Summer Solstice Celebration (2013)

Dusk's picture

What: 

Chance heads back to the Square.
You head back to the Square.
Ponyville Square
#=#=#=#=#=#  PONYVILLE SQUARE  #=#=#=#=#=#
At the heart of Ponyville stands a proud and massive pavillion known as Town Hall.  Around it lies the town square, a well-kept ring decorated with tall banners and the occasional picturesque bush.  A fountain sits before the entrance to the hall with a joyous, reared-up earth pony statue as its ornament.  Various municipal officials have pitched colorful, conical tents in the square from which they run their operations.  The town square is lined along one side by a stream crossed by a broad stone bridge, while on its other sides it's surrounded by a combination of commercial establishments and some of the oldest houses in Ponyville.
The usually cheery mood of the square has taken on a regal polish, as glittering, sun-emblazoned tapestries of silk drape from every arch, and fluttering pennants in Celestia's gold and white wave at every pinnacle.  The Summer Solstice is at hoof, and with it, the Summer Sun Celebration!  A gleaming decorative steeple has been erected in the center of Ponyville; a gilded spire topped with the ring-shaped golden sun of Celestia, though which her glory will radiate for everypony to marvel upon on this longest day of Equestria's year!  Of course, it wouldn't be a festival without carts of ponies selling light refreshments, and small flags for ponies to wave, and sunscreen and sunglasses and sunhats and sunbonnets, because the one sun you do not want to celebrate today is sunstroke.  Have fun!
[  Buildings: Ponyville <D>ay Spa, <T>own Hall, <Cl>ockwork's Clocktower,      ]
[            Magic Research <C>enter, Ponyville <Li>brary                    ]
[      Roads: <Map>le Street, <R>oad to Canterlot                              ]
[      Areas: <S>addle Lake, To the <Tr>ain!, Whitetail <Wo>od,                ]
[            Ponyville <M>arket                                              ]
[    Players: Chance, Lightning_Flash, Scope, Thunderfire, Celestia,          ]
[            Nettleglum, Lightning_Dust                                      ]
[  Sleepers: Moonbeam, Firestorm, Tootsie_Roll, Rose, Maroon                  ]
[  Contents: Ballot Box, Wagon of Wonders                                    ]
Aurichalcum wanders in, staring at all of the sun decorations. Wow...
Aurichalcum squints at the spire with the sun emblem, then nods in approval. Real gold!
Starfire comes over from the building with the magic wand and flask sign out front.
Solar_Solstice comes over from the building with the magic wand and flask sign out front.
Firefly glides on in.
Twilight_Sparkle flutters in.
Pinkie_Pie staggers into the square, carrying the sun! Well, a lifelike copy. Okay, it's a big styrofoam ball painted gold. (You hope.)
Twilight_Sparkle notes that we don't seem to be spinning out of control out into space, so it's probably not the real sun!
Aurichalcum follows Pinkie curiously. He recognizes the gold, but is baffled by styrofoam. How is she carrying that?
It is just before dawn. Princess Celestia is already here, chatting idly with Chancellor Memory and the Mayor. She is flanked by two great lines of gold-armored guards - many of whom are warming up their chops for the great trumpets sitting in front of them.
Pinkie_Pie proudly balances the sun on her hooftip. "Heya, Auri!"
Mimic is present, though the crystal unicorn is a figure lingering on the edges of the crowd. In the pre-dawn darkness she watches the preparations of the solar monarch and the ponies that gather but remains by and large quiet and by herself.
Pinkie_Pie suddenly eeks! "I didn't turn on the lights! Who's in control of the lights? Nobody can see anything and they'll all fall over! Augh! Auri, hold the sun for me!" She unloads it into one of auri's pairs of limbs.
Thunderfire goes home.
Mayor Mare stands atop the stage that houses the podium and quietly watches the gathering crowd, her eyes roaming over the decorations and the festival booths. She does look rather hard at Pinkie Pie, a bit of concern showing in her eyes as she calls out, "Pinkie? Do you need any help with that, dear? Will somepony please lend Miss Pie a hoof?"
Aurichalcum oofs! He's suddenly left holding a giant ball of styrofoam painted gold.
Firefly is walking by and teasing said guards. "I hear you day sorts toot reaaaal loud like. Issat true?"
( The blue-armored unicorn normally next to Celestia is not among the guards here strangely enough, although one of the gold-armored unicorns standing by (NOT at the trumpets) has a slightly narrower muzzle than the rest of the guards.  <.< )
Chance trots out of the research center and glances about. Things are getting started. His second Sun Celebration since being in Ponyville. He grins lightly to himself and trots into the growing crowd.
Twilight_Sparkle is just suddenly there, as has been her habit since she got the hang of teleporting. She's standing near Celestia, amidst the guards...she looks around, surveying the room, and waves brightly to various friends.
Chancellor Marble R. Memory is up on the podium. HE is fidgeting a lot. He managed to destroy the last podium 3 minutes ago, trying to clean off a stain. "U-um..."
A pitch-black, sticky looking pony as gaunt as the Horsemare of Famine shambles into the square.  Nettleglum, here in her official capacity as a representative of Luna's court.  In deference to the event, and the likelihood of far too much direct sunlight to come, she's wearing sunblock!  Lots of sunblock!  ._.  All right, it's tar.  She's coated in about an inch of tar and is leaving tarry hoofprints behind her the whole way.  It's SPF 700 tar.
Rainbow_Dash is totally ready for today! In fact, she's a little /too/ ready: she's camped out on her booth for her jousting club and is presently asleep on the counter, her snores loud and obvious. As ponies start to arrive, she stirs, shifting positions so that she's lying on her back.
Aurichalcum staggers around. The weight isn't much of a problem, but, not being a quadruped with a convenient back, he's having trouble seeing out from around it. A giant ball of styrofoam painted gold is sort of wobbling around with a small lizard underneath.
Firefly grins, and has some mopre fun. She opens he wings and shifts into a mist then vanishes, flowing along the grass and then slowly takes a dark misty shape and appears standing in front of Twilight. "Hello." grinning.
Starfire follows Chance out of the MRC, making sure she had a lunch ready. One never knew how long a festival was.
Moonbeam wakes up and blinks, looking around. "My word....."
The speed with which the crowd is growing gets Princess Celestia's attention. Well, that and the punctuated snores emenating from the element of loyalty. Celestia nudges Twilight before gesturing at the newest Princess's friend. "You might want to wake her," the Princess whispers into her ear. She turns towards Pinkie and the great styrofoan sun and her horn suddenly glows - lifting the orb off from Aurichalcum's back (before any more injuries occur before dawn) and handing it off to that strangely narrow-muzzled unicorn standing by her.
Mayor Mare taps her lower lip with a hoof as Pinkie goes jetting off someplace, presumably to turn on the lights. She also looks sidelong at the chancellor, keeping an eye on him lest another podium fall to his unholy might. "Mister Memory? Would you like something to drink to calm your nerves?"
Chance smiles gently to Starfire. "This is quite the crowd today. I'll be able to really appreciate this holiday this year."
Various lights strategically scattered around the edges of the square flicker on, shedding a soft glow over the proceedings. It's unusually subdued decoration for Pinkie, and evokes the feel of - pardon the expression- twilight.
Starfire nods. "I hope so, I've never been, usually I was working." laughing.
Dusk was over at the Center as well, the dome open and watching things from there, enjoying the night sky and the particularly large moon before the time of dawn grows closer and Luna's moon slips further away.  He decides to head down and step out into the Square to greet and mingle with plenty of his friends already showing up too.
Rainbow_Dash is starting to really wake up now as the noise builds. "Erhuh?" she utters, twisting onto her side and slowly prying her bleary eyes open. "Whu...oh snap!" She leaps into the air in surprise, quickly brushing back her mane with her hooves.
Nettleglum luches alongside the podium.  There is a muted, rustling flap like leathery wings, and she unfolds a large black parasol over herself, as skeletal as its owner and just as threadbare.  ._.  What sunlight?
Said guard earflicks and looks towards the white alicorn in confusion before his own horn lights up and surrounds the styrofoam sun in his telekenetic aura, hovering it over and off to the side, and out of the way until it's needed.  <.<
Twilight_Sparkle nods, glancing over at Rainbow Dash. "I'll just go and see if I can OH!" It's at this moment that she notices Firefly, who has materialized in front of her, sort of. "Er, I mean, hello!"
Memoire_Musique sneaks over to perch on Celestia.
Mimic watches with a quiet, mindful patience with her eyes turned skyward to take in the last views of the night sky and the great sinking moon. Still, though, the crystal unicorn remains on the fringe and seems content to do just that.
Rainbow_Dash looks down at the small mess she's made of her booth while she slept. Lickety-split, she rainbow-rushes a quick fix-up and has everything in it's proper place. The very last thing that goes up is her gigantic, colourful sign that says: "NEW: The first Ponyville Jousting Club, starring the one and only RAINBOW DASH"
Firefly giggles. "Twilight, thy are too keen to my surprises...I need a less experienced target..." and eyes the Chancelor.
Aurichalcum, relieved of styrofoam-toting duties, starts wandering around to examine the decorations and take mental notes on shape and composition. Everything here's so well-made...
After traveling to many places now he has finally come to Ponyville. Stepping off the train with his backpack on his back he heads towards the main square of the town. Crimson blinks as so many ponies seem to be bustling about. "Ca..." he tries to ask one passing by a question but they are gone a bit too fast. "Interesting town." he remarks to himself deciding to step closer through the others to see what is happening.
Twilight_Sparkle flutters around doing some last-minute straightening of various things that aren't straight!
MArble looks over at the Mayor. "A glass of water would do nicely." Marble says, then clears his throat, reaching out for the megaphone, only to hit it wrong and send it flying out into the croud. Great crashing noises follow and the Chancellor buries his face in his hooves as a nearby kiosk bursts into flames when the megaphone hits it.
Pinkie_Pie appears out of nowhere and flops on Twilight's back, hugging her gleefully. "Twi! It's been ages! I'msorrybeensobusyhadtohelpputthesuntogether!"
Chance greets everyone in turn, wigging like all the other ponies through the crowd, like so much fish in school. "Greetings Fluttershy! Good evening Auri! Hello Firefly!" He pauses and mentally backs up. "Auri! I haven't seen you for a little while."
Memoire_Musique goes home.
Fluttershy edges through the crowd - "E-excuse me! I'm sorry! Oh dear..." - until she makes her way over to where her friends are gathering. Crowds aren't so bad when you have a safe shell of happy pony pals surrounding you.
Firefly looks over and nods to Chance and to Fluttershy, then she flits up and takes her place in Luna's spot beside Celestia quietly.
Maplewing is by no means going to pass up a celebration and certianly not without his maple cart. Of course, this time its usual fare is a bit different, made into sun shapes, decorated in vibrant yellows and oranges, often with a pale or white iced background, all done up as best he can to celebrate Celestia and the longest day of the year!
Nettleglum has her umbrella straightened by Miss Sparkle.  She peers out from under it, glistening with tar.
Pinkie_Pie forms a protective candy shell around Flutterbutter. o/~
Twilight_Sparkle folds her wings around Pinkie Pie, and laughs. "Hey, Pinkie Pie! Happy summer sun celebration day!"
Mayor Mare watches the megaphone go spinning off through the air with something of a deadpan expression on her face, then she sighs and sends a young intern to fetch the Chancellor his glass of water and to call in the fire brigade
Moonbeam finds a spot out of the way on a rooftop and lie there, idly watching.
Pinkie_Pie eees! "Winghug! Winghugs are aweeeesome, cause I can't do them so they're neat and special! Unless I get myself some wings too, maybe I can try that sometime. Hello, Flutterbutter! I'm so glad you came!"
Aurichalcum grins to Chance. "Hello there! Yesz, I've been away exzploring, but I'm back now. I've found szome promiszing veinsz of new material, szo I should be able to sztart really getting down to buszinesz if anypony needsz szomething szmithed or repaired."
Rainbow_Dash looks over the crowd as it quickly metastizes. Wow, this is even bigger than last year! Must be because of Twi being a princess now. "Do you want excitement? Spectacle? Awesomeness?" she announces, bringing a paper loudspeaker to her face. "You should join the very first Jousting Club in Ponyville, starring me: the one and only Rainbow Dash!"
Celestia gestures with a hoof for one of her guards to fetch the chancellor a glass of water. And then a kiosk promptly bursts into flames. The Princess sort of stands there for a moment, staring before revising that to 'a whole bunch of water'. She then hovers over a new megaphone for the Chancellor. She hesitates for just a moment, though. "Whenever you two are ready," she whispers to the mayor and the chancellor. She turns and walks back towards the great statue of the sun situated a short distance behind her.
Lightning_Flash Is also among the gathering crowd as well, making his way through the heard of ponies to get a good view of the proceedings and well as the ceremony. "Oops sorry Pardon me." he's constantly repeating as he bumps into the others in the croud.
The narrower-muzzle'd guard blinks, and motions for another nearby guard to fetch the water.  For some reason that particular guard is finding some amusement in the Chancellor's misfortunes..
( Marble GENTLY takes the megaphone in his hooves and checks to make sure it is working. "HELLO, EVERYPONY, AND WELCOME! AND ENJOY THIS UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, PONYVILLE IS HOST TO TEH SUMMSER SUN CELEBRATION. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO: PRINCESS CELESTIA!" )
It's a bit of a mixed feeling that Solar Solstice is getting as he walks into the festival, because today is also his birthday! He's already had his personal celebration the night before, though, so for today he can revel in a celebration of over a 1000 years of Celestian rule. He trots over to the middle of the Square and is about to check out Rainbow's booth when Marble makes his announcement.
Chance perks up. "New material? That would definitely be interesting to take a look at. I still have to come by and see your shop one of these times." he tells Auri. "Dusk and I have had our hooves full with a few different things ourselves." He glances over as Marble makes himself heard. "Looks like it's starting."
( Mayor Mare bows to Princess Celestia with a grateful smile, "Thank you your highness!" She then turns to watch the Chancellor take the megaphone, she is still somewhat wary of the podium incident...but the megaphone has become a greater worry. )
Dusk nods over to Chance and Auri, "Yes sounds pretty interesting.  Always room for more things to look into!"  He ohs and looks over to what's going on with the festival.
( So many ponies and so much confusion. Crimson blinks as a few push by him to get to friends or what not. "Jousting club?" he questions looking towards the pegasus that made the announcement. His ears twich to a voice as does his attention listening as he announces the celebration and the fact Princess Celestia is there. Whenever the Princess makes her appearance he bows in respect to her Majexty. )
"Yo, Twi! Pinkie!" shouts Rainbow Dash, waving frantically at them from her booth. "Check this stuff out!"
Fluttershy smiles. "Hello, Pinkie. H-hello, everypony. I hope I'm not late."
Angel bounces along, heading for Fluttershy. She forgot her sun shade and he had to bring it along for her.
Nettleglum is pleased her majesty is forgiving enough to let her sister continue with her personal gratification holiday.  That is the generous spirit that marks a true monarch.  And all these ponies here to reassure her.  Oh, my.  Such touching loyalty to Luna, that everypony is willing to let her sister bake them in direct sunlight.
Pinkie_Pie gallops over and topplehugs Dash frantically. So busy! Must hug all friends!
Firefly flicks her ears and stirs up a small round cloud over herself, making her own suncreen.
Rainbow_Dash notices Fluttershy, too. "Yo, Flutters!" she adds. Boy, she does know how to vanish into a cr- oh.
Pinkie_Pie says "Really? A club, Dash? Surely you joust! ^^"
Nimble_Hooves comes over from the building with the magic wand and flask sign out front.
"Yikes!" Rainbow Dash exclaims, as she gets Pinkie-tackled. "Ah, heheh, c'mon Pinkie that's bad even for you," she quips, getting to her hooves. "Yup, definitely a Jousting Club. I've been reading up all about jousting ever since the Crystal Empire: I didn't realize just how /awesome/ it was!
Pinkie_Pie eyes the phonograph players set up on the side of the stage, and twitches. Must... must wait for sunrise to play music... all part of the plan...
Chance attempts to get a hoof-wave at Twilight if he can, then glances around momentarily for Spike. He glances to Dusk. "Think Auri could help with the 'egg'?"
The crowd is a little large and full of ponies; flesh and blood ponies. Clockwork lingers without such a good spot to see what's going on, but she seems to have prepared. A short pair of extending stilts raise her just a few heads taller than her usual height, and a strange pair of binoculars allow her to see the focus of attention.
( Mayor Mare steps to the side of the stage, letting the solar monarch step to the fore, smiling softly while under her breath she thanks...well...Celestia that Mister Memory didn't flub up the announcement in some manner... )
Aurichalcum tilts his head at the mention of an egg.
MArble blinks, then taps the megaphone. "U-um... I said... PRINCESS CELESTIAAAAAAA!!!" Marble tries announcing the princess again.
Twilight_Sparkle notices Chance's attempt to flag her down, and trots over. "Did I hear something about an Egg?"
Rarity sashy's out into the celebration, wearing an adorable summer skirt (white with dancing pink roses along the hem line) and a flowery, sky blue shirt with fluttery little 'leaflets' along the shoulders, and a bright white, big floppy hat. Oh yes, she IS the pinnicle of fashion! "Tis summer, and tis the most elegant time of year for a pony such as myself!
