Diaries of a Madman

When Discord breaks free of his stone prison, he proves to be much older and wiser than he was on the show. A being of ancient and unimaginable power, he forces Celestia to make a deal to save her little ponies. What she doesn't realize is that one of the terms of the deal is that she forgets ever making it. Enter Navarone, a poor human just trying to get by—or at least, to the ponies that's what he looks like. Pulled from his home by an accidental summoning from one Twilight Sparkle, Navarone is thrust into a world of ponies and more violence than he expected from such a peaceful seeming world. These are his adventures—with a few asides from everybody's favorite Lord of Chaos, of course.

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93. Chapter Seventy-Seven—I get the weirdest guests Part 1

I landed in front of my house, stretching my wings. That had been the most exercise they had gotten in a while, and they were still reeling from the abuse they had taken from the night before. It was weird, having lost a week like that. Equestria lost no time while I had been gone for a week. If it had been a year or something, I would be a lot happier to be home.

Anyway, I stepped inside my home, setting my bags down on the couch to stop them from digging into my shoulders. I pulled the magazine out of the rifle and set it down as well. I never chambered a round, so I didn’t bother popping it.

With my back relieved, I walked into the kitchen to grab a nice beverage. I didn’t know where anyone was or if they were home, so I wasn’t really all that surprised to find Cadance and Doppel in the kitchen. They were staring at each other.

I knew nothing good could come from interrupting them, so I just walked to the fridge to look for something. I grabbed something worth drinking and turned around to find both of them staring at me. I turned around and started walking back to the living room.

“What did you do to your wings?” Cadance asked.

“Found a chick with a fetish,” I answered, stopping and turning back around. “Shiny sends his love, or something.”

“So he finally spoke to you?”

“Yep. You need something?”

“We need a stallion’s opinion on something.”

I turned around and waved. “See ya.” I walked on out to get my stuff.

They followed me, of course. “Come on, Nav!” Doppel said. “I know you’re not a stallion, but you can still help.”

“Look, I know there’s no way I can come out of this without getting in trouble. Just give me a break.”

They both rolled their eyes. “Which race is prettiest on average?” Cadance asked. “The females, of course.”

I sighed, plopping down on my chair. “Any race?”

“Except for humans, because we all know who you’d pick,” Doppel said.

“Cats,” I answered, taking another sip. “Dragons have the big problem of growing up. Ponies are alright and their flanks are awesome, but they have the problem of being animals where I come from. Changelings are freaky as fuck, but they have the nice corruption fetish thing going on for them. And Chrysalis’s voice is too sexy to turn down, so there’s that. I don’t really have any interest in dogs, personally. Their voices are annoying and most of them are more cruel than I’d like to deal with. I’ve only seen a single minotaur in real life, but I never spoke with him. All of the other herbivorous races have the same problem as ponies. Naga are ugly as fuck. Griffins have a lot of natural beauty, but the talons are cause for concern. Cats look relatively close to humans, they’re smaller than I am, most of them are close to my personality, they’re graceful, and they have a number of other good qualities. I don’t like the claws, though. What’s this even for, anyway?”

“Miss Equestria,” Cadance answered. “As it turns out, one of the entries this year was a changeling. I think she should have been disqualified automatically. Doppel thinks she should have been allowed to stay if she used her natural body. That got us thinking about having some kind of… world-wide contest or something like that.”

“Oh, a Miss Universe pageant. Those are boring as fuck, but they always cause a ton of scandals that are funny to watch.”

“You have something like that in your world?” Doppel asked.

“Yep. Don’t ask why.”

“But… I thought there was only one sentient race on your world?” Cadance asked.

I ignored that question. “Shouldn’t be that hard to get Celestia to set something up. Just tell her that it’s for better relations or something around the world. And I want nothing at all to do with it.” Though I suppose their answers would have to be better than “world peace,” since the world was already at peace. “Hey, either of you know where Taya or the naga is?”

“The backyard,” Doppel answered. “How does the contest work in your world?”

“I don’t know. I told you, it was boring. I didn’t care about it. Now, I got some important stuff to do. If Taya needs me, I’ll be in my office. If anyone else needs me, use polite words to tell them to fuck off. That includes Celestia and Luna.”

“What’s so important?” Cadance asked. “Is it something about these bags?” She poked at one of them.

“It’s neither important nor your business.” I hopped up and walked over to the couch, slinging the bags and the rifle back over my shoulders.

“What is that thing, anyway?” Doppel asked, pointing to my rifle.

“A new toy of mine. I’ll see you two later.” I walked on up the stairs, leaving them presumably sharing looks and shrugging behind me. I locked myself in my office and sat at my chair. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths before whispering, “Flo? I think we need to have a talk.”

“We do,” she confirmed, finally breaking her silence.

“I think you know the obvious point I want to make,” I said, feeling my hands clench.

“Navarone, I am a young elemental. I was created not long before the war. Not all of our history was given to me. I didn’t know, Nav!”

“You ‘don’t know’ that you’re a fucking robot? That you’re nothing more than a mass of machines built for some undetermined purpose? I don’t know how you expect me to believe that.”

“It’s true, Nav. I… I don’t know about any of the others, if they know. I just know that I didn’t! Please don’t make me leave, Nav… Don’t leave me alone in the darkness again…”

I don’t like being misled and I don’t like being lied to. I could deal with whether or not she was telling the truth later, though. If she was a human artifact, it was my duty to break her and the others free. And if any of them did remember, then as soon as I saved them, they would definitely be in my service.

I reached down into one of the bags next to me and pulled out the laptop. I opened it up, turned it on, reached down into another bag, pulled out the gene-locked seed box, opened it, and stuck the memory stick from it into what I was hoping was the right port on the laptop.

I spent three hours copying all the instructions that weren’t common sense for all of the plants I was about to give to Applejack. It was tedious, boring, and would hopefully pay off. When I finally finished it, I realized that I could have been listening to music that entire time. I opened some good stuff and started playing it.

