hurt any pony—let alone plan anything elaborate or deceitful.”

“But none of us would,” Scoot exclaims in emphasis.

“Under normal circumstances—no,” the Doctor quietly expostulates, keeping his eyes down again, ostensibly reviewing his properties and money after straightening out the bank's stash. “But any pony can be pushed—over the edge. Any pony is capable of anything—given the proper provocation.”

“What’s ‘provocation?’” Scoot asks.

“Instigation,” the Doctor clarifies after thinking for a while. “Motive. Reason for doing something.”

“Why would any of us resort to murder?” Luna contributes to the discussion.

“Jealousy,” the Doctor illustrates when no other answers are forthcoming. “Revenge. Love. Anger.” He finally looks up at every other pony. “So which among us is the most passionate—in any regard? For any reason?”

Upstairs, Pinkie Pie volunteers, “If we can just find some yeast, we can make oodles of cupcakes. I know Rarity would like that.”

“I think we all would,” Twilight confirms, still looking herself.

“Guys—I need a bathroom break,” Fluttershy announces.

R.D. sighs before she admits, “I do too. I’ll go with.”

“Doctor Whooves said no two ponies are to be left alone,” T.S. warns, glancing back from the pantry that she’s been perusing.

“Fine,” Pinkie interjects, bouncing down from the cabinets where she’s been foraging. “I’ll go too.”

“But that would leave me all by myself,” Twi continues to whine.

“I’m sorry to be such a bother,” F.S. confesses, blushing.

“Then let’s all go,” Rainbow Dash announces a solution to placate every pony.

Downstairs, the Doctor sniffs, “What are they doing up there? I’ve never heard of lunch taking this long.”

“Maybe—Pinkie is baking something from scratch,” Scoot suggests, catching herself from a verbal slip. “I almost said Apple Jack.”

“That’s what I was thinking,” Rarity sadly admits.

“I wonder who’s going to make dinner tonight,” Luna casually ventures while scanning the board. “Connecticut with a hotel Doctor—that’s six hundred please.”

“Darn,” Doctor Whooves mutters, counting his money once more. “I was hoping you weren’t going to notice.”

“Celestia used to try the same trick, whenever we played,” the Princess reminisces with a smile.

Rarity inquires of Scoot, “Scootaloo, what’s your problem?”

The younger pony contorts herself in a different way. “I hafta go to the bathroom.”

Rarity blinks. “So go.”

“He said not to go anywhere alone,” Scoot responds, referring to Doctor Whooves.

Rarity stands. “Fine. I’ll go with you.”

Luna blanches in mock horror. “But that would leave me alone with—The Doctor," she dramatically intones.

“Then let’s all go,” the Doctor announces in resigned dread as he rises also.

The group finds the downstairs bathroom locked. After both Scoot and Rarity try the door, the Doctor does also, observing, “That’s odd.”

“Well,” Luna suggests. “Let’s go back upstairs.”

They do and Doctor Whooves waits outside while the other ponies enter. He can hear muffled comments, such as the light’s not working, before screams erupt. He opens the door to see Luna, Scoot, Rarity and Fluttershy all staring into an open stall. He ushers the group aside and is stopped by the sight of Rainbow Dash with a small hatchet stuck in the back of her head; from the amount of blood on the floor, it appears to have happened about five minutes ago. “Go back into the dining room,” he tells the shaking fillies. “I’ll join you in a minute.”

The ponies sit around the long dining room table as the Doctor separately interviews them, one by one. After Luna finishes, when Twilight returns, Scoot asks her, “How does the next little Indian get it?”

“Bee sting,” T.S. simply replies as Fluttershy leaves for her turn.

“It was Pinkie,” F.S. sobs to the Doctor as soon as they are alone. “I could hear them struggling in the stall next to mine.”

The Doctor leans back, taking this in. He hadn’t noticed any blood smears that would have indicated a fracas where he had found R.D. “Why do you think she would do it?” he mildly inquires.

“I don’t know, but it was her,” F.S. continues to cry through her speech. “I thought for a minute Dash might be stronger—fight back—but in the end, I guess it didn’t happen.”

“Wow,” the Doctor exhales. “I never expected Pinkie to snap like this.”

“Neither did I,” F.S. agrees, still uncontrollably sobbing. “Doctor, I need your help. We have to stop her before she kills again.”

The Doctor meets Fluttershy’s gaze. “Well, what did you have in mind?”

Out in the dining room, Luna ventures to Twilight, “I wonder why he hasn’t interviewed Scoot?”

“I don’t know,” Twi evenly replies. “Maybe his suspicions are elsewhere.”