Rainbow_Dash watches as Pinkie veers off (as expected) and Twilight doesn't notice her (must be Princess business again!). Rarity proves another welcome sight. "Yo, Rarity!" she shouts, waving at her, too. She definitely looks better than that one night when...well, let's not talk about that night.
Pinkie_Pie oops. "Hold on a sec, guys, important party planner stuff brb." She hops up on stage, stuffs her hoof in her mouth, and somehow whistles. "HEY!" she bellows, somehow ten times as loud as Marble is with a megaphone, "WE GOT PRINCESS UP IN HERE! GIVE IT UP FORRRRRRR THE GREAT.... WHITE... PLOT!!"
Moonbeam ooohs at rarity's outfit. She'd heard rumors but never saw one till now.
If you're watching carefully, you'd probably notice the Princess of the Sun facehoofing in the background as Marble speaks. She'll make a note to send 'History of the Summer Sun Celebration' to his office tomorrow. She quickly regains royal stature, however, and bows her head politely first to the Mayor and then to the Chancellor. She then turns towards the great crowd gathered in Ponyville and her horn gains a brillant golden glow. "Citizens of Equestria! I am proud to be here in Ponyville to hold the Summer Sun Celebration." A glow begins on the distant horizon. "This year, I am proud to conduct our celebration with Equestria's newest Princess - Princess Twilight Sparkle!"
Chance gives a friendly smile to Twilight. "Well, something like a egg. Maybe. It's a long story. I'll be happy to tell you once we get a chance to get caught up. How's being a princess working for you?"
Nettleglum is starting to collect small leaves and stray bits of paper.  That tar-based sunblock is a touch on the viscous side, which is not a drawback in her mind, because, hey, free bits of paper and dead leaves.  That saves her the trouble of finding them herself.
Dusk nods over to Chance, "Yes, if it's something particular with the materials or something usual of that nature, certainlyh with a look."  He smiles and bows his head, "Greetings, Princess Twilight.  Good to see you again!  We miss you over at the Center with how busy you've been.  I hope you and Mr. Spike are doing well."
In MArble's defense, he's never gone to  the SSC before, he usuwally just kept working in his office. "... O... O-Oh dear..."
Pinkie_Pie then spies Rarity enter and promptly stagedives toward her. "Raritycatchme!"
Fluttershy ducks Pinkie's flight! Eek!
Angel tap tap taps Fluttershy's hoof.
Fluttershy opens her eyes, peeking down at her faithful bunpanion. "W-what is it, Angel?"
( The guards, after playing for Celestia on the trumpts, then play for Twilight after she's announced. )
trumpets.  Aaaaaagh stoopid typo
Twilight_Sparkle quickly attempts to strike a regal pose.
Fairground bows to the princesses, clopping.
Mimic cranes her head up from the sidelines so she can better look across the expanding, multi-colored sea of ponies. Her ears prick up at the voice of Celestia as the Princess takes the stage and invites the youngest monarch of Equestria up with her. For a moment as she watches them, there's a tightening to her expressions, but it's likely easy to ignore with the first glow of dawn rising.
"Yo! Guys!" Rainbow Dash shouts, straining to be heard above the din. She'd like to leave her booth and talk to her friends but the other fella hasn't shown up yet! "Aw c'mon, you're late already!" she comments impatiently, staring at her Time Turner-made hoofwatch.
Maplewing finds a nice out of the way but well trafficted spot to set up his cart, unfurling little pennants, white with gold trip sporting Celestia's cutie mark no less. It doesn't take long until his distinct sweet scent begins to drift in the air a little. Clearly not terribly concerned with sales, as he settles himself on the roof of his cart, giving him a pegasus' eye view of the proceedings.
Nettleglum is so pleased to see her friend Miss Rarity that she gives a stiff wave that resembles a seizure.  Such an... interesting outfit Rarity has on, too.  Nettie would love to have a closer look at it, coated in thick, sticky tar as she is, and perhaps even see what the material is like, of course.  What harm could there possibly be in that? ._.
Rainbow_Dash contents herself with watching Celestia for now. "Yeah! Go Princess!" she hollers, earning some dirty looks from the prissy Canterlot ponies who've shown up.
( Mayor Mare bows once more to Both Princess Celestia and Princess Sparkle, "We are honored to have you both here. This is a historic day indeed, Princess Sparkle's return to Ponyville for the first time to help ring in the Summer Sun Celebration. I do hope everypony brought their cameras!" She then slips around to take the Chancellor by the arm and attempt to lead him away...or at least into the background before anything else can go wrong. )
Fluttershy raises her head and smiles over the crowd at her princessy friend. "Ooh! Look, Angel. It's Twilight. How wonderful. A-and Princess Celestia, too."
Firefly is sitting proper like in LUna's place, looking attentive, but her eyes are half closed, the shade from her little cloud keeping her cool.
Chance chuckles softly. "Looks like you're needed by your public, Twilight. I hope to catch up soon with you and Spike! You should come visit sometime at the research center."
Shutterbug has his camera!  And Dreamy let him stay up /waaaaay/ past bedtime to be here for this, so, he's kinda wobbly right now.  The foal leans on a fencepost and snaps another photo of the Mayor.
Nimble_Hooves heads over to the building with the magic wand and flask sign out front.
One of the guard suddenly senses a great disturbance in..  well, can't be the force due to copyright infringement, but whatever disturbance he senses his attention is drawn to the crowd and in the directly of a particular yellow pegasus with pink hair.  But it's more specific than that, the guard's amber orbs narrow when they lock upon the little white rabbit with her.
Moonbeam noddles and holds up Fluttershy's sunscreen and sun glasses, then waves to Twilight.
Moonbeam says "I think your bunny was giving you these ma'am."
Angel mrfs. Always some pony taller to steal his glory.
Twilight_Sparkle alternates between waving with a hoof, and with a wing. So many things are different when you suddenly have additional limbs, and need to form new habits regarding which one does what.
Marble is lead off the stage away from the podium, semi-distracted. "HEy, what're ypu, ow!"
Nettleglum thinks that's a problem all amorphous beings face, Miss Sparkle.  ._.
Aurichalcum knows this problem well, Twi! ;>
Ooh.. Candy-cart? Clockwork's eyes leave the scene ahead of her and swivel toward Maplewing. She can see the cart, looking from atop her stilts, but there's crowd in the way. Still... She could probably step around or over most of them, she reasons.
Sugar_Rush starts making his way around the crowd. He has with him is blinged-up, pimped-out candy cart which appears to be loaded up with goodies. He spots Maplewing and heads over his direction.
Mayor Mare Pauses to smile and pose in a very officious manner with her fellow bureaucrat Chancellor Marble R Memory for the colt with his camera. And whispers out of the side of her mouth to him, "Smile sir, this is a momentous occasion, and it wouldn't do for us to be underhoof while the princesses are attempting to begin the festival would it?"
Moonbeam catches sight of Maple's candy as well, and hovers up to glide over and land by his cart. "Ohh, what do you have?" turning to look at the Mayor as she speaks.
Princess Celestia continues, her wings rising up to spread out to her sides. "Today, we celebrate the start of summer - and with it new hopes, new dreams, and new beginnings." The Princess flaps her wings and hovers into the air, the sun finally breaking the horizon and spreading a rainbow of colors across the clouds. "We bring forth the sun and part the night just as we always have - together, with friends." And so the Princess flies straight upwards, cresting with the sun behind her so that the great, golden sphere shines right in the center of that golden statue. Light shines across the sky, bathing Ponyville in its rays.
Starscape glances over (and up) at Clockwork, watching through her binoculars, "See anything interesting happening yet? He yawns, "Awwwwhhhhhhuuuhhhh... Haven't been up this late in a while. You're pretty resourceful in a crowd, know that?" He taps the stilts with a hoof, a sharp, brassy report but barely audible above the hum of chatter.
Starfire leans against Chance and offers some popcorn she brought. "Ohhh, pretty....."
As Rainbow watches, the loud clanking of metal plates materializes behind her. Turning about, she sees a relieving sight: a grizzled pegastallion carrying what appears to be a large crate on his back. "Sorry for the lateness, Rainbow Dash; I'm getting a bit too old to be lugging this about everywhere, it seems." -- "Aw, no worries, Pauldron Sheen," Rainbow replies. "Look, I gotta...check something out. Mine if you pony the stand for a bit?" -- "Of course," says Pauldron, and with that Rainbow zips off to meet her pals.
MArble smiles and waves to the camera. "Right, right. Of course." Smiling for the camera. And then he remembers something he forgot at home and JUST as the shutter clicks his face melts into something of ABJECT TERROR.
Twilight_Sparkle gazes up at Celestia! Having seen this so many times, and known Celestia for a long time now, has not diminished her awe, it would seem; she's got stars in her eyes, to match the ones on her flank.
Pinkie_Pie can't stand it another second, and frantically makes The Signal, which is her standing on Rarity and waving her hooves frantically. As the sun breaks out, A blue-haired pony starts up the first of the nighr's - er, morning's! fat beets: <a href="http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20453369/Ichiro_062313_mastering_120bpm.mp3">http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20453369/Ichiro_062313_mastering_120b...</a>
Rarity trot trot trots left and right. So it's the summer Sun celebration! There's no reason she should have all the attention either! So her hips swizzle and swish, her tail bobbles and brushes and her bright and dazzling smile trickles over every eligible stallion (and non eligible) in the crowd. "Yes, yes, darling, TIS the summer sun celebration, oh, no no, I'm not part of the celebration, but I AM as dazzling as the sun, am I not? Hohoho..."
Aurichalcum watches the sun rise, silently awed. He's used to living underground - seeing a sunrise at all is an event for him, let alone one as special as this.
( After a couple grunts and what SOUNDS like orders coming from one of the guards, the others all snap to attention when Celestia lifts into the sky, and when the sun crests over the horizon behind the alicorn they all lift a foreleg up and *SNAP*, salute the alicorn.  The one giving the order doesn't salute however, instead taking a few steps back and then dropping his head and chest in a sweeping bow. )
Rainbow_Dash pauses to look up in awe. She's only seen the Princess raise the sun a few times, and she's enjoyed every momemnt of it. Her heart leaps with fervor as her spirit sings with the sunshine. "Wow..."
Nettleglum hssssssss, sun, sun.  No, actually, she just sort of glistens and oozes a bit, her coating of tar quite nicely blocking even the stray sunbeams that peek around the rents in her tattered parasol.  Hmm, very showy, rather gaudy and overdone, as expected.  Nice enough if you have a taste for that sort of thing, but, if you really wanted to be bathed in bright light, there are so many other ways to go about it, anything from magnesium flare wallpaper to the blaze of a good bonefire reflected in a thousand burnished pitchforks.  The usual sorts of things.
Dusk nods to Chance and sees that even now Twilight is busy and doesn't even have much time to talk.  Which of course she has lots of things to deal with now than she had before.  He still misses spending time talking magic and other fun stuff.
As the light coats Ponyville in a veil of gold, it catches off the crystal coat of Mimic and lends a gilded shine to the unicorn. Her eyes widen as she watches the sun rise against the backdrop of the Princess, as if it really took backstage to her.
"I see candy. I see more candy." Comes a rather matter-of-fact reply to Starscape from atop the stilts and suddenly Clockwork is on the move, heading for Sugar_Rush and Maplewing... and Moonbeam. Wings. If only she didn't have so much trouble with controlling flying inventions. The sun is rising, catching Clockwork's attention for the moment, but only a moment, before the promise of imminent candy is too great to ignore once more.
Angel hops up onto Fluttershy's back and puts his own shades on. OH yeah, no pony looked so cool.
Chance watches the sunrise and smiles to Starfire and Dusk. "Very nice indeed."
Rainbow_Dash quickly snaps her own salute when she sees the Guards: can't forget protocol! She then glides over to the nearest of her friends, which happens to be Rarity. "Heyhey, what's the classiest mare in Ponyville up to?" she greets jovially.
Maplewing grins and waves to all the ponies who seem to have their attention drawn to his cart, giving a tip of his head. "Special SUmmer Sun Specials!" he calls cheerfully, though makes sure to tone it down as the ceremony starts, wanting to show respect of the proceedings at hoof, which are fare more important than lots of sales, he reasons. His expression brightens spotting Rush. "Hey there good buddy!" he calls, helping clear a spot for his partners wagon as well, figring theyre about set up as a concession with the two of them. "Was wondering if I'd see you around." he says to his friend just as Moonbeam lands nearby. "Mmm, mostly maple, but SUmmer Sun maple cookies, summer sun maple cupcakes, Celestial golden candied apples, and something new, sunny side up maple butter tarts!" he says, motioning o the new product, which have been laden with an orange slice and a daub of rich yellow frosting in the middle.
Mayor Mare is somewhat shocked and horrified by the faces The Chancellor is pulling at the young colt with the camera. She turns and scowls at him, her eyebrows raising in a...well...shocked and horrified way. "Mister Memory! What do you mean making faces at a citywide event?! And in front of the camera no less?!" She doesn't seem to realize that her expression is now rivalling his.
( With that... sun... thingy in the sky, Nettie's official job is over, so she begins shambling towards her friend Rarity, leaving sticky, tarry, gummy hoofprints in her wake. )
Pinkie_Pie pops up next to Maplewing. "Maple butter tarts??" she gasps. She dumps a hoofful of bits onto the counter, and starts snarfing the golden treats.
Moonbeam gives a start as Pinkie just....appears. No one else was paniced, so she smooths her feathers and just smiles to Maple. "Oh, orange in my favorite...." smiling at it. "Id like some of those please." aiming a wing at it. "Five bits worth."
And so the sun rises into the sky - its radiant beams cast across the sky in a brillant array of crimson, pink, purple, and gold. The sky softens from nighttime's purple and black to glow a lighter, soffter blue. A small breeze catches the air, causing the Princess's flowing pastel mane to waft gently throgh the air. The Princess holds where she is for a short while, the sun continuing to rise behind her before catching its course in the sky. The Princess's wings flap and she descends, landing right at where the lines of guards intersect. The trumpets blare and the Princess bows her head to the crowd.
( Shutterbug is snapping lots of photos of Celestia overhead, photos sure to be rich in lens flare! )
"I think I left a glass of milk out at home." Marble says in his defense to the mayor. Hey, why should he defend himself? He's the mayor's boss!"
Sugar_Rush nods to his friend, "Looks grand! I tried to go with some classic summer treats. Lemon drops, salt-water taffy, all-day suckers and lollipops, jawbreakers, and marshmellows, of course. I did make up some special marshmellows in honor of the Princesses, with their cutie marks on them." He starts getting his goods all set up to be distributed.
Dusk smiles back to his friends as he wathces the beauty of the rising sun of the summer solstice by Pricess Celestia right here in Ponyville this year.  Not only an impressive sight no matter where you are in Equestria, but to watch it first hoof.
Aurichalcum purchases some of the snacks for himself - whatever he can find with custard in it - and wanders over back toward Chance. "Did you szay szomething about an egg?"
Rarity while being as beautiful, and wonderful as ever sloooooowly manuvers her way AWAY from the tarry, sticky gloop pony that's shambling towards her. Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope. Not happening. This will not occuar. Not today. Not on the celebration of the sun! Hohoho, Pinkie! Pinkie darling, interception is necessary. Now.
Twilight_Sparkle claps her hooves as enthusiastically as any pony!
Fluttershy applies her sunscreen, and puts a little dab on Angel's widdle nose. "There. *Now* we're all ready. Thank you, Moonbeam."
Moonbeam smiles. "MOst welcome."
Rainbow_Dash blinks. "Uh...Rarity?"
Maplewing gasps sharply, at first most likely from the display by their benevolent ruler as she raises the sun, but most likely from a slight degree of heart failure as Pinkie Pie pops up from, as far as he can tell, somewhere /inside/ his cart, at least he hopes not. "Ah yes! Theyre neew." he says to Pinkie, laughing lightly at the energetic plopping of bits and imediate diving into the tarts. WIth her nose still in one of the boxes, he manage sto extract the box, and her nose within from the cart to offer it to Pinkie. "I think you have enough for a box, if not, close enough." He grins, delighted at the rave review. Smiling to Moonbeam, he extracts a little paper bag and tucks a few of the tarts into the bag, along with a napkin for her. "My pleasure. Theyre new, so Id lve to hear your thoughts!" he exclaims. Grinning to Rush he nods. "Can't go wrong with those, Rush. Save me some would ya?" he asks, giving his friend a wink.
Pinkie_Pie flops on Rarity's back, mouth and hooves sticky with rich, delicious maple butter. "Did you need something, Rarity?" she mrrrfls, crunching on another tart, crumbs falling from her muzzle.
Chance watches the sun directly, one of the things he's always enjoyed being able to do. After the initial rising, he glances back to Auri. "Yeah, this .. well, it almost appears to be an egg. We're somewhat sure it might contain a living thing. Maybe. We can let you see it later if you wish."
Angel wriggles his little nose as Fluttershy suncreens it. Ah, safe. Nothing more annoying than a sunburned nosepad.
Mayor Mare blinks at the Chancellor's words and leans against the side of the stage, "Oh my...I suddenly feel so very tired." She pastes on a smile and nods, "Well perhaps sir you should rush home and take care of that? I'll hold down the fort here, it would be a shame if it spoiled wouldn't it?"