That done, I opened the rifle specifications page and copied out all the details about the bullets and the magazines. I was going to give the page to the blacksmith in the hopes that he could make something fine enough to work so I wouldn’t have to mold my bolts to work.

And finally, I wrote a short letter to one Vinyl Scratch, asking her to bring herself and Octavia to my new home, under the incentive of making some serious fucking bank. When I had that done, I shut the laptop down and locked it in my desk. I grabbed the letter, the box of seeds, the instructions, the specs page, and a single bullet and walked out of my office, locking the door behind me.

“This is going to bring attention to yourself, Nav,” Flo said. “No matter how careful you are, Celestia is going to find out eventually.”

“I know,” I answered as I left the house. “But as long as I’m careful and don’t make too many mistakes, by the time she finds out, it will be too late.”

“Daddy, who are you talking to?” Taya asked from her position on top of the wall where I couldn’t have seen her. The puppy was sitting right next to the wall where she was, so I should have expected it.

“The voice in my head. You want to go on a walk?” She teleported next to me and the puppy bounded over. “Let’s go, then.”

“What don’t you want who to find out?” she asked as we started walking to Applejack’s pad.

“I don’t want Celestia to know that I went back to Earth and got some things that she doesn’t need to know about.”

“…Huh.”

“What were you expecting?”

“I don’t know. Something about me, I guess.”

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, there is a lot of stuff I don’t want you to know about either.”

“Like the voices in your head?”

“Yes. Anyway, don’t tell anyone at all that I got back to Earth. Hopefully, none of the fuckers that went with me will say anything.”

“So… what happened to your wings?”

“I thought it would look cool.” I’m not about to tell my daughter I found a sexy bitch that wanted to play with me. “The dye will hopefully run off soon.” Which reminded me that I really needed a shower.

“It doesn’t really look cool at all,” she said, looking up at them.

“Well yeah, I know that now. I didn’t know it before. Not important, though.” We walked in silence for a minute or two before I asked, “What do you normally do for fun, Taya?”

“Uh… Read? And magic. The naga is teaching me all kinds of survival stuff. I also go on walks.”

“That’s really depressing. But I guess if that’s working for you, it’s working. Are you sure you don’t want to go to school?”

“Yes.” I let the silence build, wondering if she would slowly crack. When we were almost there, she said, “Well… It does get kinda boring sometimes.”

“Hmm?”

“I mean, I don’t think I really want to go to school or anything… but something else to do would be nice.”

“You should take up gardening.”

“…Why gardening?”

I shrugged. “We have a large, empty yard. Might as well fill it with pretty flowers. You see Applejack anywhere?”

We took a second to look around before deciding that we didn’t see her around the immediate area of the farmhouse. “So how do I get started on… gardening?” she asked as we walked to the door.

“I have no clue. We can stop by Rose’s shop or something when we go into town.” She’s jumpy, but she’s good at gardening. I knocked on the door and waited a minute. When there was no answer, I shrugged and started walking away.

Taya jumped to follow me. “Where are we going now?”

“Into town, of course. I need to talk to Applejack, I need to stop at the post office, I need to stop by the blacksmith’s place, and you need to visit Rose or one of the other sisters.” Not everyone in town was overly happy that I had a timber wolf pet, but they got over their jumpiness as soon as they realized he wasn’t going to attack anyone.

“So what’s in the bag?”

“Stuff I need to give AJ.”

“Oh… Did you get anything for me?”

“I got a lot more books, some music, some pens, and a few other things you might like. I couldn’t think of anything you’d want specifically for yourself, though.” Well, less that I couldn’t think of anything and more that I didn’t think about getting her anything at all. She didn’t need to know that, though.

“What’s a pen?”

“A very convenient version of a quill that doesn’t require constantly redipping the point in ink. Long story short, it’s something that will make me richer when I sell the idea. Hell, I have a lot of things on the laptop that’ll make me a load of dosh.”

“…Laptop?”

“I can show you later. It’s impossible to explain without letting you see it. Needless to say, no one needs to know about it. Especially not Twilight.”

“Okay, daddy.”

As we were nearing town, Rainbow Dash landed right next to me. “Nav, we might have a problem.”

“What kind of problem?”

“The kind of problem where Rarity doesn’t know how to keep her mouth shut. She’s telling all the rich ponies in Canterlot about that anime stuff you kept talking about.”

“Son of a bitch. Is it too late to do damage control?”

She sighed, looking behind her to the mountain with Canterlot on it. “It took me a little while to find you. She started as soon as we got back into town. It might not get to the princess, but what do we do if it does?”

We do nothing. This is my fault. If there’s fallout, it’ll hit me and me alone. Hopefully the social elite of Canterlot will side with Fancy Pants rather than Rarity, and this shit will die off instead of flourish. If it doesn’t… Maybe we can pass it off as something that I told her about instead of something that came from Earth.”

“Nav, she had a set of saddlebags full of books of that stuff. I don’t think most of those books featured ponies.”

I sighed, rubbing my face with a hand. “I can make it work. Who knows? Maybe we’re just overreacting.” I knew we weren’t, but a guy can hope. “Did you happen to see Applejack on the way in?”

She pawed at the ground, looking down. “Nav, are you sure you want to just risk this? Shouldn’t we try and stop her?”

“Dash, it’s too late. We could try to do damage control, but it would be like pissing on a forest fire. Rarity is infinitely more popular than we are, and if someone like you or me went there and told everyone to ignore her, they’d probably do what she’s doing just to spite us. We’ll have to rely on Fancy Pants and common sense to save the day.”

“So this is going to spread,” she sighed.

“Like the plague,” I confirmed. “Again, have you seen Applejack?”

“At the market,” she answered. “If we aren’t going to bother with Rarity, I’m going to go pay Pinkie a visit…”

I gave her a filthy grin. “Have fun.”