“We need to all stay together, from now on,” is his anticlimactic announcement when he finishes.

“Surely you have some idea of who’s behind all this,” Luna accuses after she finds his advice entirely lame.

“Even if I did, what possible good would it do to voice those suspicions?” is the Doctor’s indifferent rejoinder.

“I’m scared,” Scoot whines from her chair, which is far too large for her. “I want to go home.”

“I think we all feel that way, Scootaloo,” Pinkie empathizes.

“But it doesn’t look like any pony’s going anywhere before Monday morning,” Twi unenthusiastically summarizes in her turn. “And this is only Saturday afternoon.”

“So what are we to do,” Rarity queries in advanced histrionics as the implications of the situation begin to seep into her consciousness. “Stare at each other till the hydrofoil arrives a day and a half from now?”

“Six little pony girls playing with a hive,” Twi sings in the silence that resonates throughout the house after Rarity’s last pronouncement. “A bumblebee stung one of them and then there were five.”

“Six pony girls and one colt,” Pinkie dares clarify.

“So,” Luna eventually interjects. “Who wants to help me plan this evening’s festivities?”

“Watch out for a bee,” the Doctor finally contributes while considering Fluttershy’s wide-eyed countenance that is speaking volumes in contrast to her lack of participation in this discussion.

Collectively, they manage to scrape dinner together a few hours later, although there is not much conversation, despite Scoot’s occasional attempts to engage the older ponies. All is going relatively well until the lights go out.

In the dark there is enormous confusion until Twilight finds a candle. Then they discover Pinkie Pie and Rarity, dead in their chairs with needle marks in each of their necks.

“Fluttershy, where were you just now?” Luna calmly inquires of the other after the Doctor finishes checking the vitals of each newly deceased pony.

“I don’t know,” she manages to exhale between sobs. “I could hear Pinkie screaming and I rushed over to her—but—some pony was in my way. Doctor, what happened to Rarity?”

"I'm not sure," he offers at length, still examining the bodies and injection wounds. "There was a lot of yelling in the dark."

“What—what happened to the power?” Scoot asks in dread, clearly not enjoying this latest turn of events.

“I don’t know,” the Doctor indifferently repeats. “I suppose someone ought to check the breaker box. Or the generator.”

“Fluttershy,” Twilight addresses her friend in the semi-darkness. “What’s all over your hoof?”

“Nothing. I—I must have spilled something when I tripped,” she stammers as she hurriedly tries to clean herself up. “In the dark. Just now.”

“Twilight, maybe you ought to see Fluttershy to her room,” Luna suggests as she stands, though more in the tone of a command. “Let’s go check the electricity, Doctor. You too, Scootaloo; come along with us.”

Twilight walks with Fluttershy down the hallway to her abode. “Why do you suppose the Princess ordered me to my room?” F.S. chatters away in the shadows.

“I don’t know as I’d call it an order,” Twi responds at length, keeping her distance from F.S. but attempting not to be completely obvious about it. “I think she’s just concerned about your safety. At this point.”

“Will you stay with me?” is her final question at her door.

“I’ll be back,” is Twi’s eventual answer as she slowly retreats. “I have to talk to the others first. Just—stay safe. For right now.”

Twilight Sparkle hears Fluttershy’s whimpers escalate to full-scale wailing when the latter realizes the lock's turned from the outside. T.S. hurries back to the others as the candle almost winks out several times.

“Well?” the Doctor queries T.S. upon her return.

“I locked her in her room,” Twi grimly replies. “If it is her, she’s not going anywhere until the hydrofoil returns Monday morning. What about the electricity?”

“It was shorted out,” Luna speaks up when the Doctor is not forthcoming on this score.

“Looks like some pony did it on purpose,” Scoot adds, her eyes moving back and forth to each shadowy visage.

“You mean Fluttershy?” Twilight incredulously demands of the others. “I don’t see how she could knock out the lights—unless she had help.”

All eyes now gravitate to the Doctor. “What’re y’all looking at me for?” he inquires of his silent accusers.

“I don’t know, Doctor,” Luna surmises at her leisure. “I don’t know what to think at this point.”

“Do you guys think Fluttershy did this?” Scoot throws out for general discussion.

“Certainly looks that way,” Twi observes as she peruses the deceased forms of Rarity, then Pinkie Pie and the obvious syringe on the table. “Two at once, this time. I wonder what the hurry was.”

A few hours later, Luna decides to call it a night. When Twilight rises to check on Fluttershy, the Doctor announces he’ll do it.

“Can—can I sleep with you tonight, Twilight?” Scoot manages to enunciate, her eyes still wide with fright.