Starscape hums to himself, and feels like making himself useful, so he 'steadies' the stilts with both front hooves, oooh-ing and ahhh-ing at the sun's rise above the dull earth, enveloping it in fire. "Candy, yes. There's also a blindingly brilliant sun just brought up by the Princess herself! Candy is good too, though. I suppose I could use some too, to stay awake." Naps. Naps will be necessary next time.
Celestia lifts her head back up and makes her way down into the crowd. "Now... I was told there would be cake?" the Princess asks, her eyes immediately scanning the crowd for aforementioned delight.
Nettleglum watches Rarity move away.  Oh.  Of course, in this crowd, Rarity must not have seen her.  How understandable.  It's a pity, but, she consoles herself with the idea of dropping in on Rarity at home later today.  Of course, by then, the sunlight will have made all that tar even more viscous, but, it's easy enough to get off the floor with some sandpaper, and lye, and a chisel, and about nineteen hours of work per square inch.
"Yo guys, I've over here!" Rainbow Dash shouts, more loudly than before. Did she suddenly turn invisible?"
( After the trumpts cease, the one off-shoot guard barks out an "at ease" to the others, allowing the other unicorn (along with a few smattering of pegasi) guards to remain where they are but not be as tense and "ready to snap", giving them a chance to stretch their legs and look around the crowd. )
Clockwork heads for Sugar_Rush, attracted by the promise of lollipops and lemon drops. She looks down to see if Starscape is coming with her. She quirks a smile at the idea of buying it for a purpose. "We would like lollipops and lemon drops." She states in Sugar_Rush's general direction, whether heard or not.
Moonbeam accepts the baggie from Maple, smiling to him, "Thanks, I'll let you know." then turns,watching the sunrise, eating her candy. "Oooooooh."
Pinkie_Pie pauses briefly, gently picks up Dashie, settles her on one of DJ PON3's turntables, and trots off. Vinly wubs Dash's stomach as she spins around.
Sugar_Rush nods and quickly produces a bag of lemon drops, and another of lollipops. "Here you are!" and he hoofs the goods over to Clockwork.
Rainbow_Dash yelps as she gets wubbed! How did that even happen? She hops off (restoring melody in the process) and looks around. Hey, where'd they go?
Dusk nods to Auri.  "Yes we encounted an egg-like object.  It may be an egg, or something else entirely.  It has some cryptic ruins too, that only show up under magical influence, so far.  We encountered it during the paradoxical vines that affected the MRC previously."
Maplewing tips his head to Moonbeam. "Thanks for stopping by! I do hope you enjoy!" he calls once the exchange is made and she begins to disappear into the crowd. He hops back up onto his carts roof, with a bow of his legs and a pump of his wings, he springs up, allowing ponies to paruse in the cramped standing space as well as enjoy the view. His hooves clopping together at the magnificent sight.
Pinkie_Pie tiptoes over to Twilight, and snugs her from behind. "Inappropriate princess squeeeeeezing!"
Twilight_Sparkle whinnies in surprise! But recovers and hugs her friend back.
Pinkie_Pie giggles! She excuses herself, and tiptoes off after her next victim, Fluttershy.
Rainbow_Dash flies around until she finds Rarity again. OK, attempt number two. "Yo, Rarity! Wassup!" she shouts.
Angel tap tap taps Fluttershy's shoulder. Something pink this way comes.
Clockwork brightens considerably as she's handed the bag and sends a random amount of money Sugar_Rush's way. It's, in fact, two bits, a washer and a tiny gear. Having the two carts close together is, in her opinion, a wonderful idea and she moves on a couple of steps to the right- her stilts allowing her to be level with Maplewing on top of his cart anyway. "We would like tarts."
Fluttershy glances around briefly. Did her Bunny Sense just tingle? ...n-no, it must just be the bunny on her back.
Starscape does indeed follow Clockwork's imposing stature, even if she does seem a bit oblivious to this fact, and mmmms at the mention of the treats and their exchange of hooves. "Ooh, those look delicious! I gather only the best tonight-er, this morning. Which will you take, Clock?" He remembers he can fly and hovers just at eye level for her, the ground beneath him being immediately taken by another occupant, likely earth pony or unicorn.
Celestia somehow appears next to Dusk, bearing a plate with a sigificant amount of cake. "You need to tell me about these paradoxical vines sometime in detail, Mister Dusk. And this egg."
Big_Mac stands near the edge of town, not moving much and looks a bit overwhelmed at all the ponies! Seems his primary goal aside from admiring the sunset is to not step on anypony. O.O
Nettleglum looms up behind Twilight, oozing fragrant tar from every pore and casting a long shadow in the bright sunlight.  "Miss Sparkle.  I wish to congratulate you on your decorum during this ceremony.  We all know how much these little things mean to her majesty's sister, and in turn, of course, the Princess herself."
Pinkie_Pie hugs Flutter from behind, verrrrry gently. <3
BlueFeather comes over from the building with the magic wand and flask sign out front.
Fluttershy squeaks! "Angel, you're such a swee- oh, h-hello, Pinkie Pie!"
Pinkie_Pie smooches Flutter on her mane, and tiptoes off. Victims!
Dusk blinkblinks as Celestia appears besides him in all her splender.  He gives a bow and nod, "Greetings, your Highness."  She is tall.  "Of course, Princess Celestia.  We just had an.. event over at the Center.  Oh some wonderful looking cake they're serving here."  Smooth transition.
Maplewing eye widens for a moment as Clockwork drifts over his way, almost seeming to flaot on the crowd for a moment until drawing near enough to maple for him to spot the stilts. With a light laugh he tips his head to her "Sompony is thinking." he says with amusement, requiring him to lay out on the roof of his cart to reach down and pluck a couple tarts from the display, tucking them too into a neat little bag. "I think I might have a hit on my hooves, Rush." he laughs to his friend and tips his head to Clockwork. "Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoy!" he says cheerfully, definitely pleased.
Rarity twists about, giving a quiet, panting gasp when she spy's Rainbow Dash. "Rainbow! Darling! How wonderful to see you here at the Summer Sun Celebration! I certainly hope you're having fun! I'm absolutly marveling at the number of ponies here! So many more than last year...hmmm. "She pauses thoughtful for a moment before her eyes light up! "Rainbow! Do you think you can do me a favor? I've lost Sweetie Belle in the crowd somewhere, do you think you can find her? I DID promise we'd spend the celebration together...
Firefly has not risen from her spot, laying there in Luna's place, upright, beneath her cloud, head held up, just..sitting there, mostly motionless.
Mimic has made her way through the dispersing crowds towards the unmistakable smell of Maplewing's cart. In fairly short order, the crystal unicorn is looking up at the stallion on the roof of his cart with a wry expression on her face. "...good view up there?" She says with a grin and nods too towards Sugar Rush as she watches customers come and go. "Two two doing well?"
With the actual "official" segment over it's time to mingle, and most of the guards step off the stage to do just that and enjoy the events, the vendors and food strewn about.  Save for that one lone unicorn guard whom remains atop the stage to start a slow pace from side to side with eyes constantly scanning the crowd for any potential threats.
Pinkie_Pie sneaks up on Celestia, hugging her from behind. This looks even more ridiculous than it did with Twilight, as Celestia is several times her size. "INAPPROPRIATE PRINCESS HUGGING!"
Chance gives Celestia a polite bow. "Good morning Princess Celestia. It's wonderful to see you this day. That was a wonderful sun rising." He lets Dusk field the question about the 'event'. And egg.
MArble returns from his house after taking care of the milk situation, and gets looking for the mayor. (re)
Starfire bows as well, smiling. "And before you ask my Princess, yes, I am enjoying my vacation very greatly." smiling to Chance.
"I'm glad everypony is having so much fun, Angel," says Fluttershy, brushing her mane back out. "Oh, Princess! I-I, um...hello there. I'm sorry, I was a little distracted." Flutterblush occurs - how distracted would you have to be to miss Princess Celestia walking by? "It's, um, a wonderful celebration."
"I am not fond of crowds." Clockwork decides the remark from Maple is enough to warrant a small bit of explanation. She splits the goods and sends half of the sweets and tarts downward to Starscape, horn glowing a little brighter for just a second. She then offers two bits and another washer, plus a bit of lint that she can't possibly have mistaken for a coin, in payment for the tarts. "I like today." She confides, not so discreetly to Starscape.
Mayor Mare begins to trot through the crowds of ponies, greeting each warmly and offering a hoof shake to all. She is the very definition of the perfect politician.
Maplewing gasps sharply as he spots Mimic, giving her an enthusiastic hoofwave as he offers another baggie to another customer. - He's really going to have to design a two-tier cart for events like this, he thinks. - "Its going great, Mimic! Care to try one?" he asks, motioning toward the tarts. Laughing lightly at her question, he puts on a playful stallionly pose. "I dunno, you tell me!?" he shoots back, being more than a little silly.
Angel waves a paw cutely at Celestia, still wearing his awesome sunglasses.
Celestia grins wryly, taking a bite from the cake on her plate. "Now now, Dusk. I know when a pony's changing subjects. And I know in great detail what goes on in your little center for magical research." She takes another bite. And hovers some frosting to smear it on Dusk's nose. She tips her head politely to Chance as he bows. "Thank you, Chance. I always love the Summer Sun Celebration." She turns back to Dusk. "Now, I do know the last time an e-" the Princess is interrupted by Pinkie suddenly hugging her from behind, exerting a small 'oof!' from the Princess before she giggles. She immediately turns and wraps a wing around the pink party pony, giving her a long sidewinghug. "Thank you for so much for all your hard work today, Pinkie."
Pinkie_Pie BEAMS. Her smile is nearly as bright as the sun Celestia has risen today. "Oh, thank you, Princess, thank you!" she burbles, cantering excitedly from hoof to hoof.
Rainbow_Dash is peering around every corner and between everypony to find Sweetie Belle! "Hey Sweetie, where are ya?" she demands.
Maplewing chuckles deeply to Clockwork. "I can't say I blame you! Excellent thinking, I must say. Fortunately with wings getting above the rush is fairly easy, but yeesh, makes business just as hard thoudh!" he admits, raising a hoof up to wipe his brow and accepts the payment in his other hoof, laughing a little at the mixup in coins and lint, of which he tucks into the moneychangers vest he wears.
Shutterbug has fallen asleep under one of the tables.  Curled up around a slice of cake.
Pinkie_Pie then slips some replacement cake onto Celestia's plate. Hey, that kind of plot doesn't maintain itself, you know.
MArble then turns to a random pony and blurts out a political puff question: "HELLO CITIZEN! What name... you... have? I'm Chancellor Marble Memory. Did you vote for me?"
Celestia swivels from her Pinkus Pius Interruptus to greet Flutterblushershy, giving her a polite bow of her head. "It is great to see you again as well, Fluttershy. I'm very glad you enjoyed the ceremoy. As I just mentioned to Mister Chance, here, it is one of my favorite days of the year." She releases Pinkie from her winghug and ooohs as more cake appears on her plate. She returns her fork to take another bite. "You're very welcome, Pinkie. I am just glad to see so many ponies here having fun."
Starscape accepts the tarts gratefully letting them land on top of his muzzle in a neat pile. "Thanks, Clock! Hmm..." He decides to one-go them and flicks his muzzle sharply, hurling the treats and letting them land in an open set of jaws awaiting aforementioned sweets. Munch, munch, munch, wings flapping, eyes then scanning the scene again.
Moonbeam yikes and flares her wings as a megaphone appears in her ear practically, She rubs her head and steps back from Marble. "No, I did not."
Dusk has to chuckle a little and grins, another blink at the frosting.  Of course he didn't expect that to fly.  He nods and listens to Celestia, and has to grin again as Pinkie causes her own distractions and change of subject, literally.  It gives him a moment to lick the frosting off his nose and look presentable again.
Starfire sets a small candy heart on Chance's nose. "There."
( TOO LATE! Another, bigger hunk of frosting appears on Dusk's nose. )
Sugar_Rush shrugs a bit at the odd payment, then puts the bits and such away in his cash box. He looks around to see if anypony else wants some of his treats.
"Well your business is doing good, as always." Mimic remarks with a wide, warm smile and a laugh at the posturing stallion. "You're looking fine too. I'd love to give one of the tarts a try, they look amazing! I spotted you over here and I just wanted to let you that whenever you're all ready to go to the Empire just let me know." She sent the royal alarm over. Now she just hopes the Empire doesn't explode. "I hope you don't mind, there's a few ponies from the hospital planning to tag along. They wanted to speak to the medical ponies. No worries, though, they're tending their own tickets."
Clockwork looks a little rueful as Maplewing demonstrates wings. "I have trouble flying. To become airborne is easy enough but to fly myself requires control that I cannot manage well enough. You, and my friend," She lifts the stilt closest to Starscape in indication of him "are lucky to have natural wings."
Mayor Mare turns at the sudden outburst from the newly returned chancellor and she facehooves muttering to herself, "How...how did you become my boss?" She moves to do damage control however, smiling and shmoozing with the citizens of her town, "Please don't Mind the Chancellor today...."  "...Yes the Chancellor is quite stressed..." "The Chancellor is very high strung today, you know how difficult it can be managing a....well I'm not entirely sure what he does to be honest. But I'm certain it is very stressful." "Well of course...just look at the poor stallion. He's a complete wreck of a pony!"
Chance reaches over and snags a snack of his own as every other pony is currently distracted.
Dusk finds his blinking muscles getting well exercised, though realizing what's going on quite quickly.  He smirks and magics the frosting over onto Chance's nose.  No physical threat there to trigger his talent.
Maplewing earflattens lightly at Clockwork's expression, rubbing a hoof to his cheek a little. "Ah, sorry, I didn't mean to boast..." he says sheepishly. "Although, I do admit I love the stilts. Grand alternative if I do say so myself." he says, looking down as she motions to Starscape, to whom Maple gives a little wave to as well.
Nettleglum lurches into the shadows and vanishes.
Celebrations, parties, soirees. What binds them all together? Why, an /audience./ An audience of ponies to see, and ponies to hear, and ponies to /cheer./ Look up yonder to the beams of that rooftop, and you'll see a proud figure standing tall, a hood covering their face. A few other ponies, pegasi by the looks of it, are apparently rolling things around up there, fastening stuff to objects and whatnots to bobbits. But then they all stop. There is silence for a moment, hanging in the air like heavy rocks that are just waiting to fall. And then there is an absolute BLAST of trumpets, cymbal crashes, and other attention grabbing sounds. The hooded pony points dramatically down, and a beam of light shines down from his hoof to the Princess.
( "LADY CELESTIA!" the figure shouts. "I HAVE WORDS FOR THEE." )
Celestia suddenly has a beam of light shine down at her. Oh boy. Hopefully Scope won't shoot the source of that light off from the rooftop. She prepares a shield just in case. And prepares to summon a mattress. The Princess turns to look up at the hooded figure. Looks like Dusk is getting off easy for the moment.
Rainbow_Dash looks /everywhere/ for Sweetie Belle. She even checks each spot twice just to be certain, but no dice. Flabbergasted and downcast, she slinks back to Rarity. "I...I dunno where she is!" she declares in exasperation.
Starscape looks briefly back to Clockwork and to Maplewing, giving a hoofwave, "Hi there, that's me. Yes, I suppose you're right, Clockwork. Though, as you said, you /could/ fly mechanically... frankly I think the magic ponies have a thing more coveted by us non-bipeds. Magic just can't be substituted, it seems. So don't count yourself wholly unlucky!" All of this muffled by tart-munching. Grin.
Marble finally turns to another unwitting citizen. "HI! Are you enjoying the festivities! Please remember to feed your foal healthy foods! Remember, you and I can work together for a Responsible Ponyville!"
"Thank you." Clockwork, at least, has gotten used to the idea of how to respond to compliments. "I built them." She explains simply. "I like your cart." A compliment is supposed to be answered with one in turn, she remembers somepony, likely Star, telling her so. Speaking of Starscape... "He doesn't always talk with his mouth full." The loud rooftop figure, and the new scene, draws her attention.
( The sole unicorn guard whom paces on the stage halts upon these new developments, and with a snarl out to the crowd.  "Brigade, initiate defensive protocols!"  The unicorn guards within the crowd turn and drop their plates and cups and hurry through to take up positions beside the princess, while the pegasi take to the sky and assume a posture in the beam of light between the figure and the Sun Soverign.  The guard on stage's helmet goes off and the mowhawk goes on, golden armor rippling to that of cobalt w/a blue trim, the sun of Celestia adorning his chest now instead of the cyan blue of normal. )
Rarity stares at Rainbow Dash for a long few moments before she SIGHS and waggles a hoof. "You needn't worry darling, I'm sure you did your best. She's probably out with those little friends of hers. The Crusaders. "She mumbles, and returns to trotting about- somewhat disappointed by her lack of sister.
Mimic is about to select a tart when she looks towards the source of light and a booming voice. A frown creases her muzzle as the unicorn stands stiffly and there's a subtle pulse of shifting red magic around her horn. She doesn't move though, not yet, only watches with a careful eye.
Dusk doesn't have great luck like Chance, but does have a knack for knowing where to be and not be when he needs, and when things might turn in his favor.  He can mill through a crowd and not be noticed, coming or going.  He can even all but yell in Starfire's ear and still be missed.  So it's not surprising that even the Princess gets distracted and Dusk falls again under the radar.  Not that he's worried too much about the egg incident.  Well not his fault, but his alternate existing self's perhaps.  How much responsibility does a pony take for that?