She blushed and flew off.

“What was that about?” Taya asked.

“Rarity being a stupid fucking bitch,” I answered. “So no different than normal.” I reached into one of my pockets and pulled out my coin pouch, removing a few bits. “Go on to the flower shop. You’ll be bored if you have to listen to me talk business with AJ.”

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Well, I suppose I can give it a try…” she finally said, using magic to take the bits. “I’ll see you later, daddy.”

I knelt down to hug her before walking to the blacksmith, since it was closer. Derpy bumped into me on the way there and I gave her the letter for Vinyl. Thankfully, the blacksmith said he was able to make the bullets I would need, though he said he’d have to pass the specifications for the magazines to a friend of his that did more fine stuff.

Finally, I got to the market. I found Applejack at her stall, waiting for customers. I hmm’d at that, thinking of something as I walked over. “Hey AJ, you got a few minutes to talk?” I asked.

“I reckon I do,” she said. “Business is slow.”

“Before we get started, I need your word that this is going to stay a secret.”

She shrugged. “Easy enough, though I don’t see what the big deal is. You have my word.” I reached into my bag and pulled the finely crafted box out. She blinked when she saw it. “Well I ain’t never seen nothing like that before.”

“I’d be surprised if you had. This here is a gene-locked box, made by and for humans. How I got it is not important. In this box are seeds of plants from my world, seeds to remake the world in the event of a disaster. Almost every kind of fruit, vegetable, grain, and everything else you can imagine is represented inside. Instructions for growing those that aren’t common sense are also in here. I’m giving these to you because I know you can handle this. You’re smart and have enough common sense to keep your mouth shut. The things in this box can get you enough money to quadruple the size of your farm and hire all the workers you want, if you so desire. I’m asking you right now: Are you interested?”

She definitely looked interested, if the way she was staring at the box was any indication. “What’s the catch?” she asked after about half a minute of deliberations. “I know how you work by now, Nav. You’re generous, but you always have an angle.”

“And that’s exactly why I want you to do this. The catch is that I get some of the crops when I need them. Coffee, food, stuff like that. I won’t ask enough to do any real damage to your sales. I just know that you have a green thumb that I can take advantage of, and this way everyone gets to benefit.”

“…Let me see the seeds.”

I pushed my thumb against the locking mechanism and the box clicked open, revealing the seeds inside. “I also don’t know how they’ll react in the atmosphere,” I said. “What I said was the best case scenario. It’s possible they’ll wither and die. It’s possible they’ll bloom like nothing you’ve ever seen. I would love to find out.”

She was looking in at the seeds. “This is… a mighty interestin’ proposal, Nav. Why can’t I tell nopony?”

“Because as I said, you know how not to ask questions. Anyone else would ask more questions than I’d want to answer.”

She sighed, adjusting her hat with her hoof. “I have to ask just one, then: Did ya do anything illegal to get them?”

“Nope. I bought them fair and square.” Well, as far as I was concerned it was legal, or at least it should have been. Though I suppose since we had to go to the black market to get them, it might have been illegal to someone.

“Well… Alright. I’ll see what I can do, Nav. I’ll have to break the stand down now if I want to… Hm. Are any of these winter crops?”

I shrugged. “I wasn’t paying attention as I wrote the instructions. It’s all in them, though. I also relabeled all the seeds in Equestrian.”

“Then I reckon I should go get started on reading. Thanks for this, Nav. Hope I don’t let you down.”

“If you can’t get them to grow, no real loss. I got the entire crate for a bit. You got a place to store all the seeds? The box is useless to you, but it’s gene-locked to me, so I can still get some use out of it.”

“There’s room in the stall. What’s a… gene-lock?”

I helped her empty the box as I said, “Genes are what make up every living organism. They’re our building blocks, the things that make us who we are, instead of something else. It’s hard to explain without going further into biology.”

“It sounds interesting, but I never much was one for that fancy learning. Just ain’t practical, you know?”

“Well that right there depends on what you consider practical.” I closed the box with a snap. “If you had the biology background to start crossbreeding apples, you might make a new species or something that’s worth eating. But I suppose with your good friend Nav looking out for you, that won’t be as much of a problem.”

“It does seem an awful lot like cheating…”

“It isn’t.” I slid the box off the stall and into my bag. “Good luck, Applejack. I believe in you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Well, thanks for the vote of confidence. I’ll try my best.”

“That’s all I can ask.” And with that, I was on my way back home, the puppy merrily following behind me. I still hadn’t thought of a name for that damn thing. I was still hoping his pack would be coming for him soon.

“They said it would be a while,” Flo told me. “You really should get used to him, Nav. And he’ll definitely prove to be useful as a guard, if his growth rate stays constant.” He had nearly doubled in size since I had found him. I was assuming the fighters were supposed to be fast growing and quick to mature, so they can easily replace losses when going after the larger prey.

“How about Joe?”

“You aren’t going to name your timberwolf Joe, Nav.”

“What’s wrong with Joe?” I had a feeling she would be giving me a glare if I could see her. “Fine. What about Hopper?”

“While I appreciate the reference, I don’t think it fits.”

“Balto?”

“Some originality would be nice, Nav.”

“Yeah, and ‘originality’ is what led to calling myself Navarone. What’s wrong with reusing names?”

“Navarone is hardly original. Now shush, we’re being followed.”

Yeah, by a puppy. “Fuck it, your name is Freki now. Congratulations, Freki.”

And then there was Pinkie. “Oooh, you finally named him? You know what this calls for?”

“Me going back home and you going about your day in a way that doesn’t involve me?”

“So… you’re saying you want to host the party?”

“I think Rainbow Dash was looking for you, Pinkie.”

“Oh, I know. But she smelled a lot like you and that’s when I remembered that I hadn’t seen you in nearly a week and then I set her up and went to find you and here you are and why are your feathers black?”

“Pinkie, I saw you just yesterday.” Well, as far as she knew.

