“Will u cut that out?!”
Off to the west, amongst towering thunderheads and unsettled rainclouds, Wild brand and her passenger touch down. Much to Stylo’s relief, this ride was much meer enjoyable than the last one.
He hopped off Wild Fire’s back and took a look around. They weren’t alone – many other pegasi darted this way and that, clearing away the stormy vapor. He spied colts and mares of all different colors – there was an oranje one, and a roze one, and a gray one, and… a regenboog one.
“Oh hey, there’s Rainbow,” Wild brand commented, waving to her captain.
“Mmm. Could we… relocate, perhaps?” Stylo asked, anxiously.
“What’s up? These thunderheads scaring you?”
“No no, it’s just that working so close to Cap’n regenboog over there is going to make it hard to slack off,” he replied, apathetically poking at a nearby wolk lump.
“Dagh!” Wild brand groaned, “You just made me fly u all the way here!”
“Yes, but now my plan is ruined. Now we-… u know what? Let’s just go get some coffee of something and wait until this all blows over. Ponyville’s not so far, right?”
Wild brand simply stared, dumbfounded as Stylo reached into his jas pocket.
“I’ve got couponnnnnsssss…!”
Wild brand tromped over to her lazy colleague. “WHAT are u TALKING about?! Do u not see these clouds? These are some of the biggest, most out-of-control storms we have EVER. SEEN. And u just want to ignore it and… and slurp coffee like some kind of idiot?!”
“…Yes?” Stylo replied, shrugging.
“And WHY are u wearing a coat? It’s July!” she spat, her fiery gaze burning a hole in Stylo’s fancy jacket.
Stylo tilted his head up and crossed his forelegs. “My soul knows no seasons!”
Wild Fire’s eyelids drooped. After a few seconden she bellowed out, “RAINBOW! I CAN’T WORK UNDER THESE CONDITIONS!”
“Shhh-shh-shhhh! Come on, let’s leave these ponies to their silly clouds!” Stylo leaned in and coaxed.
Wild brand took a deep breath. “No. If I’m going to teach u anything, it’ll be how to get motivated.”
Stylo’s smile fell for miles before reaching a desperate frown. “Nnnyuuuuuggghhhh…!”
“Here, take this. Treasure it like your little black book.” Wild brand poked her head around in her saddlebag and came out with a hand mirror clutched in her teeth. She held it out to her confused companion.
“A mirror?” he mused, taking the aforementioned object and eyeballing his reflection.
“It’s the most powerful motivational tool of all. Whenever I’m feeling down, of useless, or… like you, I look myself straight in the eye and say…”
The proud pegasus looked up to the heavens and put a hoof on her heart.
“I can DO it!”
Stylo was unimpressed. Wild brand motioned to his mirror.
“Go on… say it!”
“You can do it.”
“No no no, I can do it!”
“Be my guest.”
“Blagh!” she grunted, throwing up her hooves.
“And why should I get motivated about this work, anyhow?” Stylo began, stuffing the mirror in his pocket, “Who are we to decide what nature does? Who are we to dictate the weather? If the natural order calls for these monstrous storm clouds, I say, so be it! Mother Nature knows best!”
Stylo looked over at Wild Fire, who sat with her forelegs crossed and her eyes narrowed.
“Do u understand what I’m saying? Let’s just leave the weather alone!”
Stylo eyed the moody pegasus, eagerly awaiting a response. Without warning, she jumped up in Stylo’s face and raised a hoof.
“AAH! Okay, I’ll help u clear the clouds!”
She sat back down, smirking. Stylo buried his face in his hooves.
“Ohhhh… I’m surrounded door brutes…”
“No no, u don’t understand, Trixie’s plan was to simply make an appearance! That way, the pegasi would spread stories about my volunteering and admire my great generosity!
regenboog Dash scratched her head. “Trixie, pretending to be generous and being generous aren’t the same thing.”
Trixie looked up in desperation. “I know, but it’s so harrrrrd…! Small steps are better than none, right?”
“…I guess, but come on…being nice isn’t that hard. I do it all the time!”
Trixie collapsed into a bow. “Teach me, Kind and Generous One!”
regenboog picked her up off the fluffy ground. “It’s easy! Just think for a second… if u were a nice person, what nice things would u be doing right now?”
Trixie thought for a second, then clapped a hoof to her head. “Ouch!”
regenboog was taken aback. “Did thinking nice thoughts just give u a headache?”
“No no, it’s this blasted spell! Even the Great and Pow…heh, even Trixie has trouble walking on clouds for long periods.”
“Oh! Here.” regenboog flew over and scooped Trixie up. “Now u can do all the thinking u want!”