Big_Mac says "Pleasure to meet you Starscape!" he says, but nods in agreement. "They ahve a poing you know, I know this stallion who does quite well with mechanical wings. Might be worth a shot." he says with a smile."
Rainbow_Dash frowns as Rarity moves off. She hates it when she fails at a task for no good reason! "Nex time...!" she vows, hovering off. Hmm...what next?
Dynamite_Rave goes home.
Chance peers at the frosting on his nose crosseyed, then chuckles. He licks it off and smirks lightly to Dusk. "Gee, thanks."
( The hooded figure throws back his head and laughs at the curious expression on Celestia's face. What a funny Princess! "THY PRODIGIOUS BRIGHTNESS MAKES THIS HARDER THAN IT SHOULD. BUT WORRY NOT! I CAME PREPARED!" And then he stomps a hoof down, there is a loud click, and a projectile launches... up! Up, up, into the air, where it bursts in a bright star of... saturated orange? Blacks and deep purples? Then it might strike ponies: these are /color negative fireworks/ that are visible against the daytime sky! "THIS IS WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOUR SUBJECTS THINK OF THEE!" The figure says, and throws his hood back to reveal - ! )
Bardigan!
Aurichalcum squints at the nega-fireworks. How did he -do- that?
( Theres a whistling sound from somewhere high in the sky, followed by a contrail of bright white light that strongly resembles a shooting star. It only takes a few moments before this star comes crashing down to earth blasting into the ground behind the stage with a heavy cloud of dust. Whom else but Diamond Dancer- a little pony that staggers from her self created crater and wobbles towards Firefly. "I, I'm here! I'm totally here! Did I miss much? Ugh...I HATE daytime...everyding is so bright..." )
Chalice_Flame joins the crowd of ponies without much fuss, nobody probably even notices her arrive.
Celestia:looks over to that sole unicorn guard as he armors up and gets a large percentage of the troupe up in formation between her and the hooded figure. She does admire their response-time. She clears her throat gently and looks over at Scope with a tender smile. "I think I shall be fine. But thank you dearly for your diligence. Everypony, you may return to being at ease. Enjoy the celebration," she says with a wave of one of her wings. She then looks up and enjoys the fireworks. Ooooh. Ahhhhh.
"Oh, to build mechanical wings; not an issue," Clockwork confirms "my failing would come when I would become airborne. My talents do not include flying well." She then looks up, watching the scene, then the negative fireworks. Her eyes take a curious tone but her voice doesn't change much in tone. "Neat."
Dusk wathces as the many different events unfold, and he seems to be having quite a delightful time.  He actually loves large, nearly unpredictable events like this, with so many ponies.  In his mind he's watching all the different possibilities, and matching them up with what does and doesn't happen, his attention turning from one to another.  It's an amazing flow of possibilites, lines shifting and moving like a ocean storm of probability and actuality.  And all coalescing to make this wonderful celebration.  It's work the risk to come out and experience such a thing.  He grins over to Chance, "Enjoy, my friend."  He chuckles.
Fluttershy positions herself right on the edge of Diamond's crater, holding out a little paper plate of cake. "Hello, Diamond. Um...welcome to the Celebration."
Bardigan begins strutting along the roof of the building, grinning like a fool. He flicks his tail, and KA-KRAK-BOOM goes a shower of nega-fireworks up into the sky, flashing bright greys and strange greens. Bardigan leaps from the rooftop onto a cloud that appears, strategically placed, to catch him as he skids along the sky. "Busy old fool, unruly sun!" Bardigan shouts above the noise of the fireworks criss-crossing the sky behind him. "Why dost thou thus, through windows, and through curtains call on us? Must to /thy/ motions lovers' seasons run?" And with a saucy flick of his hips, there is a loud FWOOSH from somewhere behind Celestia, and with a loud pop she is framed in a big color-negative appropriate heart.
Rainbow_Dash slinks back to her Jousting booth. The day is young: there's still time for awesome! "Come one, come all! Join the Ponyville Jousting Club, featuring Rainbow Dash...and a genuine Jousing expert!" She indicates Pauldron Sheen, whose well-polished plate armour glimmers brightly in the morning sun. He looks quite majestic.
Rainbow_Dash also watches Bardy's big dramatic show, chuckling to herself. Ah, Bardy.
Horn aglow..  magic locked, torpedoes locked.  FIR--  ..  Oh.  With a glowing orb at the tip of his horn, Scope turns his eyes over towards the Princess after she addresses him.  ..  Though he wrinkles his nose he obliges, disarming the projectile spells and giving a nod to the guards surrounding Celestia.  The pegasi and unicorns disperse, but after Celestia is framed in that heart Scope turns his attention BACK to the annoyance in the sky..  and a torpedo locks into the chamber once more, ready to fire.
"OoooOOOooh." Fluttershy voice cracks when she's excited. Isn't it cute?
( Marble then absent-mindedly walks right into and bounces right off of Celestia's plot. )
Celestia oooooohs, and turns back to look at the heartsplosion. She applauds!
Berry_Punch wanders through the busy Square, flask and bitpouch at her hip, admiring the festivities and fireworks.  "Yo!  Hey Carrot, keep it pure!  Flutters!  Good to see you out and about.  Hiya, Banana Fluff!  So what's the cream doing tonight?"  She keeps exchanging greetings with various ponies passing by until she happens upon Rainbow Dash operating a booth.  She steps back just to see if this is real.  "Since when does Rainbow Dash let herself get stuck in an office?" she wonders aloud.  "Ooh!  Jousting?  That's lancefighting, right?  Sounds exciting!"
Starscape ooohs as well, flying up a bit higher and smiling back down at Clockwork's appraisal, "Yeah! It is!" He's always been fascinated with the sky, with specks of white on a black and purple night sky... but this is almost the opposite aesthetic.
"Heck yeah!" Rainbow Dash tells Berry, glad that somepony is interested. "It's got /action/ and /fighting/ and.../actionfighting/!" She makes several corny martial-arts gestures, holding her hooves up in a punching pose even though jousting involves absolutely no punching. "You got any questions? I have the answers! Well, I have them from Sir Pauldron here, heh." Guilty-grin.
Pinkie_Pie says "Ahhhh! Derpy!!"
Pinkie_Pie takes off her Celebration Planning hat, and slaps it on Derpy's head, then promptly falls asleep.
Celestia also gets bumped into. She turns back to Marble and gigles lightly. "You might want to be careful about where you're going, Chancellor."
Chance grins lightly to Dusk. "Thanks. If you'll forgive me, there's someone I'd like to say hello to while she's still here." He heads off in a meandering beeline (yes, he knows it isn't an ideal line) to Firefly.
"Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide late schoolboys and sour prentices, go tell huntscolts the KING WILL RIDE!" And Bardigan rears up, leaping to arch across the sky as, somehow, he leaves a still afterimage that immediately comes to life, spinning down /towards/ the Princess as it gallops on an invisible path before bursting into golden sparkles that rain down (harmlessly), and spin lazily through the air. "Call country ants to harvest offices, love, all alike, no seasons know or clime, nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time!" Bardigan swings up to silhouette himself against the sun, letting it spread between his feathers. "Thy beams, so reverend and strong, why shouldst thou think? I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink!" And Bardigan closes his feathers, shrouding the crowd in darkness - revealing orbs that still glow little suns of their own in his shadow. Some appear rather surprisingly /right next to some ponies./ "BUT! That I would not lose her sight so long; if her eyes have not blin
Well, speaking of mysterious creatures who make the guard nervous, a zebra comes strolling into town. Not just any zebra either, no sir. Well there's only two zebras anywhere near town, so let's just be honest here. It's Tejene, and he's not in town for shopping today. No saddle bags, not even a basket. He pauses at the edge of the super-extra-busy square, if just to marvel a while before heading in.
blinded mine!"
Firefly has been laying in her upright position the entire affair, beneath her cloud sunscreen, happily napping it seems. Totally unaware of Chance approahcing.
Chalice_Flame claps her forehooves after seeing Bardigan's display.
Chance trots as quietly as he can (which luckily, he's pretty quiet) up near Firefly, then gives a "Good morning Firefly!" in a bright, friendly tone.
The glowy little orbs that Bardigan's shadow revealed hover playfully, waiting for ponies to catch and hold them. They feel warm to the touch and smell like spice, for some reason.
Firefly cracks an eye open with a quiet zzzsnert? blinking a few times. "Ah, hello. IS there something I can do for thee?" stretching her neck.
Berry_Punch does her best to instinctively mimic Rainbow's various action poses, hopping from one hind hoof to the other as she gears up.  "Cool!  So who's Sir Pauldron?  And when does the jousting happen?  Ooh, and are there prizes?"  She waves to Tejene on general principles.  "Hiya, stripes!"  Then the area goes dark and she looks around, confused.  "Uh... when did Bardigan get so powerful?  And what's he doing?"
Dusk smiles to Chance as he keeps watching the event as well.  He gives the other unicorn a nods, "Of course!"  He himself mingles and blends into the crowd some too.  He appears near Fluttershy at some point, "Greetings, Lady Fluttershy," his voice comes up before she sees him.  "Nice to see you here as well."
Soaring out from the sky after a long, long sleep from her great ordeal last night, Medley touches down in Ponyville with a playful unfurl of her wings.  Tilting her head upwards to enjoy the warmth upon her face, she gives a shake of her mane out.  Over her tail is a big, bright yellow bow, a throwback sign to her younger days as she seeks out Rainbow and Fluttershy in the crowd of ponies, heading over to them with a happy call out to them,  "Hey guys!"
Aurichalcum grabs another custard tart for the road and stops by Chance before he leaves. "I think that it'sz time to get back to the workshop, but I'm very curiousz about this egg. Come find me later."
Celestia catches some of the golden sparkles in her mane. It actually makes her mane sparkle even more magnificently. Maybe she should continue to add that to her mane on a regular basis... hmmm...
Diamond_Dancer gives a lil yawn and manuvers herself towards Firefly, and climbs onto a cloud beside her. It's laaaate for her (She's used to being awake in the night now.) so she hunkers down next to her sister in arms for the Princess and sh-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Rainbow_Dash "This is Sir Pauldron!" says Rainbow Dash, indicating him again next ot herself (he bows again). "He's a old vet who's also a big expert on this stuff. Meetings? We haven't decided yet, actually! Kinda checking the interest first."
Bardigan now finally comes down to the ground (within reach of grabby guards if they want to be that enthusiastic. He catches one of the glowing orbs and tumbles when he hits the ground, presenting it to Celestia like a foreign envoy offering a gift with a flourish of his cloak and a - dare one say it - roguishly flirtatious grin to the Princess. "Look! And tomorrow late, tell me, whether both th' Indias of spice and mine be where thou leftst them, or lie here... with me." He waves a hoof over the orb, and it becomes a tray of sweet and spicy smelling spices. Imported, obviously, from as far away as Saddle Arabia if the smells are to be believed. Meant to ignite old, hopefully happy memories for the Princess, perhaps? "Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday, and thou shalt hear, All /here/ in one bed lay."
Scope #drop
"I should get back." Clockwork states simply, looking toward home. "You are free to come or to stay and come home later. I will make dinner." Such a statement from Clockwork might be something to be wary of, as Starscape might know. She begins to lower on her stilts as she heads for home.
Celestia leans in to smell the tray of spices laid before her hooves. "Thank you, Bardigan," the Princess says with a warm smile.
Berry_Punch looks to the apparent knight, sizing him up.  "Hi!  I'm Berry.  So this isn't a just-for-pegasi thing, then?  Cause I think I could maybe be good at it, or at least have fun!"  She flexes one of her forelegs with gusto.  "I'm sort of an athlete."  She sniffs the air and realizes there are Saddle Arabian spices around.  "Mmmm... that smells nice."
Tejene does finally step into the square and when he does there's only a few blood-curdling screams of terror from just a handful of ponies who never got the memo. 'Run for your lives! It's the sorceror! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!' There's a low groan from the zebra, and a facehoofing. "One day they will understand my kind is no threat to this land." At least some other ponies go chasing the others down, presumably to give them the afforementioned memo. Oh well. Tejene shrugs, and filters into the crowd.
Fluttershy smiles. "Hello, Dusk. H-hello, Medley. And...Berry. How is everypony?"
Chance smiles warmly to Firefly. "I just wanted to wish you a fine Summer Sun Celebration since you're here in ponyville. How have things been up in Canterlot?"
Once she strides to Fluttershy, Medley can feel the heat of a dozen lightbulbs flash her way as the camera wielding ponies try to get a shot of the pop-star-returned.  She gives a wave of her hoof shyly for a moment before she leans in to bump her shoulder against Fluttershy's shoulder.  "Hey, thank you for everything last night."  She says with a wink.  "I got something for you tonight."
Rainbow_Dash looks up and sees Fluttershy at last, and Medley! "Yo! YO!" she shouts, waving excitedly and forgetting to use words for a while.
Starscape turns back to her and awws, "Well, I suppose I need to finally get some sleep in; how I've stayed up this long is beyond me. Amazing event, though, wouldn't you say?? So much going on." He looks over the scene one more time, still a thriving one, ponies dancing, ponies conversing, flying and magicking and sampling the wares and cuisine. He allows a frown back at Clockwork, just a brief thought about how the crowd might be getting to her. "Gee, I hope she was having fun..." He flaps just behind, swooping out in front of her and grinning, "Weren't the fireworks spectacular?! Those tarts were good. We'll have to do this more often!"
Bardigan steps back, shaking his head as he bows lower than Celestia, to show his respect. "She's all states and princes," he says, looking fondly up at the Princess, obviously referring directly to her. "I? Nothing else is. Princes do but play us; compared to this, all honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy. Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we, in that the world's contracted thus. Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be To warm the world, that's done... in warming /us./" He removes his hat and bows again, hiding the emotion on his face. He lifts his head again with a wistful smil. "Shine here to us, and thou art everwhere; this bed thy center, these walls... thy SPHERE!" And he twirls around to throws his hooves up, for the fireworks have only just reached their GRAND FINALE!
Clockwork goes home.
Dusk smiles to Fluttershy and nods, "I am quite well too, thank you.  It is a delight to see you at such an event."  He manages to stay out of all the different phootos, even being nearby Fluttershy and Medley.  Perhaps he's partly related to bigfoot that way.
BOOM! FWOOSH! POP! Go all kinds of color negative fireworks as they burst into stars, great constellations in the sky, happy faces and pretty patterns. Also, they're pretty darn loud. By the way, KRA-BOOM!
Celestia waits until the poet finishes before looking up into the sky, watching as fireworks burst into the firmament. She brings up her hooves to politely applaud his work. "Excellent work, Bardigan. You truly do me great honor." SHe steps forward and gives him his reward - a tender, light kiss to his forehead. And then she turns, a guard collecting up the spices.
Medley gives a wild wave of her own to Rainbow Dash as she giggles, eyes widening at the sight of the fireworks exploding in the sky.  With a grin, she starts to stomp her hoof into the ground.  Thud.  Thud.  Thud.  Thud.  It seems that she is creating a beat as her eyes light up playfully.
( Only a short time later, the Princess reappears on the stage. A guard brings up a megaphone, but she waves him away. "And now, I welcome the next performance in this great Summer Sun Celebration - straight from Canterlot, please welcome Medley!" And then the Princess floats her way off the stage. Only to reappear right in front of Fluttershy and Dusk. "Now, about this egg, Mister Dusk..." )
BlueFeather chirps and cocks her head, wings splaying and drooping, and for a momant blocking Dusk's vision.  Wait, what? when did Dusk get a foal on his head? She cocks her head, looking around, then her little horn lights up as she tests to see the emotional state of the ponys around her, wings lifting, ready to flee at a momants notice if she feels she needs to.
Bardigan's job done, reward received, Bardigan simply vanishes into the crowd once more.
Rainbow_Dash giggles as Medley tries to start up a show. C'mon, even she can't outdo Bardigan right now! Or can she? -- As Rainbow is distracted, it
Dusk can't help finding himself just a bit curious though, seeing as Celestia seemed to be suggestion she had some egg-object-related tale to tell.  Which such curiosity can be its own hazard, as he's likely skip a little bit of reason.  And almost as if this thinking about it brings it about, Celestia appears before him once more. *Blink*  No, wait, he's not blinking.  That darkness is a little blue foal upon his head, wings blocking his view.  Seems he has another well placed distration, "Greetings again, Your Highness.. OH!  And Little Blue!"  He grins and lifts her, giving a little nuzzle.
As Rainbow is distracted, it's up to Pauldron to answer Berry's questions. "Ah, the art of the Joust has strange origins. The earth ponies invented it, the pegasi refined it, and the unicorns brought it to its full glory when they perfect mithril smelting. It is an art for everypony, mare or stallion, though atheleticism is, of course, an asset."