She looked at me doubtfully and answered, “If you say so. So what happened to your wings?”

“Necrosis. It can only be cured by taking a shower within the next twenty minutes. I should hurry. Have fun with Dash.”

“But what about your party?”

“I would rather you didn’t go through all that trouble just for me. There are plenty of people out there that are more deserving.”

“But fewer that need a smile more!”

“What if your parties don’t make me smile?”

“Then I need to keep trying different themes until I find one that does! I’ve already marked off a good number of them, but I have even more left to go!”

“Look, I don’t want a party. You know me better than that by now, Pinkie. You need to look over there, because it’s a distraction.” I was pointing back the way we came.

As soon as I said it, she jerked her head that way and said, “Ooooh, what is it?”

I grabbed the wolf, spread my wings, and took off into the air. I sighed in relief when I landed in front of my house with no sign of Pinkie. After letting Freki jump down—to his reluctance—I opened the door to find Pinkie again.

“So your place or mine?” she asked. “We gotta have this party somewhere!”

“Tell you what, I’ll give you a one in ten chance.” I put both hands behind my back and held up a few fingers. “Guess the number of fingers held up and I’ll play your game.”

“How many guesses do I get?”

“One.”

She put a hoof to her chin, thinking hard. “Is it… four?” I pulled my hands forward to reveal five fingers held up. “…Did you cheat?”

“Of course not. Now run along, Pinkie. Unless you know anything about gardening, that is.”

“I know all about flour! But… well, nothing about flowers. Why not baking instead?”

“Because Taya has Cadance to teach her to do that. All I know about gardening is that you dig a hole and put a plant in it. Now why am I standing outside the door for this? And why are you still here? Shoo! I have things to do.”

“Like what?”

“Like taking a shower.”

“Need somepony to wash your back?”

“I’m fine, thank you.” I finally pushed past her into my house. “Why don’t you go Pinkie somewhere else? I heard Diamond Tiara and that silver bitch are always grumpy. Put a smile on their faces, or something.”

“I’m not allowed to see them anymore… The restraining order is pretty lenient, but I can’t risk it.”

“So what you’re saying is that I should hang around those two?”

“Psh, no! Don’t be silly! Then you wouldn’t be able to be around your best friend Pinkie!”

“…Not seeing any downsides here.”

“You’d also have to deal with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon.”

“Hm… Well, I’ll think about it. Anyway, out you go. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” She sighed morosely and hung her head, slowly walking out. I casually slammed the door as soon as I could, right about the time she would be looking back to give me puppy dog eyes.

I turned back around to find Doppel in her maid uniform giving me a dirty grin. “Want me to help you wash your back, master?”

“Nah. I have stuff to do, or I would. Also, please don’t go into my office for a little while. I have some stuff in there that I don’t want fucked with.”

“Yes sir.” I was relying on trust, at this point. She said she preferred me to Chrysalis. I don’t know if that was true, but I was hoping; I didn’t want either Chrysalis or Celestia to know about the information I had on me until I was ready to deal with them both. The schematics on that laptop could revolutionize the entire planet—and if used improperly, they could drown the world in fire. Again, apparently.

I finally got upstairs and headed to my room when I got stopped yet again, this time by the resident pink menace. “Nav, can you watch Skyla tomorrow?”

“Nope.” I just kept walking, because I knew this wasn’t going to end well.

“Why not?”

“You know full well how I feel about that devil spawn. Get Pinkie to do it.”

“Why not Doppel?”

I turned back to her, an incredulous look on my face. “Are you high? Do you really want a changeling to look after your foal, of all things?”

She shrugged. “Fine, fine. I thought you didn’t like Pinkie.”

“I don’t. But that doesn’t mean she’s not good with kids. I know I’ll probably regret getting the two of them together since both like to make me suffer, but that’s probably the best solution for you. Now, I need a shower. Unless you feel like helping me, we’ll have to cut this short.”

“Okay then. Do you know where I could find Pinkie?”

“She left just a minute or two ago. You might be able to catch her if you hurry.”

“Thanks, Nav.”

Finally, I was clear to take a shower. I was fully expecting the naga to be waiting in my room for something or another, but for once, I was wrong. I finally got to take a shower and get that black dye off my wings. It felt good to see the right color in my peripheral whenever I turned my head again. It was also nice to hopefully not get a ton of people asking about what I did to my wings.

When I got back downstairs, I found Taya and Cadance talking about gardening. Taya looked over to me. “It doesn’t seem that interesting,” she said, poking at a tray of flowers on the floor.

“I never said you had to do it,” I said with a shrug. “It was merely a suggestion. You have them now, though. Why not plant them, see what happens?”

“I can even help!” Cadance said, smiling. Both of us gave her a look that translated to Bitch please.

Taya turned back to me. “Where should I plant them?”

“Outside. I don’t know a thing about gardening. Didn’t Rose tell you?” She looked away and mumbled something. “…Did you ask?” She whispered something. “Did you even talk to any of the sisters?” She silently shook her head. Shoulda saw that one coming. “You know, I was like that once. Shy. Not a fan of social contact. It took coming here to bring me out of that, and even then I still fall into old habits sometimes… I get that it’s in your nature, something that you can’t just turn off. But you have to learn to get over it when you need something. You have three days to make a friend that I’ve never seen you with before I talk to Cheerilee and put you in school.” Her head jerked toward me, shock etched onto her face. “It’s for your own good. I think I’ll start counting time after you finish planting these with Cadance.”

“But… What about my magic?”

“What about it? Twilight learned well enough while in school. I trust you can manage.” I didn’t mention that Twilight was in a special magic school.

“That’s not fair!”

“Life seldom is. That said, I don’t see how it isn’t fair. Making friends is not that hard, and since you have three days, you should have plenty of time to ask anyone to help you. I believe Pinkie will be here tomorrow?” I looked to Cadance for confirmation. She was smiling brightly at this turn of events, and answered my question with a nod. I looked back to Taya. “I’m sure if you ask her, she’ll tell you all about making friends and offer to introduce you to anyone in the town you might be interested in meeting.”