Twi blinks at the double-entendre that she’s sure Scoot didn’t intend. Before she can respond, however, a gunshot rings out through the house.

“Come on,” T.S. entreats Scootaloo after Luna takes off in the direction of the sound.

The three of them race down the same darkened hallway Twi had escorted F.S. several hours previously. They arrive at the door Twilight had locked even as the Doctor is turning the same deadbolt. “It’s Fluttershy,” he announces to the group. “And it’s pretty ugly; she was shot through the back of the head at close range. I don’t think you want to see it.”

“Self-inflicted?” Luna immediately wants to know.

The Doctor shakes his head. “I don’t see how,” he pronounces with visible unease.

“What does that mean?” Scoot demands of the assembled adults.

Twi looks down to meet the younger pony’s eyes. “It means she couldn’t have done it herself. Some pony had to have shot her. Wonder where the gun came from.”

“How could that be?” Scoot continues with the obvious, ignoring Twi’s last comment. “All of us were together when it happened.”

“All of us—except one,” Luna corrects.

“Maybe the gun came from somewhere in the house; there are plenty of rooms,” the Doctor conjectures as to T.S.’s previous query. “Twilight—may I see you privately please for a moment?”

Twi blinks. “Of course,” she quietly replies.

After both walk down the hall out of earshot but not out of sight, the Doctor appears to ask T.S. a question which she responds to in the affirmative. After another brief exchange, they part company and Twi returns to Scoot and Luna. “He’s turning in for the night,” she explains to the others. “I think we should do the same.”

“All right,” Luna sighs through her nose. “Goodnight, you two. See you in the morning.”

“Goodnight,” Twi and Scoot both bid the Princess who then takes her leave of them.

“What did the Doctor ask you?” Scoot queries T.S. on their way to her room.

“He just asked me a favor,” is Twi’s faraway answer—so forlorn in tone that Scoot doesn’t delve into specifics.

The next morning, Twilight Sparkle awakes to find sunshine streaming into the open window and Scoot gone. She surveys the outdoors through the luminous aperture. “What a beautiful day,” she pronounces under her breath. “Maybe it was all a horrible dream, and all my friends will happily greet me in the dining room for breakfast.”

Scoot bursts into the room to shatter her reverie. “Fluttershy’s gone,” she announces in a panic to Twi. “She’s not in her room.”

Twi shrugs in contrast to Scoot’s terrified tone. “Maybe the Doctor moved her body. He did say it was a mess.”

“I don’t think so,” Scoot warily retorts. “You better come look.”

So both inspect Fluttershy’s room. Not only is F.S. not present, Twi also fails to find any blood or gore she might associate with how the Doctor had previously characterized the death.

“Was this door open when you found it?” Twi presently inquires.

“Uh-huh,” Scoot asserts, nodding. “The door was closed but it wasn’t locked. I knocked first but there wasn’t any answer.”

“O.K.,” is Twilight’s considered eventual conclusion. “Let’s go have breakfast and find Luna.”

The aforementioned Princess is waiting for them in the dining room. “Good morning all.”

“Good morning,” Twilight returns after Scoot does the same. “How did you sleep?”

“Better,” Luna admits between bites of what’s on her plate. “How about you?”

“Not bad, considering,” T.S. continues while heading for the kitchen while indicating her young charge. “This one talks in her sleep. When she doesn’t snore.”

“Like fun I do,” Scoot loudly protests in her own defense. Once removed from the dining room, in a more circumspect tone she inquires, “Why didn’t you say anything about Fluttershy?”

Twi shakes her head while surveying the choices for nourishment. “Let’s see if Luna mentions it first.”

The Doctor soon joins them. There is only casual conversation as they eat; nothing specific or unusual. Once they finish, Twi stands and announces, “Well, if any pony needs me—I’ll be in the library.”

Scoot watches as the Doctor waves and Luna nods simultaneously in acknowledgement. “Well Scootaloo?” the Doctor draws up after Twi’s gone. “What are your plans for today?”

“I don’t know,” Scoot nervously admits while glancing between both older ponies. “Staying alive might be a cool idea.”

Luna snorts at this while the Doctor nods agreeably. “But Scootaloo my dear,” the Princess purrs in her best Nightmare Moon intonation. “Suppose we had other arrangements in store for you?”

“You guys aren’t funny,” Scoot asserts above their shrieks of maniacal laughter. “Quit fooling around. I’m telling Twilight—you guys—this isn’t—Twilight!"

“Twilight can’t help you any more, poor Scootaloo,” the Doctor contributes in his own ominous delivery. “You’re all alone here—at our virtual mercy—or lack thereof.”