Thud.  Thud.  Thud.  Thud.  As Medley continues to pound the ground before her, the crowd about her starts to spread out to give her room.  As she continues to stomp her hoof into the ground, the ponies surrounding her begins to do the same, creating a loud, vibrating rumble that echoes through the huge celebration.  With a motion of her hoof to Rainbow Dash to join her, she gives her wings another flare outwards as she starts to playfully dance for the crowd.  By now, the stomping of the hooves about her is like a loud heart-beat.  "We keep heading in the same direction.  You've become my own reflection.  Is that your soul that you're trying to protect?  I always hoped that we could intersect, yeah."  She sings out, her voice pure as leaps into the air with a twirl.  "Alive! Alive! Alive is all I want to feel!  Hey! You! Look around! Can you hear that noise? It's a rebel sound!  We got no-ooo-where else to go! And when the sun goes down and we fill the streets! You're gonna dance till' the morning to
till' the morning to the rebel's beat!  You can take everything from me, but this is all I need!"  Yoink! She reaches down with a hoof to Dash to try and tug her to the sky with her.
Berry_Punch watches the grand finale of whatever craziness is going on.  She takes in Celestia's gracious reaction to the bard.  Then, grinning, she turns back to find that Rainbow is waving down Medley, who's starting a concert!  Awesome.  "Rock on!" she shouts in Medley's general direction, and then, shrugging, she speaks with the veteran jouster.  "So, are you from the Crystal Empire?  I heard jousting's a Crystal kind of thing."
The sound of so many ponies stomping at once rises and fills the area, making it hard to hear most anything over it as they all get into the wonderful performance.
Chalice_Flame imitates the dancing moves done by Medley, she wants in it seems.
"Yes, a pleasure," the Princess of the Sun muses with a coy little smile. "Now, I know that you're here to enjoy the celebration... but you can expect me to visit your center sometime in the next week." Celestia pulls out a little piece of paper and scribbles down a reminder note. She sticks it right on Dusk's nose. Huzzah, sticky-ntes!
BlueFeather knows allmost nothing about any sort of egg, she blinks, wings faning with Dusk picks her up, little horn glowing green as she squirms and atempts to free herself, course, it would help if she whould actualy have a clue what to do with that thing on her head. Finnaly so she speaks up, "Wanna be up high, so can see, no trust ponys, better able watch them!" Her wings flick a little, not even noticing that Celestia has apeared infront of Dusk. Hey, shes a kid, kids are quite powerfull in 'SHort Attention Span'.
Sugar_Rush waits to see if anyone else would like some treats...
Celestia oohs! Treats. Short-attention-span-Princess gives Dusk a little wink before turning and making her way to Sugar Rush. Her poor guards are running themselves in circles trying to follow her. She walks up to Sugar Rush's stand and peruses.
Rainbow_Dash yelps as Medley suddenly takes her for a ride. "Whoa, hey!" she declares, but pretty soon she's joining in, improvising (rather roughly) some moves to accompany Medley's.
Despite his size, Mac can indeed get lost in a crowd from time to time, however this time, Mac has actually disappeared from the sidelines, watching the festivities. However, it's not long until the rhythmic beating of the crowds hooves to the beat becomes slightly broken by the even louder and heavier steps of Big Macintosh, followed by the echo of a loud rumbling and creaking as a backdrop. After a few moments, Mac pulls around the corner and into the square, behind him is the biggest barrel most ponies ever have seen on a wagon that, for all intents and purposes is little more than a frame with wheels and rounded slats, built specificially to fit one of the oversized barrels that dwarfs even the farm stallion. At the back, a familiar cider spigot, freshly tapped.
Chalice_Flame notices Sugar Rush offering treats and trots over to accept some.
Bardigan goes home.
Sugar_Rush immediately drops into a bow as the princess comes over and starts looking over his wares. "Your Highness, might I offer you some of these marshmellows, decorated in your honor with your cutie mark?"
Moonbeam looks over to Maplewing. "These are wonderful!"
Oh good grief, it's that electric pop music. Not that Tejene doesn't like it, but it is far too loud. What with the whole screaming crowds and bass cannons. The zebra produces a pair of foam earplugs out of Zebraspace and jams them into his ears. Ah, much better. Now he can just feel the rythm without going deaf, lovely! He continues picking his way through the crowd, the solitary black-and-white mohawk sticking up over most ponies' heads.
Dusk grins and nuzzles Blue some more and nods, "Of course, Little Lady."  He is here to enjoy the event, but seeing as Celestia is here, and she is kind of the event itself, he supposes.. Well be blinks again at the note as he puts Blue back atop of his head carefully.  "Well of course, Princess.  I would look forward to it."  He notes to himself he is still waiting for his last one week appointment, which has been about a year and a half so far.  So this one should be sometime after the next couple of Summer Solstices.  And he really does want to hear more of what she had to say about the egg.
"You know that life is like a ticking clock!  Nobody knows when it's gonna stop, yeah! Before I'm gone I need to touch someone! With a word, with a kiss, with a decent song, yeah!  Alive! Alive!  Alive is all I want to feel! Tonight! Tonight!  I need to be where you are, I need to be where you are!"  Medley continues to sing to the crowd as she listens to the loud pounding of hooves which create the beautiful backbone of her song.  "Hey! You! Look around! Can you hear that noise? It's a rebel sound!  We got no-ooo-where else to go! And when the sun goes down and we fill the streets! You're gonna dance till' the morning to the rebel's beat!  You can take everything from me, but this is all I need!"  With a spin about Rainbow Dash as she dances in the sky, her voice sings out again, "Cause' there's no worries, there's no cares! Feel the sound that's everywhere!"  As the ponies about them pound their hooves into the ground, it practically sends a rumble upwards into the air to ruffle her feathers and whi
and whip her mane back.  That, or it's just the special effects she's creating with her own natural magic.  "Hey! You! Look around!  Can you hear that noise? It's a rebel sound!"
Maplewing grins to Moonbeam and bows his head at the kind review. "Much appreciated" he says to her, puffing his chest out a little before his eyes bulge out of his head as he spots Celestia approaching and make her way right up to Rush's cart. He offers a bow of his head as her magesty passes, and grins broadly to his friend, giving him the stallion equivilent of a thumbs up, if he had thumbs.
Discord goes home.
And the very moment Big Macintosh pulls the enormous barrel into place, a familiar orange form leaps up on top of it and calls out to the enormous crowd! "HAY, ALL Y'ALL, GOOD FRIENDS AN' TRUE / Fresh cider here, our famous brew! / Sweet Apple's Best, to you from me / So COME AN' GET IT! First taste's free!" And with that, Applejack hops down next to the barrel and flips out a portable cash stand from her saddlebags and grins at the crowd. "That there's what we call 'a' jingle'!"
AND THEN THE SQUIRRELS ATTACKED.
Rainbow_Dash does surprisingly well improv-ving her dance moves, her body swaying sinuously and her wings flapping in time to the beat. Now /this/ is real dance music! Pretty soon she starts joining in the singing, too, but not so loud as to be heard over Medley; that was her thing!
Oh no! But really, the squirrels and birds of celebrations past, acting on their training, suddenly rappel and fluitter down from above, carrying bright streamers in their little mouths.
Chalice_Flame trots over to stand in line for apple cider now.
BlueFeather is rather good at sticking to things when she wants to now, so shes safe enough atop of Dusk's head, wings flicking and faning, posaly providing a nice little breeze for Dusk below her as well. She continues to watch all the ponys, trying not to show how scared she is being out in public with so many stranger ponys around.
Berry_Punch pumps her leg.  "Hay, yeah!  I can hear that noise!" she shouts back to the performer.  "It's a rebel sound!  I got nooowhere else to go!  And I'm gonna dance 'till I don't wanna!  Cause it's a rebel sound!"  She titters to herself  and calls again to Tejene.  "how're ya doing, bars?  Like the music?  Yeah, I thought so."  He probably can't hear her with those things on.  And then she abandons Pauldron, because all her senses are telling her something huge and important just hit the scene.  A cloud of dust remains behind as Berry queues up for cider.  "That's what I call a jingle!" she echoes Applejack, grinning.
Big_Mac's hooves scrabble a little as he tries to haul that massive barel to a stop, in fact, he ends up sliding a few feet from where AJ sets up the cash stand, the barrel that large and heavy that even he has a time getting its momentum stopped. His head lowers and eyes squint at his sisters hollerin', He never did understand what side of the family her pipes came from.
"And it gets lonely when you live out loud! When the truth that you seek isn't in this crowd!  You better find your voice, better make it LOUD!  We've gotta burn that fire or we'll just burn out!"  Medley continues to sing with Rainbow Dash with a laugh as she spins and maneuvers about with her.  "We are free tonight! And everything's alright!  Put your arms around me, baby, show me how to move you!  Cause' there's no worries, there's no cares! Feel the sound that's everywhere! We'll take what's ours for once and baby, we'll run like hell!" Medley pounds her hoof into the sky.  "Hey! You! Look around! Can you hear that noise? It's a rebel sound! We got no-oh-where else to go! And when the sun goes down and we fill the streets - you're gonna dance till' the morning to the rebel's beat!"  As her voice sings out the last note, she is all laughter now as her eyes twinkle playfully, giving a bow in the sky to the roaring crowd.  "Happy Summer Sun Celebration!"  She calls out.
Applejack unloads mugs from the wagon and passes them to Mac to fill while she happily accepts everypony's bits, smiling broadly. True to their word, this here's some FINE cider, sharp and tangy, pressed from the summer's earliest bloomers! As it happens - she gets it from the Smiths. Particularly the Germane branch of the family - y'all ever heard Uncle Strudel yodel?
( "Put your arms...wait, arms?" Rainbow Dash is trying hard to sing along, but she doesn't know the lyrics so she finds herself always a step behind. Still, she has quite a bit of fun, and she gives Medley a big hug. "Great to have you back Medley!" )
Fluttershy finds herself right in close proximity to the Most Tallest Princess of All. "Um." ...how do you tell a princess you can't see the show through her body? Fluttershy gently lifts off the ground to see the stage.
Firefly looks over to the Night Errant as she settles in, then back to Chance. "Ah, thank you. I trust the moutains have been safe lately?" lifting an eyebrow. "As for Canterlot, I avoid it. To noisy and all the hot air. I zip in and out of the palace balconies mostly.
Moonbeam smiles to Maple. "YOu do make some lovely candies Maplewing. I know I'll e back for more of those orangy ones."
Unhitching himself, Mac carefully makes his way around behind the barrel on wheels and looking a bit peculiar trying to pussyfoot through the crowd. Sure he has weight to throw around, but that's not very nice. Reaching his sister, he dives into the filling of mugs, squeaking the tap open and filling one after another, not bothering to even close it between mugs.
Celestia smiles warmly down to Sugar Rush as he presents his treats. "Oh, how wonderful! Thank you... these look delightful." The Princess promptly gets herself a small assortment of the treats. "What else do you have, Sugar RUsh?"
Hugging Rainbow Dash back tightly in her forelegs, Medley smiles brightly at her best friend.  "It's good to be back."  She says as she gives her a peck on the nose before she drops back down to the ground, showered in flashes of light bulbs going off as she waves to the crowd, then motions for them to hound the real guest of honor, the Princess.
Maplewing beams brighter at Moonbeam. "I may have to make these ones a regular." he laughs. "THey seem to be quite the hit!" he says to Moonbeam, quite proud of himself.
Chance nods softly to Firefly. "Pleasant for picnics and ponies." he answers. "Starfire and I should come up more often, to both see the princess and give you greetings. We still need to ask her about our doing our wedding."
Rainbow_Dash: blinks. What is it with ponies kissing her lately? Ah well, at least that song was great! She slowly descends and makes her way to the Princess, remembering that she hasn't talked to her yet. "Yo, Princess!" she shouts, zooming over to her.
Dusk smiles up at Blue, doing his best to keep her nice and safe too, and being in areas that aren't too much right in the middle of too many ponies that Blue would be afraid of.  But he does make sure she gets a nice view, taking in the big stage off in the distance, and able to look out over most all the ponies, other than Celestia and a few others.  He works is way over to the cider stand too, getting her and Blue some regular beverages, nothing hard.
Sugar_Rush smiles, "I have lemon drops, salt water taffy, lollipops, and all-day suckers!" He quickly assembles several small paper sacks, each filled with the aforementioned treats. "Is there anything else I might get or do for you, Your Highness?"
Firefly says "You two still have not gotton married?" tilting her head. "I would have bet on little ones by now." laughing gently. "But yes Starfire works at the palace, and you are welcome anytime you wish to visit. Ceremonies or no."
Berry_Punch calls back to Medley with enthusiasm.  "I already told you I could hear that noise, 'cause it's a rebel sound!" she calls back jsust before the song ends.  She taptaptaps her hoof in line behind Chalice Flame.
Chance gives Firefly a light smile. "Well, we're not in that much of a hurry. We're enjoying the quiet life, for now." he admits. "And I thank you for that. I for one enjoy visiting all of you in the palace. Even Scope, though he seems to be a bit more serious these days."
Medley giggles to Berry Punch as she dances a bit in place, wings ruffling happily.  "I'm glad you liked the song!"  She heads into the lines with the other ponies so that she can get herself some treats as she has found herself thirsty and hungry.
( Applejack tips her hat to the customers! "Howdy do, Dusk an' Blue!" She raches to accept their money before her expression turns to a sheepish grin. "Tarnation, Ah spent half th' afternoon workin' on that there jingle, now Ah'm rhymin' by accident?" That done, she turns to her brother. "Take over fer a minute, 'kay? Ah'll be right back." - and so saying, she (carefully!) collects four full mugs of cider, balancing them on her back, and trots over to where the Princess is - but more importantly, where her friends are. )
Tejene doesn't teleport, per-se, but does sort of.. materialize next to Big Mac. There's something to be said for stealth and urgency. He isn't very good at huge crowds of anything that doesn't have stripes. Without so much as a word he steps in to passing mugs along the production line, and nudges the big red stallion with a shoulder. "Why exactly is the whole town out on this day?" It's too loud out here to rhyme. "I could hear the celebration for miles away." Or not.
Firefly laughs and waves a wing. "Well, one has to pew something now and then or you get cranky. I usually go to Everfree and,,," peeking around and adding in a softer tone. "tease rocs for some aerial combat training."
Moonbeam giggles and nods. "I'll certainly be around a lot if you do."
Celestia ooooohs. "Well, I'd hate to choose... everything looks so- oh, perfect!" the Princess has one of the guards following her around pick up the delightuful little bundle of treats. "Thank you so very much! I hope your business has been good so far? There's been quite a crowd."
Angel fallas asleep cutely on Fluttershy's back.
BlueFeather takes the offered mug os cider rather carefully in a soft green glow, having to concentrate to keep control properly. SHe levitates the mug up to her muzzle, and takes a sip, then she gives a soft little awww, she was kinda hoping for something harder. Luna, and AB are to blaim for that though.
Berry_Punch reeeeaches past Chalice, Dusk and Bluefeather with a long foreleg and flexible shoulder to tap Tejene on his own.  "Hey!  It's Summer Sun, dude!  Take those things out of your ears and party down!"  She starts bending all her knees left and right in turn as if the music were still going.
Sugar_Rush smiles, "Well enough, Your Highness. I hope you enjoy my sweets. If you require more, I would of course be most happy to provide them!" He takes a moment to wave to the Apple clan, and also to nod to Maple. He turns back to the Princess of the Sun, "Oh, and if I might offer a suggestion? Please try the creations of my friend, Maplewing. He truly is a master when it comes to making goods with the flavor of maple."
Big_Mac's eyes widen as Applejack suddenly leaves him in charge, frantically shifting between filling mugs and collecting bits, not to mention the free first rounds which /really/ keep him busy. At first he doesn't even notice Tejene feeding him full mugs, his state of panic racing and somehow telling him he's still filling mugs. It's not until Tejene speaks to him does he notice the Zebra. "Err, longest.... day of... th' year!" he says in spurts between taking mugs and passing them out.
Chance smirks lightly to Firefly, and says also in hushed tones, "I've dealt with rocs myself.. but it's not quite the same when there's others one needs to try to help protect with you."
Dusk smiles and chuckles back to AJ.  Indeed he hadn't known her to be one to rhyme or even sing so much.  He figured she'd be too embarrassed even.  But then at a big event like this you do need to get ponies's attention somehow.  "Well you're doing a fine job of it, Lady Applejack."  He pays her the bits and accepts the drinks before wandering a bit more.  He does admire Tejene's hoofwork.  Very nice.  Only to find Berry reaching past and has to chuckle.  He smiles up at Blue and takes a sip of his own.  He's certainly not giving her anything harder than that.
Celestia nods to Sugar Rush. "I absolutely will, Sugar Rush, thank you!" the Princess says before bowing her head politely to the marshmellow vendor. "I shall most certainly return if I find any greater need for your sweets. Thank you again, Sugar Rush." She then turns and looks for aforementioned Maplewing.
Firefly laughs. "True, I rarely have to fret about that." grinning. "Bardigan asked me to fight him, so I've been making sure I am in top shape."
Dusk would agree that yes it is a lot more tricky when taking care of others with you than just being out on your own.  Especially if the place is burning down around you at the same time too.
Chance gets curious now. "Bardigan? He's a fighter? In your league?" he inquires, ears all perked up.
( By this time, Maple's cart has been pretty much picked bare, and, upon Rush's motion toward him, the stallion can only be seen as a rump sticking out of one of the under-wagon compartments as he fishes for more boxes to keep up with the demand. Hearing his name, his head THUMPS loudly with a dull echo to it before he staggers back a few steps to land on his rump. "Wait... what?" he stammers sorely, looking up to meet gaze with Celestia and freezing for a moment, a box or two of treats in his 'lap' that had followed him out from benaeth the cart. )
Applejack weaves through the crowd until she reaches Rainbow Dash and the Princess. And then, with the classical etiquette born of years of farm labor, she addresses the pegasus first. "Hay, Dash. Ah know y'all had a bit of a hard time with th' cider there last year, so Ah brough y'all a mug special, courtesy o' Sweet Apple Acres!"