Taya looked like she was on the edge of tears. I didn’t like doing something like that to her, but I knew she needed to learn to deal with other people in at least some capacity.

I knew I couldn’t just leave her like that, though. “If I thought you couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t be telling you to,” I said. I opened my mouth to say something before I realized what I was about to say. You’ll thank me for this someday. I closed my mouth, remembering exactly how I felt every time anyone ever said that to me. Instead I said, “Cadance, I trust you can help her with the flowers and getting started?”

“Of course, Nav.” Her horn lit up and the tray of flowers lifted up. “Come on, Taya. Let me show you how to make a pretty garden!”

Taya mutely followed her, probably still in shock. Her entire body was hanging low, her distress and fear apparent. I wanted to just reach down and hug her, but I knew that would defeat the purpose of my ‘punishment.’ Well, it might.

So lacking the option to do anything with Taya, I went to find the naga. I didn’t want to get rusty from a week of no swordplay, after all.

 

The next day, I grabbed my laptop, the charger, the gun, and a few magazines and abandoned the house, considering it a lost cause all day. I knew that if Pinkie was going to be there watching Skyla, I didn’t want to be anywhere near it. I also didn’t trust my laptop alone in a building with Pinkie, though I’m pretty sure if she was really that interested, it wouldn’t be safe anywhere.

I also had to avoid Rarity, because I knew that if I saw her, I would probably shoot her.

And I did have something important to do anyway. With my laptop came a few of the pens I brought with me from Earth-that-was. There was a fellow called Filthy Rich in Ponyville that was looking for stuff like this to sell, and I knew he would pay a pretty penny for the idea.

I flew over to his larger than average house, hoping he was home and that I wouldn’t have to spend hours hunting for him. It was still fairly early in the morning, so I figured I could catch him.

I landed in front of the house and knocked a few times, settling in to wait. Half a minute later his filly answered the door. Remember Diamond Tiara? One of the reasons she’s such a bitch is that her dad is rich and spends next to no time with her, or so I assume. From what I’ve seen, he tries to be a good father, but then who am I to judge?

“Can I… help you, Sir Navarone?” she asked, curiosity hidden in her voice despite her efforts to block it. There were a few reasons she made attempts to be nice to me. I’m rich, a knight, and the only thing that stopped me from being as powerful as her dad was lack of interest.

“Your dad in?” I asked.

“He’s eating.”

I shrugged and said, “I can just come back later.”

“He probably won’t mind!” Overeager much? “I’ll go ask him.” Before I could tell her not to, she was already gone.

“Now why can’t she act like that for anyone else?” Flo asked, swirling about in my brain.

No one else is interesting enough, I suppose.

I saw Filthy coming to the door. “I assume this is important, Sir Navarone?”

I grinned. “We talked about this, Richie.” He keeps calling me Sir, I start calling him Richie. Seems fair to me. He met my grin with his own. “Sorry to bother you so early. Just a simple business innovation. Should be enough to make you some nice money, if you’re interested. The usual arrangements, of course.” Namely, that I got a cut of the profits while my name was on no official documentation.

He pursed his lips, looking behind him. “This won’t take long, will it?” he asked a moment later.

I pulled a pen out of my pocket. “It’s a simple invention, easy to explain.” I twirled the pen around. “I can probably get out of here in ten minutes or so.”

He sighed. “You know the way to my office. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“Whoa now, if I’m interrupting something, I can just come back. I know you don’t get much time to yourself.”

“No, I’m going to start this week off right. Hopefully that will include adding your latest innovation to the list of things I put out. Head on up. I’ll be there soon, as I said.”

“Alright…” He let me in and I walked up to his office, ignoring the trappings of success dotted about the opulent house. He wasn’t the only one that wanted this done quickly.

After a few minutes of sitting around and twirling the pen, he finally came to his office area. “Before we start, can I get you anything?” he asked, sounding extremely tired.

“I’m fine. Kinda wanna get out of your hair quickly.”

“At least some ponies still know the art of dealing with things quickly.” He took his seat on the other side of the desk. “So what do you have today, Nav?”

I pulled out a few of the pens. “Self-contained quills. All the ink is inside, locked where it can’t dry out.” I passed one across the table. “Pull the cap off and test it.” He somehow pulled the cap off the pen with his hooves, since apparently that makes sense. He looked the tip over for a second before shrugging and pulling some paper out of his desk.

He doodled something to find that the pen worked just as it was supposed to. “I trust you already have the specifications and requirements written out?” he asked, writing something on the paper. I pulled the pages out of my laptop bag and set them on the desk. “How long should it take to make these?”

“Depends on what you make them out of and the quality, of course. The ones I have are made of plastic and metal. I imagine you’ll use wood and maybe metal. I’m sure you’ll figure something out. I put on the specs how to make the clicker pens as well, if you’re interested in that and can make springs easily. I imagine if you give this to a craftsman, they can have a working copy in less than an hour. After they get the first few copies down, the rest should come easily. Make them refillable or disposable, up to you. Just remember that I want my cut.”

“Of course, though I still don’t understand why you don’t want your name anywhere on these inventions. Anypony can see they’re from you. Why not confirm it?”

“Assumptions aren’t the same as the truth. Anyway, you interested?”

“Very. I’ll see that these get put into production soon. Do you need anything else?”

“Two things. First, the name and address of someone I can get in contact with outside of Equestria that can get something big off the ground for me. And I don’t mean big as in life changing, I mean big as in era changing. Second, I need you to take the week off because you look like shit, man.”

He sighed, looking at the desk. It took me a second to realize he was looking at what he had unconsciously drawn. “That would… be nice. It isn’t easy to keep a business running if I take time off willy-nilly, though.”