“Would you like to accompany me to the moon, little Scootaloo?” Luna dramatically continues in high theater. “For another thousand years?”

“No, I wouldn’t,” is Scoot’s immediate reply. “No—no thank you, Your Highness. I’m sorry I—I must decline your entirely generous offer, but no. No way.” And she runs out the way Twilight went, desperate to find Twi and remove herself from the others' presence.

“Oh sweet Celestia,” T.S. blurts out after listening to Scoot’s highly embellished account of what transpired in the dining room subsequent to her departure. “They’re just teasing you.” She continues reading her book without once taking her eyes off the page.

“How do you know?” Scoot now demands, not appreciating the so-called adults’ expression of levity and bemusement at her expense.

“It’s not so much that I know, Scoot,” Twi explains while still enthralled in the rapture of her story. “It’s that I simply can’t care any longer. If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane.”

The Doctor appears at the entranceway. “Knock knock,” he emphasizes as he raps on the doorframe. “Sorry to interrupt, but may I borrow Scootaloo for a bit?”

“She’s all yours,” Twi declares with an impatient flip of her hoof, again her gaze never leaving her tome. “I leave her in your inestimable care.”

“Come along little Scootaloo,” the Doctor chortles as he walks with her down the hall.

“Are you going to eat me?” Scoot carefully inquires after she finds her previously absent voice.

“Nothing so prosaic,” is the Doctor’s dismissive and pithy rejoinder. “Not today anyway—but possibly tomorrow. Today I have a special assignment, which you alone can accomplish; who knows--you may even get your cutie mark out of it.”

“Oh boy—finally,” Scoot enthusiastically declares. “An adventure.”

A few hours later, Twilight looks up from her book. The sun is setting on the other side of the island, engulfing the house in reflected golden umbra and penumbra. She can hear the wind whistling through the trees outside and the churning ocean surf far beyond. Occasionally a seagull caws in counterpoint to the otherwise idyllic rhythms.

She wanders down the hallway, past the many rooms, in silence. In the kitchen, she finds Luna making what she can of dinner.

“Hello,” Twi greets the solitary Princess.

“Hello Twilight,” Luna returns. “I was just going to look for you.”

“Hmm,” T.S. ruminates. “Where are the Doctor and Scoot?”

“It seems they’ve gone,” Luna relates at length, taking her sweet time to answer. “Looks like it’s just you and me now.”

“I see,” Twilight Sparkle replies, the light slowly dawning in her eyes. “Is there anything I can help you with?”

“Nope—it’s all done,” Luna responds in stark finality. “Let’s eat.”

“Mm, this is good,” Twi enthuses appreciatively as she consumes the Princess’s handiwork. “I won’t ask what’s in it.”

“That would be wise,” Luna pontificates from her self-styled throne over candlelight. “Simply indulge yourself and ask no unnecessary questions.”

After they finish eating, the Princess draws up. “Well, Twilight? Shall we retire to a more secluded and intimate setting?”

Twilight sets down her utensils to address the question. “So this is how it ends, huh Luna?”

“This is how it ends, Miss Twilight Sparkle,” Luna echoes in turn, rounding the table at the far end. “My sister’s faithful student—now all mine. For the taking.”

“Was this your plan all along?” T.S. dares elicit elaboration as Luna approaches her.

“No—actually it wasn’t,” the Princess of the Moon admits while sitting down in the chair next to Twi. “But I like this just fine anyway, thank you very much.”

“Luna—I know I’m not the killer. And I simply can’t believe that you are. But this—after what’s happened—˝ She stops. “I’m sorry. I can’t. Not like this.”

“Don’t be so quick to say no to me,” Luna responds, nuzzling Twi’s neck. “Not until you realize what I have to offer.” She kisses Twi’s shoulder, and proceeds to bestow more kisses. “Just relax and hear me out—that’s all I ask. Believe me—I have far more in mind than simply one night together in paradise.”

Oh no, Twilight’s rationality cajoles her conscience while her body tells her otherwise. I need to stop this. I need to stop it now.