As she trots over to Dash's side again once she snags an icecream bar for herself, Medley gives a broad grin to Apple Jack as well.  "Hope you got one more in there!"  She says with a wink to the southern pony with a giggle.  "I'm parched."
Tejene grows quickly bored with moving the mugs, filling them, rinsing the used ones, and all that. There's much work to be done. He mutters something about "Production Line, attention please! Streamline thyself and grant your benefactors an ease." then things start moving ...by themselves. Mugs are washing themselves, sliding down the shelf to the spigot. The zebra fills them, and they slide over to Big Mac. The magic seems to go away when a mug is handed out, but the moment it returns to the empty bin it takes hold again. Now less distracted, Tejene makes confersation. "I see this is the peak of the season, but to why celebrate I fail to reason."
Fluttershy aws. "Look at Angel. He's all tuckered out." She tucks the bunny into her saddlebag...and the space on her back is immediately occupied by six brightly-colored birds, singing their little hearts out.
Firefly laughs. "If by the fact Scootaloo could take him down, perhaps." grinning. "He wants to learn to 'dance' and if that's what he wants....well...hehehehehehehe."
( Applejack gives Medley a warm smile. "Ah sure do, sugarcube. Brought y'all one special, too, after th' stuff y'all've bin through lately." Since Rainbow doesn't seem to have noticed her yet, she reaches back and hands the first mug to Medley. )
Firefly says "Don't worry...I won't break him into too many little peices...besides, the Steward cna reassemble him easily enough."
Medley reaches out and takes the mug from Apple Jack with a squeal.  "Thanks AJ!  I really appreciate this!"  She says as she blows the foam from the top off the mug, then takes a quick sip with a flutter of her wings.
Berry_Punch marvels at what the zebra seems to be doing.  She tries to reach one of the moving mugs, but can't quite reach past the pony ahead of her.  "How do you do that?  You don't have a horn!  Cheating!"  But she laughs and keeps watching the impressive assembly line.  Not watching Tejene, she answers: "Who doesn't like celebrating the sun?  But it's for Celestia, really."  She glances at the princess over by Maplewing.  "Isn't it?  I mean, woo, go princess!"  As a much louder afterthought, she pumps her leg again: "GO PRINCESS!!"
Chance smirks lightly. "That doesn't make me feel better about poor Bardigan. I do hope he enjoys the sessions though. I have been meaning to ask someone, and perhaps you're the best one to ask currently, to teach me how to fight properly."
Moonbeam looks over to Maple and asks, "I don't suppose you have any of those orangy ones left over do you? Those would be lovely with breakfast."
Big_Mac gets into a bit of a rhythm, especially as Tejene begins to yell at his customers? No.. the /mugs!?/ He stops and stares a few moments, which is a few moments too long as the mugs back up and begin to topple a little against him, leaving the big stallion frantically handing out mugs for a few moments, just to clear the backlog. Granted, some are half full at this point, but the price is right. "Tha an' our princess comes t' town t' do 'er work!" he says grinning to Tejene, the rhythm growing more stable once the assembly line starts running itself.
( Applejack grins. "Ain't no problem, just you enjoy that an' bring th' mug t'me or Mac when yer done. HAY, RAINBOW DASH? FLUTTERSHY? Where'd they done get to?" )
Dusk has walked over to Chance and Firefly, just standing around and nodding a little as the two chat.  Or so presume he has walked over as only notice he's been there, but not for how long.  He reaches up and rubs Blue's mane a little with a pat.
Celestia makes her way over to Maplewing's almost-bare cart and giggles lightly. Looks like he's had quite a good day! "I was informed by Sugar Rush that I should drop by your stand..." the Princess says before suddenly glancing around as she hears her name. Was that her name? She's pretty sure peple are shouting for the Princess. "Hmm?" the Princess asks befre lookng over at Berry Punch. "Thank you," she says with a tip of her head. "And hello there, Rainbow!" she shouts as the cyan pegasus shouts after her.
Firefly says "Teach you? You?" blinking. "You have an impenatrable defensive trait and a luck skill making you impossible to hit, not even closely. I have not forgotton when we met, after I Dropped Dinky off at the Momma's, the Mail Mare's." "And, most of my skills require flight, for ground tactics Scope would be best suited, if your magic worked."
BlueFeather continues to sip at her cider, even if she wanted the harder stuff, this is still good, and food that shes not dug out from under something, thats a good thing! Still, when Dusk gets close to Firefly and Chance she carefully sets her mug atop of Dusk's head, balancing it with a forehoof, before she waves her wings allmost wildly in greetings to Firefly, before chirping up, "Funny!"
Fluttershy? Oh, Fluttershy! That's you, Fluttershy! Flutters turns and sidles through the crowd until she reaches AJ's Concession Stand. "Hello, AJ."
"Heya Princess! Great Summer Sun, as usual, of course!" she grins and bows deeply to her Princess in midair. Then she here's her name, and that voice sounds very familiar. "Yo Applejack! And - whoa, there you are, Flutters!" She zips right over and tries to give her frineds big wing-hugs.
Tejene just keeps working the spigot, occasionally adding or subracting a word or even a syllable from the production line's enchantment. He nods a little to Big Mac, too. "In Zebrica this day signals the grip of the arid season." Then after a moment he thinks better of recalling the tale. "Perhaps.. later I will explain the reason." Oh man that's cheating, he rhymed the same words twice but in different order.
Maplewing smiles to Moonbeam "Well, I think a few boxes left, though, I can always make more." he admits, fumbling to pull himself back to his hooves to assemble the boxes neatly and tuck them back into the cart's display and nervously ushering the princess to take a look at his various and commonly flavored wares, ranging from cupcakes to butter tarts, candied apples, all with maple syrup or sugar worked into it somehow. "Oh, by all means, Princess. THough I have to admit, Sugar Rush is by /far/ the better confectioner." he laughs, still quite nervous.
( Applejack was actually calling from near the Princess. She notices Flutershy's confused expression and catches up to her quickly - just as Rainbow Dash arrives for violent airborn hugs! "Howdy, Fluttershy! Rainbow! Ah brought y'all some cider. Here!" And without further ceremony, she passes over a foamy mug to Dash and Flutters. )
Dusk isn't sure what Chance needs to learn combat for either.  From his experience any pony that tried to openly attack him would have it turned back on them.  It's about as good a combat system as any pony could ask for.  He doubts Chance wants to openly attack somepony not coming after him or another.  He grins at Blue as she finally notices the others and brings attention their way.  Dusk takes another small drink of cider and smiles.  Mmmm good indeed.
Berry_Punch knew Tejene was cheating!  Finally reaching the front of the line, she takes two half-full mugs, combines them into one, and pays Mac the full price.  "Oh, sure, sure, zebrican weather.  So, what, do you celebrate the winter solstice?  'Cause we do that too."  Gulp, gulp.
Moonbeam giggles. "Oh good, I do think I will be buying a couple boxes a week from you." moving aside and bowing for the Princess. "The tarts sure look good too."
"Holy horseapples you made /cider/!" Rainbow Dash declares, immedietely zipping over to obtain a mug of her own. "Sweet! There's some left for me!" She takes her mug and immedietely glugs half it down in one drink. *URP* she goes!
Chance says "I..." He pauses, then lets out a soft breath. "I can't do magic. Apparently, my talent uses it all. I want to learn how to fight, so I can protect myself more, and hopefully my talent will decide to work less. It'll be less chaotic because of that, since I can't actually control it. If I can keep it from being needed in the first place.." he explains. "If I can learn to protect myself.."
( Applejack rubs her bruised hoof ruefully. Rainbow grabbed that so fast she didn't really have a chance to let go! )
Big_Mac grins to Tejene and nods. "Eeyup, ah reckon ah 'kin do th' same... " he says in regards to explaining further, the big stallion busy in the process of mostly exchanging bits for cider now, having covered most of the free round unless a pony speaks up. He grins to Berry and tips his head at her generosity, tucking the bits into the cash box. "Thank y'!"
Chalice_Flame leaves the line for applecider and returns to the line for sweets. Seems she's having trouble making up her mind what to do here.
Firefly grins to Bluefeather. "Yes, funny is here." then looks back to Chance as Dusk walk over. "A pegasus who can't do weather and a Unicorn who can't do magic." she comments. "So there may be truth in that old saying, kindred spirits are drawn together." then thinks. "My tactics are aerial, Scope's are Magic based...I am not sure how I can help thee, except to just ask your opponant to bet wether you will win or not."
Fluttershy smiles. "Ooh! Thank you, AJ. That's so thoughtful of you." She sips and sips, getting a yellow foam stache across her upper lip. "Look at Angel. He's sleeping."
Starfire awws over by Fluttershy, sipping some cider. "Bunnies are so kyute when they are sleeping."
"Thank you, Rainbow Dash! I'm very glad you enjoyed it," the Princess calls up to the Rainbow pony before she flies off towards the cider. Oh dear. Well, this should be... interesting. The Princess returns her eyes to Maple's cart and she peruses the goods. "Well, these look delightful!" Celestia muses. "Would go great with some cider..." she says partially under his breath.
BlueFeather gives a bob of her head, "Anna Fall too." She cocks her head a little, then sips from her mug if cider, lifting the mug in a faint green glow, befoe setting it carefully back down atop of Dusk's head. She might not say it, but, she is rather gratefull that Dusk is so kind to her.
Dusk ahs and can see what Chance is going for now.  And that does make quite a bit of sense.  Because if Chance isn't in danger, because he's handling it himself, then it should make sense the talent would not be needed.  Or perhaps it would only kick in enough to make sure he wins the fight.  It does tend to minimize its applied force.  Firefly doesn't actually see Dusk walk over, just that he's been there.  Probably lost in milling ponies until then.  "Want to go see Miss Funny, Little Blue?"  He then does walk in closer, now that been addressed, "Greetings.  Didn't wish to interrupt."  He smiles to Chance and Firefly.
Rainbow_Dash/loves/ her cider! "Hey, AJ, you shoulda seen Bardy's big show! 'Course, I kinda missed it myself, heh." She looks over at Fluttershy. "Heheh, nice moustache, Flutters!" she teases.
Maplewing grins to Celestia and nods. "It sure does, though I much prefer my own spiced cider, I can have some delivered, if you'd like." he offers as he begins assembling a sampler pack for the princess, tucking at least a couple of everything he has left into one of his white treat boxes, to which he offers to the Princess. "Please, on the house." he offers with a humble bow of his head.
Dusk ponders and adds, "Perhaps you only need to learn enough combat, Mr. Chance, if don't mind my input, that your talent can give a small assist to complete the rest."
( Applejack smiles at Fluttershy, and suppresses a chuckle at the foamstache. "T'ain't nothin'! Aw, he *is* cute, ain't he? First time Ah ever did see him live up t' his name, Ah reckon. Pardon me, would ya? Her Highness is lookin' a mite parched." She touches her hat brim to Fluttershy and makes her way back to Celestia. "Ahem. Beg pardon, yer Highness? Ah brought y'all a nice mug o' cider, compliments o' Sweet Apple Acres!" )
It's a borrowed spell, honestly, but Tejene does good at fine-tuning it. "Higgitius Figgitus matter of fact. Through the wash and around the back. Bits and mugs and cider no lack, clean out all the bric-a-brack." Now he's REALLY weaving magic.  "Clean and dry to the spigot in front, to the pony selling `em." The wash pan is clicking a beat on the ground and the scrub brush is keeping time with the sploosh of the cider spigot which is now operating itself. "Clean and dry to the spigot in front, prestigitonium!" And that's it. The cider is literally selling itself! Neither zebra nor apple stallion really need to do much other than watch.
Berry_Punch speeds through the crowd to watch the princess getting her complimentary mug of cider while she finishes her own.  Looks like this is the entertainment for now!
Big_Mac's hooves continue to fidget and go through the motions, well, they try to at least. It takes Mac a few moments to finally just /stop/ trying to do something to help as the Cider sells itself. Looking to Tejene he chuckles "Ah'm not sure ah like this... but where were 'yeh earlier?" he says to his striped friend, still looking uncomfortable about not doing something that resembles work.
Sugar_Rush takes a moment to go over to Big Mac and the apple cider stand, "Hey there! Mind if I get something cool to drink?"
Rising_Dawn goes home.
Celestia nodnods to Maplewing. "I would love for you to deliver a barrel sometime! My sister and I quite enjoy Cider, after all. ... Make it two barrels, then, now that I consider it." Luna will down at least one barrel in a single night. "Thank you, Maplewing." The Princess has one of her guards pick up the treats before she bows her head back to the maple-pony before perking as APplejack approaches with a free cider. "Oh! Thank you, Applejack. I truly appreciate it." Celestia hovers the  mug of cider up to her lips and takes a long drink. Okay, she drinks the whole mug at once.
Chance considers between training under a pegasus or a unicorn. "Would there be any earth ponies for palace guards that could teach me?" he asks. He's guessing not, but also guesses if there are, they'd probably be amoung the best fighters around. He glances to Dusk and smiles to his friend, then perks his ears visibly at Dusk. "But if I don't know any combat, how would I know what's enough?"
Tejene pulls a mug off the assembly line and hoofs it over to Big Mac. "Once in a while you need a break my friend." He pulls a mug for himself, too, and flicks a few Zebrican gold pieces into Mac's cash box. "A little assistance never hurts in the end."
Fluttershy watches Celestia chug. She...she just takes a little sip herself. Princesses are bigger in all ways.
Maplewing bows his head again to Celestia with a smile. "It would be my pleasure, Princess. of course, I start with the best cider around." he says as he motions to Applejack upon her approach. "But it has quite a nice twist, especially nice when warmed in the winter." he rambles, catching himself after a moment and stammering slightly. Grinning at the expressed enjoyment of Cider, Maple chuckles. "I'll be sure to make them the big barrels." he adds with yet another little tip of his head.
Berry_Punch stands beside Fluttershy and finishes off her cider.  She glances knowingly at the vet and back at Celestia.  "Nice party, huh?"  Louder, she shouts toward the stage: "What happened to the entertainment??!"
Firefly grins to Dusk. "It is no bother, but it would be wise not to let her get to close, in her current condition. My aura would feel hot to her now, and the closer, the hotter. I have yet to learn how to control that myself." then thinks. "We might have to do some testing in your research place Dusk, to see if there are ways to trick Chance's talents into acting in a more stable way." then looks to Chance. "Most of the guards are look pretties, the half who are skilled are kept out of sight until required. Can't have your working tools out in public you know." laughing.
( Applejack kneels to Celestia when the princess takes the mug. "Pleasure's all mine, Yer Highness." She stands up and grins to Maplewing. "Howdy, Maple sugar!" Then back to Celestia, and raises her eyebrows at the One-Gulp Wonder. "Uh... Ah guess Ah c'n take that fer ya if'n y'all're finished..." )
Big_Mac rubs lightly at his head, watching the mugs float by and the bits float in. It just /feels/ wrong, but, he can't complain about the results. "'Stormer keeps tellin' me that too... jus' not our way." he says, taking the offered mug and clinking it with Tejene's. "Ah reckon y've earned 'yerself a barrel of th' good stuff." he adds, grinning to the Zebra. When Rush approaches, he tries his hoof at snagging one of the mugs from the line and offers it to the stark white stallion. "Not a'tall!" he says, hoofing the mug toward him.
Dusk believes Luna already has a standing order for hard cider from the Apples.  In fact he showed up there shortly after she had left with the stock of what they had, at AB's okay, not AJ's.  He's been assisting with speeding up the process of aging the cider since then to keep up with the level of demand.  He nods to Chance, "That is correct, you will need to know enough to handle yourself in a fight.  And you'll probably even want to keep working on it, as the more you know the less the talent may need to step in.  If you were to make a poor mistake, say leaving yourself open for a fatal hit, the talent may have to step up dangerously.  But once you know enough, it may be able to help to make sure you are in just the right places at the right moments."  He tilts his head to Firefly, "Hot?  As in hot with love?"  He grins.  He nods too, "Oh we have been working on meditation and other techniques for Mr. Chance already.  And have tested in talent under various levels of duress."
BlueFeather flicks her wings a little, her head cocking to one side, "Like tease, panic easy, anna scare easy. Snuck in anna made them think wassa changling inna showers." SHe rests her chin on the edge of her mug, contemplating a momant, "No think thay say anypony." She levitates her mug, and takes another little sip, the heavy mug only wobbling a little bit.
Celestia smiles warmly back to Maplewing as he explains his speical spiced cider. "I look forward to sampling it, then! I shall make a request again when the winter comes around," the Princess says with a tender smile to the maplepony before nodding. "Excellent. The bigger the better!" She gives the mug to Applejack before chuckling lightly at her raised-eyebrow-stare. "It gets quite hot raising the sun and all, Applejack," the Princess says with a coy little smile.
Tejene keeps humming the rythm of the spell now and then, just to make sure the timing stays right. No crazy back-ups or any of that. Just one smooth-running assembly line. "It is not a thing to be abused. But to aid a friend magic goes well used." He clinks mugs with Big Mac.