“Dude, you’re fucking rich, and you own the most successful store in Ponyville. You can take some time off and not have to worry about things. I’m sure your family would appreciate it.” I waved a hand. “But anyway. You have any contacts for me?”

He shook his head. “I don’t. All of mine are in Equestria. I can put the word out that you’re looking, but it’ll attract attention.”

“Then don’t worry about it. Attention is the exact opposite of what I want. I have an idea of what I can do anyway. Thanks for your time, man.”

“No problem, Nav.” He showed me out, letting the tiredness slow his movements. I saw his daughter peeking at us from a corner as I stepped out the door. I wasted no time getting away from his house, since I didn’t particularly want to be seen leaving it.

I still had a few plans for shit to do, but most of them would have to wait a few days. Lacking anything else to do immediately, I flew over to Fluttershy’s house and stole a cloud that was looming over it. I didn’t want to bother her, but I did like listening to her sing. She refused to do it when anyone could hear, but when it was just her animals around, she didn’t have any problems.

When I got into position over her house, I didn’t hear singing. I heard what sounded like… screaming, actually. I quickly loaded my rifle and got ready to eat some bunny stew, but I stopped myself from overreacting. I swooped down and poked my head in the window and saw Fluttershy frantically flying around with a bunch of animals that were itching and scratching themselves.

Fleas? I knew that nothing good could come from offering to help, though I found myself wanting to do so anyway.

I managed to stop myself and instead flew away to find a better place to chill. Yeah, I’m a bad person, I know.

When I finally got to a comfortable and private place to sit for a while, I opened up the laptop and started looking around to see what exactly it had on it. I knew there was a lot of information, but I didn’t know just how far it went.

As it turns out, it went extremely far. Apparently Google was expecting humanity to have to reinvent the fucking wheel, and schematics for just about everything under the sun were on this thing.

If I gave this information to Celestia or Chrysalis, I could break the world… And remake it in whatever image I desire. What to do, what to do…

“Nav, it wouldn’t be smart to give anyone this knowledge,” Flo told me.

“I’m not thinking about the ponies or the changelings,” I answered, looking over more information.

“I know what you’re thinking, Nav. Giving it to the cats would be an interesting move, but you don’t even know their capabilities. They probably have no industry at all. The griffins might be a suitable choice.”

“They’re too close. Inventions start pouring out of there and Celestia will ask some questions. I don’t know much about the minotaurs or the dogs…”

“You know enough about the minotaurs to know that they don’t have much power or many people. The dogs… are an unknown.” There wasn’t even any information about them in Twilight’s library. “There’s the option of not giving this to anyone. Assuming you make good on your promise, humanity will need to have something to offer to the world to keep from being overrun immediately.”

“That is what the elementals are for. I have a decidedly more… selfish reasoning behind wanting to help you now. You are robots presumably created by humanity for some reason or another. If you’re robots, you can be repurposed. I’m sure the role of protectors wouldn’t be too much for you and your kin.”

“…I don’t think many of us would like to be slaves, Navarone.”

“And you wouldn’t be. As I said, you’d be protectors. When the time comes that humans don’t need protecting anymore, I’m sure you’ll be free.”

“You’re a fool if you believe that. And you’re even more of a fool if you don’t think they would do the same to you. I imagine that some of us could be convinced to help humanity get off its feet, but not all of us.”

“Then I rather sorely hope they have ways of protecting themselves, or that I can keep them hidden long enough. The good news is that they probably won’t be killed no matter what happens. But there are worse fates than death, as I well know.” We sat in silence for a few minutes before I spoke again. “But that doesn’t answer the question of what I do with this information. I want to wait and watch to see how the world progresses, but I don’t know how long this laptop will last. There is no way I can copy down even a thousandth of this information. It would all be lost…”

“If I may? Navarone, apparently I am a computer. I might be able to… do something to get the information.”

I thought about it for a few seconds before shaking my head. “After Vinyl and Octavia get their fill, yes. But until then, I’m not going to risk it.” I went over to the list of books and started looking through it. “What do you think we should copy next?”

“Why bother copying at all, anymore? You have more than enough money. Better to use the schematics to build useful things for the trip in your spare time. And by the way, you should consider hiring guards for both your house and your ship. If everyone that said they would think about going does end up going, you won’t need as many, but more soldiers would be good to have.”

“And it also means more mouths to feed. I will need at least one house-sitter, though. It’ll have to be someone loyal to me, not anyone else.”

“Naga?”

“I was thinking something a little more innocent. If I can get him, Smiles. If not, I’ll ask Lyra and Bon-Bon. A healthy dose of implied threats and offers of cash should get them to agree. And maybe I can get the wolves to keep out external threats. Unlikely, but who knows?”

“Fluttershy can also probably help with that.”

“Yeah.”

“Speaking of Fluttershy and your other friends… have you decided when you’ll tell them yet?”

“I won’t tell most of them. I’m going to offer to let Dash and Spike go. I’m not going to tell anyone else. I’m just going to leave for the party… and then not come back. Or at least, not for a little while.”

“Pinkie’s the kind of mare that would track you down, you know.”

“I know full well. I have plans for her.”

“…You’re going to bribe her with coffee.”

“First I’m going to see what effect it has on her. I brought a few bags of it back with me. Snagged it when no one was looking. I expect it’ll be interesting. I’ll be watching from as far away as I can get through my scope. But hopefully yes, I will be able to bribe her into leaving me alone with coffee.”

“Well, good luck with that. How do you think the others will react?”

“Indifference. Rarity and I are not on good terms. Applejack is just kinda there in the background. Hopefully Fluttershy will be over me again. I never really made much in the way of other friends…” Four years here and so little to show for it…

“And you’re just going to throw away what little you do have.”

“Not all of it. Ponyville, yeah. Equestria even, sure. But I won’t be alone and I will have Taya.”

“Unless you can convince her to stay.”