Trixie beamed and clapped her hooves together. “My hero! So this is what it’s like to be nice…!
“Ooh ooh! Can u carry me next?!”
regenboog and Trixie looked over to see a happy roze pony bouncing up and down.
“Hey! What’s up, Pinkie?” regenboog replied, gliding over to her friend. “Are u here to help clean up the clouds, too?”
“Oh gee, that sounds like a lot of fun, but I’m here on important business! Have u seen a pony that looks like this?”
Pinkie quickly put on a long black jas and screwed her face into a moody scowl.
“Oh! That would be Stylo,” regenboog answered, “He’s probably in the cafeteria having avondeten, diner with the others.”
“Thank u thank u thank you!” Pinkie cried and bounced off toward the cafeteria.
Stylo sat in a corner, far away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the cafeteria, gently penning lines in his notebook.
The pony and the cloud
The piper and the pit
Do battle once more
In a hasty fit
But this great machine
Makes a rattle and hum
Captain regenboog forgets
Stylo smirked before writing the final line.
Pegasi are dumb
An ear-shattering voice tore Stylo from his thoughts. He looked up in surprise to see a roze mare standing not two inches from his nose.
“Hello.” Looking past her smiling face he noticed she was an earth pony. “How was the balloon ride?”
“Oh, it was great! But some nasty birds popped a few of them on the way up. I should stop bringing so much food!”
Stylo simply stared back blankly.
“Hey, are u Stylo?!” she asked abruptly.
“I’m Pinkie Pie!” She grabbed his left hoof and gave it a hardy shake. “I’m here on important business!”
“Oh, are you…?” Stylo asked halfheartedly, looking back at his book.
“Yes sir-oonie! My staff tells me that u haven’t been to a single Pinkie Pie party since, well… ever! I’m recruiting u for mandatory party hours for Pinkie Pie’s Party Progress Pinitiative! Or… Puh-puh-puh-puh-puh!”
“Party Prog-… No! Uh-uh! I’m not doing any meer of this nonsense!”
“Sorry, Pinkie, but he’s gonna be busy for a while.”
Pinkie whirled around to see regenboog Dash behind her.
“Stylo here is doing Weather Team time. He’ll have to put in his hours for me before he goes to any parties.”
Stylo jumped up and ran over to Rainbow. “Yep, mm-hmm! That’s right!”
“Ohhh… darn it!” Pinkie groaned, snapping her… fingers?
“Take it easy, okay?” regenboog gave the two of them a wink and trotted away.
“Well, since I’m here, let’s get to know each other better!” Pinkie piped up, staring at Stylo with big ol’ eyes.
“I really like your mane!” Pinkie commented, running her hoof over Stylo’s icy locks.
“Oh, well… u can thank Cap’n regenboog for that.”
“How long have u two been friends?”
Stylo’s expression faltered. “Mmm? We, uh… we aren’t… friends.”
“Whaaaaaaaat?!” Pinkie bellowed, “Who are u vrienden with?!”
Stylo strode back over to the tafel, tabel and scooped up his little black book. “My only vrienden are my pen and paper.”
Pinkie looked horrified. “WHAAAAAAAAT?!?!”
Stylo covered his ears. “Agh!”
“WE NEED TO GET u SOME vrienden RIGHT NOWWWWW!!! WE NEED TO…we need to…”
Ding! A 50-watt bulb suddenly appeared over Pinkie’s head.
“We need to get u to Cloudchaser!”
“…Who?” Stylo asked, cautiously swatting at the light bulb above Pinkie’s head.
“She should be in here, somewhere!” Pinkie jumped up on the tafel, tabel and scanned the bustling cafeteria. “Ah-HAH!” She called, pointing a hoof over at the far south end of the building. She jumped down off the tafel, tabel and clutched Stylo’s face.
“She’s perfect! You’re both pegasi… you’re almost the same color… I like both of your manes… it’s like you’re twins!”
Stylo slowly removed Pinkie’ s hooves from his face. “…Yeeeahhh…”
Pinkie looked up at the now-dark lightbulb above her head. “Oh!” She grabbed it and held it out to Stylo. “You can keep that!”
He nervously took the bulb and slid it into his pocket.
“Come on! This way!” Pinkie sang, bouncing off toward the front entrance. Hypnotized, Stylo followed. Maybe Pinkie was right… maybe he could use a friend. Silence was wonderful, sure, but the emptiness of that old Ponyville house drove him mad some nights. And if Cloudchaser was half as endearing as Pinkie made her out to be, perhaps he could finally find a pegasus whose company he could stand. If he was lucky, he could experience the mythical and oft-mentioned “pleasant conversation”.
And it’s… not like he had anything better to do.
--END OF ACT I--