Rainbow_Dash is just chillin' and sipping her cider now, just hanging out with her best buds and the Princess. "Really, Princess? That figures, I guess: the sun is a big hot thing!" Ah, observant as always, Rainbow!
Chance listens to both Dusk and Firefly, nodding to each. "I understand." he tells Firefly. "Perhaps I should check around and see if anyone around here knows how to fight." He stops suddenly in that. "That.. would be a poor idea, actually. If I don't know how to fight yet, they'll be fighting my talent.." He listens to the princess idly while talking, but then suddenly realizes something. "Does Princess Celestia know how to fight?"
Firefly says "Hot as in searing heat....." she comments to Dusk. "Best not to startle her in learning that the hard way." then sits up and laughs a bit. "There is no meditation while one is in combat. Hesitation in either mode, offense or defense, and you're dead. Trust me there. It hurts. A LOT." looking to Chance. "Then it is more inperative you train with someone able to take it."
Maplewing bows his head to Celestia "It'll have quite a few mugs worth." he chuckles, glancing to Applejack after the display of just how quickly the princess will likely go through it. "If you like it, maybe I'll make it a regular thing. After all, both you and Princess Luna have a great deal to do with my trade, even if indirectly" he says.
( Applejack blinks and lays the returned, speedily-emptied mug on her back. "Uh. Ah reckon it must do, Yer Highness. Beggin' yer pardon, but Ah've already left m' brother runnin' th' stand all by his lonesome far too long. 'Scuse me!" She half-bows to Celestia again, flashes a grin to Rainbow, and makes her way back to the stand. The magicked stand. The completely automated by SOME kinda COCKAMAMIE HOODOO stand, where everything has gone COMPLETELY PLUM LOCO while Mac is sitting there DRINKING CIDER!? She stops dead and stares, her mouth hanging open, as the empty mug slides off her back and thwacks to the cobblestones. )
Big_Mac nods deeply to Tejene, head bobbing a little in time to the hummed tune, taking a swig of his cider from time to time. "Eeyup! Jus' don't show this t' 'bloom."
Dusk nods to Firefly, and keeps at a safe distance then.  He nods to Chance too, "Well I would say at first don't do any actual fighting with whom you're training.  Have them teach you moves, and demonstrate but not throwing real blows, so there is no risk of being harmed until you have them down.  Then build up, like we did in when testing the bounds of your talent.  Not that we found the upper ones before risking other ponies."
BlueFeather is not going to beleave something like that, tell she tests it herself, after all, she likes Firefly, and she trusts Firefly, not something thats easy to get Blue to do with any pony. She tilts her head a little, and dips her head into the mug of cider she has, so she can lick the last of it from the bottom of the mug, wings flicking a little, still weirdly balanaced atop of Dusk's head.
Applejack emits a whinny of surprise, then her expression quickly drops from shock to fury. She stalks up to the cider stand, takes a deep breath, then: "JUST WHAT IN THE WIDE WORLD OF EQUESTRIA IS GOIN' ON HERE!? Since when do we use MAGIC at Sweet Apple Acres?!"
Berry_Punch goes back over to the cider stand to get another mug.  She slips by Applejack as she goes, giving her a little bemused look that may or may not be knowing.  And she plunks another two bits on the counter... just before the farmer lets loose, frazzling Berry's mane.  "Uh... it was Tejene.  I told him it was cheatingto do magic without a horn, but eh.  Zebra."
Rainbow_Dash cranes her neck at the sound of AJ's complaints. "Whoa, hey, what's going on?" She hovers over to the booth. "Did something happen to...your cider?" She gawks at the self-animated contraption. What? "Uh...somepony wanna explain something?"
( "Yes, yes it is an extraordinarily hot endeavor, raising it!" the Princess replies to Rainbow Dash with a little smile. "And that would be wonderful, Maplewing, thank you. Let me see what our usual intake is, and I'll have the palace send you an order request once we have forecasted the suitable amount." She tips her head politely before looking back over to Applejack. "Oh, please, don't let me keep yo-" the Princess can't elp but smile as Applejack magicsxplodes. The Princess trots over to watch curiously. Not that the Princess of Equestria really blends into the crowd well. )
Rainbow_Dash hears Berry at once. "Oh, so it's weird zebra hoo-doo! Right." She looks at the cider booth again as it serves up cider all by itself. "Yeah it's kinda totally weird."
Firefly looks to Chance and Dusk. "First off, it is most likely he will not be able to use any 'moves' in close in initial engagement. A defensive move however, would be required, since any decent enemy will open with a ranged attack. Most certinaly so if they know his weaknesses.
That dropped mug takes only a moment to hop up and hover, kind of dancing, over to the assembly line where it sets up to be washed. Though with sales slowing down as everpony in the place has had at least two mugs already the clean mugs simply wash and stack. A few full mugs set up at the sales stand, waiting for ponies to come by. Tejene just gives AJ a smile, "We're in Ponyville Square, I'll have you know. Just thought I'd lend a spell and a little show." Finally things are totally caught up and plenty easy enough to do by hoof. Tejene straighens up and twirls a hoof, "Ala, ka-zam." The entire assembly line freezes, sets down in place, and the spell dissipates.
Big_Mac suddenly becomes rigid as AJ storms over and begins taking strips off his already red backside, and points to Tejene. "'E did it, an' were not on th' farm an' since mah help d'cided t' go visitin.' he says quite plainly to his sister, giving a curt nod of his head.
Chance tries to keep up with Firefly and Dusk. He nods to Firefly, then glances to Dusk. "So.. what does that mean in terms of fighting?"
Maplewing bows his head deeply to Celestia. "But of course, Princes. Granted, my supply is limited by the extra ingredients. I won't be able to supply it in the same quantity as, say, the apples." he admits, giving another bow of his head as the princess excuses herself. "Thank you, Princess." he says appreciatively.
Maplewing takes in a deep breath and smiles to Rush. "Well, I think that went swmmingly for both of us... Can you say "Royal Marshmellow Maker?" he chuckles, giving Rush a firm nudge on the shoulder.
Sugar_Rush erks. "Well, to be honest, I already make deliveries to the castle at Canterlot. Of course, I'm sure I'm just one of several confectioners that supply the castle with goods.", he says modestly.
( Applejack starts in! "Ah don't care WHERE we are, you an' me are ALWAYS Sweet Apple Acres, capisce? An' we don't NEVER EVER USE-" And at that AJ looks around. Uh oh. Gathered a crowd. Containing the Princess!? Oh dear. She grits her teeth and looks to Tejene with a truly horrifying attempt at a smile. "Thank y'all  very much fer yer much-needed help, Mister Tejene. Excuse me please while Ah take mah place here by mah BROTHER." She comes back around behind the stand and hisses under her breath at Macintosh, "And it ain't VISITIN'! Ah was just makin' a delivery an' doin' some advertisin'!" Then she turns back to the crowd... glowers- oops, those are CUSTOMERS. She forces a somewhat less gritted and horrifying smile. *squeenoise* )
Fluttershy frizzes out. Not so loud, Berry! Once her ears stop ringing... "Oh, AJ! W-what's wrong?  I, uh..." ...Fluttershy wilts a bit.
Dusk has to chuckle a little at the mention of weaknesses and Chance.  "Oh we've tested ranged attacks too.  Though of course if trying to avoid using his talent, I'm not sure what would be the best defensive things he could do without relying on it.  But then I suppose that's what a combat expert would be for."  He nods back to Chance, "Well I say find somepony that is good, and get lessons without putting them at risk.  I could do some basic combat research, any maybe help see if can find any trainers.  Or even train together, and try the techniques on me.  I think your idea is a good one at the core.  It just may be trickier to implement than you might expect."  He is surprised Firefly didn't have some good references though.
Rainbow_Dash chuckles as Applejack goes totally bonkers over the automated cider stand. "Ah, c'mon, AJ, that was kinda fun!" she says, putting her empty mug on the counter. Then she looks at Fluttershy. "Something up, Flutters?"
"It *was* fun," confirms Berry Punch, taking one of the filled mugs.  (She paid before--honest!)  "But I still wanna know how he did it."  She grins back at the almost frowning Applejack.  "Having a good time, AJ?"
Celestia hovers over another mug of cider. SHe siiiiiips it slowly, this time. Hey, at least she didn't down it in one gulp this time.
Big_Mac's brow furrows and finishes the last swig of his cider and raises to his hooves, half unintentionally, half intentionally looming over her a litle, as if to remind the mare of just who she's talking to. "Ah'm well aware." he says plainly, leaving it at that and giving an apologetic look to Tejene for his sisters eruption.
Chance says "Yeah, that sounds promising.. but I'm still wondering if.." He glances around, then spots Celestia enjoying the cider. He trots over in her direction. "Princess Celestia, do you know hoof-to-hoof combat?"
Dusk is still finishing his own mug of cider, and glancing up and smiling at Blue, giving her a pat.  He's not quite sure what all she was going on about though, with the showers and all.  But thinking perhaps best to not go too much into detail right here anyways.  He nods at Chance who then midsentence turns and trots off.  Dusk blinks but almost matter-of-factly, no real surprised reflected in it.  He must be getting blinked out.
Tejene just kind of smiles at Big Mac and chuckles just a little. "Apologies my friend, I had no intention to cause a stir. But I was unaware quite how much it would upset her." No, he hasn't seen that episode, thank you very much. He goes back to Zebrica every winter you know. The zebra gets to his hooves and sets his empty mug in the wash basin.
Applejack, who heard the lengthy and scathing rebuke hidden inside Big Mac's few words, winces. The fight drains out of her and she answers Berry with her eyes downcast. "Yeah. Fine an' dandy." She rallies and looks at the crowd. "Anypony else thirsty? Half price fer th' next five minutes!"
( Well, the sun -is- super bright today. So mayb ehtat's why all the blinking and the wishing they had sunglasses and whatnot. She glances over to Chance curiously. "Hoof-to-hoof combat? Well, yes, I do know how to defend myself. Why do you ask, Chance?" )
Rainbow_Dash giggles aloud at the Apple family's antics. "Aw, you guys, lighten up!" she comments loosely. "Oh wow, half price! I'm in." She tosses down some more bits and helps herself to a second mug.
BlueFeather gives a little shake, then settles down, to sitting atop Dusk's head, still balancing that now empty cider mug up against the base of his horn,  shes shure of her standing, shes not sure of the mug's ability to stay without help
Berry_Punch throws down a bit and helps herself to a third mug before she's finished the second one!  Wait, there we go, she's finished it.  "Aw, it's all good.  The sun comes up every day and the moon comes up every night.  Somehow the princesses never oversleep, and they get up to all *get out* in that palace of theirs.  So enjoy the mystery!"  She guzzles and finally gives up on getting Tejene's attention.
Big_Mac nods deeply to Tejene. "Ah'd not let it get t' ya." he says, looking back to AJ and reaching out to give her a snug around the shoulders and flashes her a little smile, especially as she winces and reads between his very few lines.
( Applejack busies herself with, well, business, exchanging money for delicious goods, until Mac addresses her again. She leans towards him with a little smile. "Thanks, big brother. An', Tejene... thank ya kindly, Ah really mean it." )
Dusk finishes up the last of his own mug and sees Blue somehow beat him to finishing hers.  He magics them both back over to the Apple's booth for non-magically cleaning and taking care of for their next use.  He watches Chance and Celestia talk about combat and listens to see how that might work out.
Applejack gives Mac another little smile. "Tell ya what, yer lookin' plumb tuckered out. Why don't y'all go home? Ah should be able t' handle th' barrel m'self... once it's empty an' all."
Tejene just gives AJ a smile and a nod. Rhyme between the lines if you will. He takes a little bow and heads toward the forest, what with the conclusion of the celebration, cider sales, and all else. Zebras are so weird.
Big_Mac smiles and nods with approval as Applejack apologizes to Tejene, that's more like the sister he knows.  He's just about to raise and start on the backlog of mugs when AJ offers to tend things. "Iffin 'yer sure. Ah 'kin come back 'fer it later." he says, even empty, the size of the barrel is pretty massive. "Y' sure you 'kin keep up?" he presses.
Applejack gives Big Macintosh a dark grin. "Was that a CHALLENGE? Y'all sayin' Ah cain't?"
Chance says "Would you be willing, if you have the time, to teach me in some hoof-to-hoof combat, as to the end that I don't have to rely on the use of my talent in fighting situations?"
Big_Mac's head lowers and he chuckles to AJ "Eenope, don' wanna  bail on y.'" he says deeply
Rainbow_Dash happens to overhear Chance and Celestia's conversation. She slowly, slowly creeps up on them. "...Is somepony talking about /combat/?" she enunciates. "Maybe you should check out my Jousting Club!" At once she hoofs a flyer to Chance and even to Celestia. Rainbow's name is bigger than the actual name of the club.
Applejack's grin brightens. "Naw, Ah got it. Go on, git along. Least Ah can do."
Fluttershy unwilts, now that the Great Cider Crisis is...relatively calmed down. "Um...i-is everypony okay now? I mean, Applejack, are you okay?"
Dusk has to chuckle a little to himself as Dash slips in and hands out advertisements.  Smooth moves.  But indeed she did come here with a knight in tow.  Perhaps there is something to be gained in learning some combat there.  But Celestia would certainly be one of the safest ponies for Chance to face off against.
Big_Mac nods to AJ and gives her a hoof-nudge on the shoulder that is likely a bit harder than he anticipated. "Iffin' yer sure. Ah'll get th' last o' th' chores done." he says, making sure AJ only has to worry about bed when she gets home. "G'luck!" he adds, tipping his head to his sister and the rest of the customers as he makes his way home.
Berry_Punch drinks half her third cider mug, along with a gulp from her flask.  "Oh yeah!" she interrupts, slipping in near Chance, Dash and Dusk.  "Yeah, I'm in for the club.  So how does it work?  Do we need to bring anything?"
Applejack gives a little sigh. "Yeah, Ah'm fine, Flutters. Right as rain. Ah just sorta -OOF!" (Mac's nudge) " -let stuff get th' best o' me fer a moment there. Ah'm sure! See ya in a bit, Mac."
Tejene heads off to the forest in the meantime, wandering through the crowd. Though he does stumble across a stray mug left in the square by some careless pony. He leans down and whispers something to it under his breath. The mug stands up! As well as it can without feet, gives a salute with the handle, and scampers off to the wash basin. *splish*
Celestia tilts her head slightly at Chance's request. "Why yes, I suppose that I could help somepony train, if it is necessary," the Princess responds quietly. "I admit, that tends to be my sister's area of expertise, but I certainly could assist if necessary. Why not ask one of the guards, or Virga or Firefly, though?"
Chance says "I asked Firefly." he admits. "She suggested some pony which didn't rely on flying or magic tactics." He blinks at Rainbow and takes the flyer. "Thanks.." giving it a glance-over."
BlueFeather cocks her head, then lifts a wing, and plucking a cupcake out from under her wing. She grins a little, levitating the cucpake, then, launching it at the back of Chance's head, in just such a way, that it should, harmlessly land atop his head.
( "Then I would be happy to help you out, Chance," the Princess says with a tip of her head to the extraordinarily lucky pony. "I look forward to it." )
The flyer reads: Come to Ponyville's first Jousting Club, starring the one and only RAINBOW DASH! "Nah, we'll provide all the stuff you need in the beginning," Rainbow Dash explains. "We just gotta- whoa!" The cider cart was leaving. Immedietely, Rainbow downs the rest of her mug, zips over to the cart, plunks the empty mug on the counter, and then zips back. "Whew! Now, where was- right! We got a whole bunch of beginner's equipment ready. We're kinda expecting that nopony's done it before."
Fluttershy quails at the very sight of the words 'jousting club'. Those bruises *still* hurt! ...i-in her mind.
Berry_Punch has a mug tab arranged with Applejack.  She'll hold onto this one.  "Cool!" she tells Dash.  "So where's the club gonna meet?"  She looks over to FLuttershy.  "We can count on you to join up, right Flutters?"
Applejack waves to her departing brother, then blinks at Rainbow Dash. The barrel's still here (albeit MUCH lighter), the stand is still open for business! "Step right up, fillies an' gentlecolts! Uh..." She tries to exhort the crowd, btu her eyes keep drifting over. Jousting? Hmmm...
Chance smiles lightly, and bows politely to Celestia. "Thank you Princess Celestia. I also look foward to it." There's a slight breeze at just the right time, and the cupcake lands perfectly on his head. He reaches up to take it down, then glances at the source, giving a light grin. "Thank you Blue. That's very nice of you."
Celestia loos back to her guards and gives a nod to them. "However, it's time that I departed for Canterlot. A pleasure, each of you - I'm glad you enjoyed today's festivities." And with that, the Princess returns to her chariot, which promptly swoops back for Canterlot.
( "Ah, I don't think Fluttershy is really the kind of pony for this," says Rainbow Dash, who guilty-grins. "Applejack, though; I think she'll love it! Right AJ?" She looks expectantly at the earth mare; c'mon, AJ is totally built for this! )
Dusk smiles and is happy to see Celestia willing to help assist Chance.  This should be very interesting.  Dusk also obligatorily blinks as a cupcake is launched from above his head and sails nearly in a gentle arch towards Chance.  "Little Blue, what are you doing?"  He chuckles at Chance's expression at finding the gently landed cupcake.