I sighed and nodded. “Yeah. Unless I can convince her to stay… I don’t think making her get friends is going to work.”

“I imagine you’re correct. She’s here to stay with you, for better or for worse.”

“Think I should bring the naga?”

“That is his choice, but you are free to welcome him. He would be useful, though I don’t think he would enjoy the heights. And he definitely would not enjoy the cold.”

“I’ll talk to him about it. Gilda?”

“Useful, but impetuous. She’d be risky, but a fast flier and a good fighter would be useful.”

“Spike?”

“Practically useless, but if you ever do need to get in contact with Celestia, he’ll prove invaluable.” Though Kumani can apparently also do it. “I know you just want to invite him to get him away from Twilight, to let him see the world. It’s admirable, but I don’t know if this is the best way to do it.”

“It’ll be his choice. Dash?”

“She’ll say no. She would be useful, though.”

“Anyone else you think I should take?”

“Mercenaries. Mercenaries that you think will stay loyal to you.”

“So no one. I do agree that more soldiers would be nice, but that raises the point of feeding them and making sure they obey my orders. I’ll keep an eye out, though. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find some people.”

“I certainly hope so…”

 

The next day, I found myself at the resident library. “Yo Spike, you doing anything important?”

He definitely didn’t look like he was, lounging about like he was. “Nope. What do you need?”

“Want to help me prank Pinkie?”

Ten minutes later, I was eight hundred yards away on a cloud using my rifle scope to watch Spike give a steamy cup of sugary and milky espresso to a bemused Pinkie. She took the cup with the barest hint of a glance in my direction.

That was my first hint that I had made a horrible mistake.

The second hint was the horrific feeling of something tearing when she took a sip of the drink. I imagine that if I could see her better, I would have seen her eyes defocus. In a flash, the rest of the coffee was instantly gone. I could see a blinding flash in my scope and pulled my eyes away from it to find a white pegasus with a blond mane right in front of me.

I jerked back from what looked like a copy of Pinkie in shock. I heard a voice say, as though from several mouths at once, “I have only yet begun to party!”

The next thing I knew, I was standing in a supermassive field, surrounded by thousands of similarly confused ponies. Then the music started.

That day went down in the history books as the day the party never died.

I resolved to hide the rest of the coffee as well as I possibly could.

 

A day after my unwanted encounter with Super Pinkie—nicknamed Surprise by those that didn’t know any better—Taya brought someone by for my ‘approval.’ I was expecting either another filly or someone at least a little older than she was—not that that meant much to me, since I still didn’t know anyone’s age—but instead, she brought by a somewhat familiar little colt.

“Featherweight?” I asked, looking down at the spindly little colt.

“Yes sir…” He sounded very uncertain to be talking to me. I had two guesses to what had happened. The first is that Taya bullied this poor kid and dragged him over here to pretend for a day to be her friend. I was hoping my other guess was more accurate, since it involved her actually making a friend.

I shrugged. “Well, I’ve never seen you with her before. I trust you two will behave?” I mean, he did satisfy the arrangement I had with her, until we were in private and I could deliver part two, of course.

“Of course, daddy!” Taya sounded too happy. I knew something was up.

I nodded and left them to their devices while I went up to my hidden safe to pull out my magic key. I knew I would need it to get her to tell me the truth. She may be relatively obedient, but she was also very smart. She had to know what a lie would get her if she was caught in it.

By the time I got back downstairs, the two of them were gone and the mail was here. I sorted through the numerous letters and things that proved that even in Equestria, home ownership was a bitch. To my surprise, I found a reply from Vinyl. “So soon?” I whispered, cutting the letter open and quickly scanning it. “Tomorrow? That was fucking fast.” Still, it’s good news for me. I wanted to get the stuff to them as soon as possible, so I could let Flo attempt her magic. Well, I suppose it’s not magic anymore, is it?

Anyway, that gave me something else to do while I waited for Taya to get back. I needed to get some extra food and prep the guest rooms. Or I should rather say, Cadance needed to prep the guest rooms while Doppel went to get more food.

It’s nice to be able to order a princess around. It’s not like she had much else to do anyway; she spent most of her time pestering someone in the house, reading, or cleaning things that were already sparkling clean. Let me tell you, after a few weeks of living with her and getting over her oddities, I found that she would probably be the perfect wife. I probably never would have considered marrying her, but if you were normal and looking for something nice, she would be it.

When I had a grumpy Doppel and a frumpy Cadance working on their projects, the naga and I went to the yard to beat the shit out of each other. Or at least, he got to beat me across the yard. I was definitely getting better, but swordplay isn’t something you can learn overnight.

After a few hours of practicing, I dragged my sore ass into town. I still needed to apologize to Spike for putting him on Ground Zero and I also needed to see if the blacksmith had gotten anything done on my order or heard word back yet from his friend who could make the magazines.

My planned apology to Spike would be pretty easy. I just upgraded from my crossbow and now had an old weapon lying around that I didn’t need. He had no ranged capability past his fire breath and he knew how to shoot my crossbow. To that end, I brought my rifle, the crossbow, and two quivers into town with me. I also brought a pen as a gift for Twilight.

I brought the rifle so I could test fire the rounds the blacksmith made. I wouldn’t give the crossbow to Spike unless the new rounds worked as well as the old. I was hoping I could easily get them into the mags I had and that they would shoot just fine.

Thankfully, the blacksmith did have a few test rounds finished. Doubly thankfully, a quick testing proved that they worked just fine. Not so thankfully, the blacksmith’s friend was not as quick to reply as Vinyl. He didn’t have word yet on the magazines.

When I got finished there, I went on to the library. Twilight was there floating some papers around and taking notes on multiple pages at a time while reading from some thick tome. I didn’t see Spike anywhere in the main room, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t in the library.

“Sup, Twilight?” I asked, stepping inside.