“Just relax Twi,” the Dark Princess continues, her voice barely audible as she gravitates lower and lower down Twilight’s torso. “Lean back. Let me do all the work. Give in to pleasure. Give in to indulgence. Don’t fight me. Just let it happen. You’ll know what to do when the time comes. Oh Twilight, imagine what it would be like—you and me, ruling Equestria side by side. We don’t need Celestia—I don’t need Celestia. Who cares about the day, when the night holds so much promise? What good is the light, but to anticipate the dark? Give in to me, dearest darling Twilight. Let me take you. I know how. Celestia instructed me, and now I can pass it on. You like that—don’t you? See how wet you are with desire. Oh yes. Don’t resist me—just relax. Tonight can be just the beginning. With you by my side, together we can bring a new chapter to our land. A new day for Equestria--and a new meaning for the night. Starting tonight. No more waiting. No more dreaming about it, what it would be like. Twi, I've wanted you for so long. Words cannot express. That's why I want to show you that I can make you happy. Beyond your wildest dreams. We can do this. Together. Right here and right now. There's nothing that can stop us anymore. Nothing and no pony.”

I want to, Twilight admits to herself as she feels herself responding more and more to Luna’s touch, and not just the sex, but that's part of it. Luna has awakened not only Twi's sensuality but her ambitions as well as her sense of intrigue.  It would be so easy—to give in, as the Princess suggests. To allow herself to be swept away in her swelling tide of emotion and rapture, complicity and danger. She could always regroup in the morning. They are all alone—and no one would ever know. No one—that is, except her. “Luna—wait,” Twilight finally says, opening her eyes against the crashing tsunami of pleasure she’s currently engulfed in and releasing herself from Luna’s embrace. “I can’t. I’m sorry but—this isn’t right.”

“Fine,” the Dark Princess simply declares, simultaneously extricating her many tentacles from Twi and rising to walk toward the open window, realizing that force isn't the way to go with Twilight. “See you back home.” And with that—she is gone—into the night.

In the morning, Twilight Sparkle awakes to find Doctor Whooves at the foot of her bed. “Well—good morning to you.”

“Good morning,” the Doctor cheerfully repeats. “Where’s Luna?”

Twi gestures out the window. “She left—last night. I guess she could leave any time, but she chose to stay.”

“Just as well,” is the Doctor’s clipped comment. “Makes it easier for me.”

“What did you do with Scoot?” T.S. simply inquires.

The Doctor gestures somewhere far away. “Oh, she’s back in Ponyville. Which is our next destination.”

“Real time or—?”

The Doctor nods. “We have to go back a few weeks—to set things right. You see, your friend Fluttershy was harboring a secret crush on your other friend Rarity—and when she started spending so much time with Pinkie Pie—˝

Twilight nods, finally in understanding. “She engineered this whole thing after she snapped—which we now have to prevent. By the way, what happened to Fluttershy after she was supposedly shot?”

“She was trying to persuade me Pinkie was behind all this—but I wasn’t buying it. It didn’t fit and she couldn’t give me any motivation for why Pinkie Pie would do it. But at the time, I decided to play along with her, just to see what would happen. So yeah—I helped stage her ‘death’ and then after Rarity was accidently killed, I guess she figured there was no point in sticking around, so she took off.”

T.S. nods in accord. “I kind of figured as much, but I didn’t want to say anything in front of Scoot.”

“I can see what Celestia said about you was true,” the Doctor muses on while directing Twi to his police telephone booth, which last night he had Twi give Spike the message to bring to him. “You are a most apt pupil.”

“Well,” Twi gravely concludes. “I do have the best teacher.”

A few weeks before, Twilight Sparkle awakes before dawn; she has a lot to do today so she wants to start early.

Before she heads for the library, she sees a note on her dresser. It’s in her own handwriting and it reads:

Dear Twilight,

This is a letter I’m writing you from the future. When Fluttershy comes by today, don’t tell her you’re busy. Make time for her and go with her over to Rarity’s. Have fun.


Great, Twi thinks. On top of all the things I have to do today, now I have one more.

Spike barges in on her later on. “Twilight—Fluttershy’s downstairs.”

Twi snaps her book shut without any hesitation. “O.K. Spike—I’ll take care of it.”

“I told her you were studying and probably didn’t want to go out, but then I thought I’d rattle your cage anyway,” the baby dragon, her number one assistant, drones on.

“Nonsense,” Twilight gaily sings as she hurries by Spike. “You should know by now I always make time for my friends.”

Dear Princess Celestia

Wowwhat a week! Rarity's fashion show was the greatest ever; sorry you couldn't make itPinkie hosted the most awesome party afterwards. And we found out that Fluttershy is allergic to catsat least Rarity's cat, that is. We all learned—the hard way—that attention to detail makes life easier for every pony. Apple Jack's bumper crop is nearly harvested and Rainbow Dash might have made it after all into the Wonderbolts; we may hear soon. Meanwhile, the CMC are still waiting on their cutie marks; some things never change. Well, that's all for now.

Your Faithful Student,

Twilight Sparkle

P.S. Luna says hi.

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