“Will toi cut that out?!”
Off to the west, amongst towering thunderheads and unsettled rainclouds, Wild feu and her passenger touch down. Much to Stylo’s relief, this ride was much plus 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 couleurs – there was an orange one, and a rose one, and a gray one, and… a arc en ciel one.
“Oh hey, there’s Rainbow,” Wild feu 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 arc en ciel over there is going to make it hard to slack off,” he replied, apathetically poking at a nearby nuage lump.
“Dagh!” Wild feu groaned, “You just made me fly toi all the way here!”
“Yes, but now my plan is ruined. Now we-… toi know what? Let’s just go get some coffee ou something and wait until this all blows over. Ponyville’s not so far, right?”
Wild feu simply stared, dumbfounded as Stylo reached into his manteau pocket.
“I’ve got couponnnnnsssss…!”
Wild feu tromped over to her lazy colleague. “WHAT are toi TALKING about?! Do toi not see these clouds? These are some of the biggest, most out-of-control storms we have EVER. SEEN. And toi just want to ignore it and… and slurp coffee like some kind of idiot?!”
“…Yes?” Stylo replied, shrugging.
“And WHY are toi 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 secondes 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 feu took a deep breath. “No. If I’m going to teach toi 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 feu 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, ou 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 feu 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 toi 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 toi clear the clouds!”
She sat back down, smirking. Stylo buried his face in his hooves.
“Ohhhh… I’m surrounded par brutes…”
“No no, toi 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!
arc en ciel 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!”
arc en ciel picked her up off the fluffy ground. “It’s easy! Just think for a second… if toi were a nice person, what nice things would toi be doing right now?”
Trixie thought for a second, then clapped a hoof to her head. “Ouch!”
arc en ciel was taken aback. “Did thinking nice thoughts just give toi 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.” arc en ciel flew over and scooped Trixie up. “Now toi can do all the thinking toi want!”
Trixie beamed and clapped her hooves together. “My hero! So this is what it’s like to be nice…!
“Ooh ooh! Can toi carry me next?!”
arc en ciel and Trixie looked over to see a happy rose poney bouncing up and down.
“Hey! What’s up, Pinkie?” arc en ciel replied, gliding over to her friend. “Are toi 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 toi seen a poney that looks like this?”
Pinkie quickly put on a long black manteau and screwed her face into a moody scowl.
“Oh! That would be Stylo,” arc en ciel answered, “He’s probably in the cafeteria having dîner with the others.”
“Thank toi thank toi 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 poney 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 arc en ciel forgets
Stylo smirked before écriture the final line.
Pegasi are dumb
An ear-shattering voice tore Stylo from his thoughts. He looked up in surprise to see a rose 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 toi 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 toi haven’t been to a single Pinkie Pie party since, well… ever! I’m recruiting toi 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 plus of this nonsense!”
“Sorry, Pinkie, but he’s gonna be busy for a while.”
Pinkie whirled around to see arc en ciel 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?” arc en ciel 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… toi can thank Cap’n arc en ciel for that.”
“How long have toi two been friends?”
Stylo’s expression faltered. “Mmm? We, uh… we aren’t… friends.”
“Whaaaaaaaat?!” Pinkie bellowed, “Who are toi Friends with?!”
Stylo strode back over to the table, tableau and scooped up his little black book. “My only Friends are my pen and paper.”
Pinkie looked horrified. “WHAAAAAAAAT?!?!”
Stylo covered his ears. “Agh!”
“WE NEED TO GET toi SOME Friends RIGHT NOWWWWW!!! WE NEED TO…we need to…”
Ding! A 50-watt bulb suddenly appeared over Pinkie’s head.
“We need to get toi 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 table, tableau 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 table, tableau 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--