It seems I broke her rhythm, because all of the floating pages and writing quills immediately ground to a halt as she jerked her head up. “Oh. Hi, Nav. I never noticed how much free time I had before that ghost thing showed up and all of it disappeared. Now that it’s gone again, I have so much time to do whatever I want!”

And yet you spend it here, copying notes from some old book. “Glad to hear it’s not bothering you anymore, then. You interested in something I finally made from home?”

She immediately abandoned her position in front of the book and bounded at me. “What is it? Is it that thing over your shoulder?” Meaning the rifle, probably.

“No, that’s not for you.” I reached down to my pocket and pulled out the pen. “This here’s a writing utensil. It’s like a quill, but so much easier to use. You never have to dip it since all the ink is self-contained.”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, the pen was ripped from my hands. “How does it work?” she asked as she brought it close to her face, examining it front and back for any kind of hint to its function.

“See that little thing on one end? Gently push it in.” She clicked the end of the pen, getting the writing part to pop out. “Put the pointy end to paper and just write.” She used magic to pull one of her note pages over and started writing on it.

“Sweet Celestia! Nav, this can revolutionize writing as we know it! Do you know how much easier notes will be to take now?!”

“Yes, I do. That’s why I already have Filthy Rich working on making more. That pen right there is for you to keep and use, one of the originals. Just know that it’ll run out of ink eventually.”

“…Why didn’t you make any of these sooner?”

I shrugged. “Didn’t think about it. Just don’t tell anyone that these pens came from me, alright? I don’t want that kind of attention.”

“Of course, Nav. But anypony that knows you and anything about the humans will probably know that this is from you. You humans always seem to have such interesting, pragmatic ideas… Why did we never think of this?” I just shrugged as she continued to study the pen. “Say, what are these markings?”

“Hmm?” She floated the pen back over my way and rotated it until the ‘markings’ were facing me. “That says Google—Gentlemen’s Club. You can’t read it?”

“Those are words? Nav, they look like cave drawings to me.”

That’s a problem I hadn’t foreseen. “Huh. Well, it’s not really that im—”

“What’s a Google?”

“A googol is a very large number. I think it’s a one with a hundred zeros. Again, not impo—”

“Why does your pen have cave drawings that I can’t read but you can that say something about a large number and a gentlestallion’s club?”

“Because reasons. Look, is Spike here? I want to talk to him.”

“He’s still a little sore from the Pinkie incident. It’s a good thing he’s a dragon and very resilient. He should be upstairs. But I want to know more about this pen and its writings. Nav, is this a different language where you’re from?”

“Yes. It’s Spanish.” No it’s not. “That’s probably why you can’t read it and why it doesn’t translate to anything you’re familiar with.”

“…Then why were you surprised that I couldn’t read it?”

“Hey, you guys know what English is. Maybe you could also read Spanish.”

Her eyes narrowed slightly, but she nodded after a second. “Okay. So what’s that over your shoulder?”

“A crossbow. I know you’ve seen it before.” I started walking to the stairs, tired of her questions and wanting to avoid the one I knew was coming.

“That other thing isn’t a crossbow,” she said, looking dead at it.

“Twilight, you need to get your eyes checked.” I didn’t even stop walking.

“Then can I look at it closer?”

“Nope.” I was finally to the stairs and headed up them. I thought I might be about home free when I heard the pop of teleportation and found her standing in front of me, a curious and slightly manic look on her face.

“Celestia told me you were making more things from your world, Nav. Things like weapons. Is that one of them?”

“Nope.” I used my wings to jump over her, but she teleported in front of me again.

“Then why are you trying to hide it?”

“I’m not.” And then I was in Spike’s room, which had previously been my room. I saw him lying on the bed in the dark room, attempting to curl up. When I poked my head in, he groaned. “Spike, you up?” I saw one of his head spines twitch and I knew he heard me. I walked on inside. Twilight was unhappy about being ignored, I’m sure, and I knew I would be getting it when I tried leaving. “Sorry about making Pinkie do that right in front of you, man. I had no idea what would happen.”

He groaned again, more spines twitching.

“I don’t speak Groanese, sorry. I’m going to assume you just said, ‘Don’t worry about it, bro. It happens.’” He twitched again and groaned some more. “Yeah, you’ll be fine.” I kicked the door shut so Twilight wouldn’t listen in. “I got two more things to say before I leave. First, I don’t need my crossbow anymore. It’s yours if you want it, along with most or all of the bolts I have for it. I’ll leave it in the closet so Twilight doesn’t see it right off the bat.”

He actually tried rolling over and sitting up to look at me for that one. He got to the rolling over part before seemingly giving up. By the time I saw that, the crossbow was already in the closet along with the two quivers.

“The second thing is an offer of sorts. I don’t want to make the offer without you being able to talk, though. Whenever you don’t feel like shit anymore, come find me.” He grunted again and I figured he got the message. “Also, I pissed off Twilight, so I’m going out the window. You look like you need some fresh air anyway.”

He sighed as I walked over to the little balcony in the room. It was completely curtained at the moment, letting no light at all in.

I pushed the curtains open and came face to face with an angry Twilight. “Going somewhere?” she asked through the window.

I grinned. “Just getting some air for Spike. He doesn’t need to be cooped up like this when unwell.” Shit, she’s gotten good. I opened the balcony door to let some air in, as I had said I would.

“So what’s that over your shoulder?” she asked before she realized something. “…And where’s your crossbow?”

“I didn’t even bring a crossbow, Twilight. Are you seeing things?”

“But you—And I… Navarone, what is that over your shoulder?”

“I don’t have anything over my shoulder, Twilight… Are you feeling okay?”

“I CAN SEE IT RIGHT THERE!”

“Dude, don’t yell in front of Spike! He’s not feeling well.” I waited for her eyes to flick to him and for him to let off a well-timed groan before continuing, “And you obviously aren’t either, if you think there’s something over my shoulder.”

I dove for cover as Twilight exploded in rage.

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