Chance also looks over to Rainbow Dash in interest. "That does sound fun, though I think I'll only be watching the other ponies."
Dusk gives a nod and a bow, "Good day, Princess Celestia.  Thank you for the festivities!"
Rainbow_Dash waves frantically as Celestia departs. "See ya later, Princess!" she shouts.
Craning her neck, Applejack tries to see what's on those fliers - other than Dash's name, THAT is clearly visible from a distance. Oh hay, and here she comes! AJ grins. "Howdy, Dash! Ah wouldn't say no t' hearin' a little more!"
BlueFeather flicks her wings wide, then hops down off of Dusk's head, faning her wings rapidly so she lands lightly, leaving the empty mug up top if Dusk has not allready grabed it from her. SHe gives herself a sharp shake, then starts trotting over to the cider stand herself, this time, to hopefully get something a bit stronger. Green fire dancing over her form before she suddenly looks like somepony else.
Celestia disappears with a mild flash of light.
Phew. Fluttershy wipes her brow. Another bullet narrowly dodged.
Berry_Punch scrutinizes Fluttershy's reaction with skepticism.  "Ahh, if you say so.  See you in crochet circle!"  Berry Punch doesn't have the slightest idea how to crochet.  She continues listening to the others.  "Yeah, when are we gonna do this?  And are you gonna get your brother in on it, AJ?"
Applejack chuckles. "Ah'd have t'see what exactly 'it' is. That's up t'him anyhow, but Ah wouldn't mind tellin' him if'n it's somethin' Ah think he might enjoy."
Crochet circle! That sounds like a good idea. "O-okay, um, see you there!" Maybe Flutters can teach Berry to make a mug cozy.
Chance peeks up from the flyer over to Rainbow. "I would be interested in seeing these though. Are they going to be on soon?"
Applejack serves everypony who wants cider! Absolutely everypony! Of course, Mac only *brought* the one enormous barrel, full of freshly-pressed product, so there ain't no alcohol to worry about.
Berry_Punch will not show up at crochet circle, if there is one.  Scandalous secret: she has no fingers!
Rainbow_Dash noddles. "Yeah, we'll announce the date once we get set-up!" She starts hoofing out flyers to some of AJ's customers. Free info with your booze!
Dusk watches as Blue hops down and changes forms, running.. after the Apples?  Hmm then he nods and gets an idea what she wants.  He didn't see them offering hard cider, but he keeps a close eye out, just to see what she does get.
Chance smiles lightly to Applejack as he accepts the cider. "Thank you AppleJack." He sips at the cider. "I see you brought out one of your better batches."
( Applejack snags one of the flyers and peers at it. "So... what's this here all about? Joustin'? You mean like what y'all did t' Fluttershy that time in th' Crystal Empire?" Meantime, she keeps working! The barrel is seriously thinking about deciding it's empty, and a large portion of the populatio of Ponyville have delightfully sloshing bellies. )
( Applejack grins to Chance! "First squeezin' of th' season! How y'all been, sugarcube? Ah ain't seen ya in HOW long?" )
BlueFeather does thankfully have a few bits, but, as this is the first time this paticular blue pegasus has shown up at the apple stall, she just grins, in what she hopes in a friendly manor, and asks simply for a mug of cider. The grin might be rather fake, just cause she can make herself look like other ponys, does not mean she has a clue on how to actualy be nice to them! Her eyes are also allready scaning the other stalls and booths, to see who might have something considerably harder than fresh cider.
Berry_Punch finishes her third mug and returns it to Applejack.  "That half prince thing was only five minutes, huh?  Oh, right, I heard about that!  How could you do that to poor Fluttershy, Dash?"  Berry gives Flutters a cute little hug squeeze.  "Was AJ too busy with something?"  Sounds like she's changed her tune.
Chance says "I know, it's been a little while. I do still get to work on the farm from time to time, but other things have been tying up my life lately. Though being with Starfire I consider a good thing." he grins. "And soon I'll be going on yet another trip for something. I'm afraid I won't be around for a couple of weeks or so. It's always wonderful to see you though, on the farm or here."
"That's the thing, Applejack!" Rainbow Dash says. She looks over at Berry and shrugs. "Ah...it's kinda a long story. I think the paper wrote up about it a while back?"
Fluttershy shakes her head prolifically! "N-no, really, it's okay. I...squeak!" That last part was from the hug.
( Applejack asides to Berry Punch, "Yeah, y'all could say Ah was busy. Didn't think Rainbow'd go fer Fluttershy, but Ah didn't really have time t'think about it too much." She serves Totally Not Bluefeather just as she would serve anypony else, though she does give her a look for the awkward smile. She shrugs and turns back to Chance. "Boy howdy, sure does sound like yer keepin' yerself busy! Y'all should come fer dinner when ya get a chance! Heh heh, no pun intended." )
Dusk watches, stepping over and pretending not to notice Blue's new form.  My Luna has lost some height.  He smiles and nods to AJ as well as he comes back by the stand.  It certainly has been a while since he's gotten down to SAA.  But with the new season they'll be having some new batches he'll be helping with, if doing the same as last season for the princesses.
BlueFeather gives a little bob of her head, takes a ghood long sip of cider, and sets the mug between her wings, before moving off, looking for a vender selling things a bit harder, shes sure theres gotta be at lest one pony here selling some shine of some sort
Chance gives a light chuckle to Applejack's unintended joke. "Starfire and I will have to do that. If there's one thing I miss there, it's the meals."
Berry_Punch shrugs at the famous mares.  "Something about the crystal heart?  You know, next time I land a big product sale I'm thinking about going and seeing that thing.  Idunno, some part of me wonders if I'll start sparkling and it'll just change everything.  Kinda dumb, huh, but it's an excuse for travel!"  She's tempted to go business with Bluefeather, but even Berry has her morals.
BlueFeather is not a little foal, shes a grown up pegasus mare, looking for something good to drink, and thats the story shes sticking to!
( Applejack claps Chance on the shoulder! "You said it! Ain't nothin' better'n finishin' Granny's dumplin's with one o' mah pies! Mmm-MMM!" )
Berry_Punch is out of cider.  Blames climate change.
Nimble_Hooves comes over from the building with the magic wand and flask sign out front.
Rainbow_Dash/causes/ climate change, literally!
( To be fair, during that whole crisis Fluttershy was the closest friend she could have found for the jousting, other than Pinkie who was being Pinkie. She continues to hoof out fliers and answering questions and directing ponies to the booth with Sir Pauldron. )
Applejack leans upward on the table and calls out, "We're gettin' down t' the dregs! Half price til' we're empty!" AJ would also never recommend doing something that involved both Pinkie and weaponry.
Berry_Punch nods on cue and buys a fourth mug of cider.  "Aw, Chance.  You're gonna learn how to defend yourself by *watching* other ponies get hit with big sticks?  Come on."
Applejack peers at the flyer again. "So... are we gonna have trainin' an' suchlike fer this?"
"Yep!" Rainbow Dash says. "Sir Pauldron over there's the instructor I got. He's /really/ good, too."
Derpy sets down a doubtful-looking campaign flier.
I don't see anything like that here.
Fluttershy just sips another mug o- oh? "Um, Berry, y-you know these aren't actually, um...never mind. Hello, Sir Pauldron."
Berry_Punch gives Fluttershy half a funny look.  "Oh!  Sir Pauldron.  So how'd you guys meet?" she asks the knight and the would-be Wonderbolt.
Dusk nods to Berry, "Well if Mr. Chance fought directly, he might injure the other ponies, do to his talent."  He decides to get one more mug of cider before they're out, putting down some bits.
( Sir Paudron looks up at Fluttershy, his grizzled face breaking out into an avuncular smile. "Ah, Miss Fluttershy, a pleasure to be acquainted with you at last. Pauldron Sheen, at your service." He bows gracefully before her, with a surprisingly amount of elegance for an old pegastallion. "A fascinating question, Miss Berry! I am, in fact, an old friend of the family's, and when the Lady Rainbow suddenly developed an interest in jousting I was more than happy to offer my service and knowledge." )
Applejack waves all friendly-like to the old soldier. "Well howdy do, there! Wait... Did y'all just say *Lady* Rainbow? With a straight face an' all?"
Rainbow_Dash happens to be in hearing range and suddenly becomes quite antsy! "He's just being polite, is all!" she glosses, quickly flying back to the booth to occupy it with Pauldron. "I mean he's like all traditional and stuff." *guiltygrin*
Berry_Punch grins too.  "Yeah.  Sure.  But he called me 'Miss'.  So."  She leers in for a further explanation.
Dusk chuckles a little to AJ but quickly quiets it as Dash overhears, instead giving a polite bow to the stallion knight, "Good evening as well, Sir.  Nice to meet you.  The name is Dusk."  And he called Fluttershy Miss.  Seems he's calling all the mares miss other than Dash.  Hmmm.
BlueFeather finnaly finds some pony thats selling something a bit harder than fresh cider, she dumps the few bits she has on a small flask of applejack, tucks it under a wing, after pouring a good dollup into her cider. She then returns to Dusk and co, sipping at her cider plus
Sir Pauldron seems a little confused at first, but he seems to catch on. "Ah...yes, courtesy and chivalry is the mark of a good knight, you know," he says, in a didactic tone. "It is a trait that...Miss Dash is quite familiar with."
Applejack has missed anything *interesting* and simoply thinks it's high-larious that anypony would refer to hard-playing butch Rainbow Dash as 'Lady'. "Well if that don't beat all! LADY Rainbow! Ah'll let Rarity know t' start stitchin' up them promenadin' gowns toot sweet!" She chuckles.
Berry_Punch has a flask too.  But she'll never tell what's in it.  "Sooo..." she continues, as if leading on a child and not a knight, "why is Dash a lady and the rest of us aren't?  She likes chivalry?  Heck, *I* like chivalry.  I can push in chairs and throw carpets with the best of them!"  It looks like Berry Punch may be bluffing.
Rainbow_Dash gives Applejack a notably dirty look. "Oh you're so gonna get it when I joust you!" she warns, but there's a bit of playfulness in that warning.
Applejack grins at Rainbow. "Yer ON! ... milady."
Applejack finishes that with what she probably thinks is a chivalrous bow, but looks more like a cross between a salaam and a severe bout of arthritis.
Dusk hasn't stopped watching, and figured as much with Blue.  He magic the flask of applejack, keeping the taste but making the effects very tame.  He doesn't touch Berry's as long as she's not giving it to Blue.  He watches back and forth as the mares get a little ruffled up.  "Ladies, ladies.  This is Princess Celestia's day.  Do keep things friendly in respect for her."  And to keep from getting himself caught up in who knows what too.  And he just refers to all of them as ladies for now, to keep things nice.
Star_Paige smiles as she walks into the squire and looks at the group that has formed at the squire and smiles as he says "Hello"
Berry_Punch smiles as she watches things proceed.  "Yeah, that's a good point.  Is chivalry part of jousting club?  Are we gonna be pinning medals on each other and opening trapdoors in between bouts?  Because that sounds pretty boffo."  Yeah, we've established Berry doesn't know much about chivalry.
Rainbow_Dash seizes on the opportunity. "See, Dusk's just being polite, too!" she declares. "And yeah...I'll see you at the tourney, Applejack!" She puts on her best competition face; this'll be like the Running of the LEaves, but without the huge boulder of ponies! Maybe.
( Applejack blinks at Dusk. "Keep it friendly? That WAS friendly, wasn't it? Ah was just ribbin' her - ya do know Rainbow here's prob'ly mah best friend in th' world, right?" )
Applejack twitches an ear and looks at Rainbow again, smirking. "... but that don't mean y'all ain't GOIN' DOWN!"
Fluttershy reappears...again. Where does she keep going? FOr that matter, most of her little musical critter buddies have vanished, too...along with several of the hors d'ouevres. Those little rascals. "Um...s-sorry, everypony."
Fluttershy blinks. Wait.
Berry_Punch grins when the farmer and the cloudmare continue to spar.  This is just like that Running of the Leaves before last!  Which she WON.  Berry has this in the bag!  The only question is how big the boulder of rolling ponies will be.
Blaze goes home.
BlueFeather expects its a good thing she dumped most of the booze into her cider before Dusk noticed, to magic it, she sips again at her cider, then sneezes sharply, allmost spilling her cider, green fire dancing over her form as shes suddenly her normal self again
Rainbow_Dash puts her on game face. GAME FACE
Star_Paige watches as the other ponies interact trying to spot fluttershy.
Applejack game-faces right back! "Don't y'all fret none, Ah won't hurt ya. Ah know how t' treat a LADY." Heh heh heh heh.
Dapple comes over from the building with the magic wand and flask sign out front.
Dusk smirks and shakes his head.  Well it may not be breaking out into hoofticuffs just yet, but feeling pretty close.  But if they do take it to a more civilized form of brutal conflict then.. hmmm.  That's not really a lot better.  But perhaps the best he's going to hope for.  He grins at Dash, "I hope to always be polite."  Even if it's not always taken as such, when Dash questioned about being called Miss herself.  He nods to AJ, "Well that is good.  Things were just getting a tad heated."  He smiles good naturedly.  Dusk almost won that race too, come to think of it.
( "Yyyyep!" concludes Berry Punch, setting her mug gently in the crook of Applejack's hat.  "My work here is done.  See you at the club!"  She winks for some reason at Dusk on the way out and then waves.  "Have a nice, hot Solstice, everypony!!"  And with that, Berry out, yo. )
Applejack draws the last few mugs of cider and gives the enormous barrel a knock with her hoof. It THONKs hollowly; she turns back to the few ponies still milling about, just in time to get used as a tray by Berry. She snorts and removes the mug, then calls out. "We're EMPTY, fillies an' gentlecolts, an' Ah got me a hankerin' t' get me some shut-eye! Four mugs left, who wants 'em? Free to a good home!"
Rainbow_Dash grits her teeth. "I'm sure even an earth pony like you can figure out how to fight other than just bashing your head at things!" She grins, though, at the end. "I can't wait till we're both fully trained up, AJ. Definitely looking forward to this.
Fluttershy glances from pony, to pony, to pony, to pony. "N-now girls, let's not get into this again..."
"Remember the Running of the Leaves? O-or..."
BlueFeather trots up and leans on Dusk, her little horn lighting up, as she carefully levitates the mug of cider infront of her, then, she just sticks her whole head into the mug and laps it up fairly quickly
( Applejack gives Fluttershy a hopefully-reassuring smile. "'Course we remember. A little friendly competition ain't gonna hurt our friendship none. Right, Rainbow?" She holds up one of the last mugs of cider, offering it to Dash. )
Star_Paige smiles as she walks over and says "How are you doing today fluttershy?" She sees applejack and rainbowdash saying "Um you two ok?"
Applejack raises an eyebrow at Star Paige. "Why the hay's everypony askin' that?"
"Of course!" says Rainbow Dash, really meaning it. "You know how me and AJ get, Flutters. We'll work it out!" She continues promoting her new club, answering question and introducing folks to Sir Pauldron.
Dusk did get his extra mug earlier so is pretty set to go.  He looks over to Blue and shakes his head.  He does give an agreeable nod to Fluttershy as well and smiles.
Applejack guesses Rainbow didn't want that last mug of cider. So she shrugs and drinks it herself! GLUPglupglupglupahhh. *URP*. "Pardon."
Fluttershy forks over some Flutterbits to Flutterj- Applejack. "Thank you for the cider, AJ. I-I gues maybe everything will work out after all." And that was the best Summer Sun Celebration ever.
BlueFeather lifts her head, her face and muzzle dripping cider. She gives a little shake, then cocks her head and chirps at Dusk, wings giving a little flick as she leans against his foreleg
( Applejack grins at Fluttershy. "Ah reckon they will. Oh, these're th' last mugs, no charge." She hoofs back the, aheh, flutterbits. "If'n this was fer th' one earlier, that was mah little gift!" )
Dusk smiles and watches as things get nicely calmed down finally, with Dash dashing off for the night.  He patpats Blue on the head and will probably be needing to put her off to bed before long he suspects.  "Yes this was a wonderful Summer Solstice celebration.  And having it here in Ponyville rather than the usual Canterlot, as I understand.  Or is Ponyville the new standard for it now?"
Applejack is bewildered by the claims that things 'got heated'. She and Dash poke fun at each other all the time.
Applejack yawns a huge country yawn and starts closing up, stacking all the mugs and cleaning paraphernalia around the wagon-frame with the giant barrel, then closing up the portable cashstand and shoving it into her saddlebags.
Dusk finishes up his own mug so he can give it back to AJ along with Blue's, with anything left or not.  "Thank you very much, Lady Applejack.  It was some wonderful cider and company."
"Oh! W-well, um...here. A-at least let me help you with that." Fluttershy may not be the toughest pony, o-or the strongest, or the fastest, but she can still help clean up an apple cart.
( Applejack chuckles and shakes her head at being called 'lady'. "Yup! Darn fine shindig!" She works herself into the wagon harness as Fluttershy loads the last couple of items. "Thank ya kindly, there, Fluttershy!". This takes a couple of tries, though, as the harness was most recently on Big Macintosh, so it takes some adjusting. AJ gives it a test pull... and the cart slowly starts to rumble along. "Ah am BEAT. Ah'd better get this all back t' the farm while Ah can still pull. G'night, all y'all! *Dang* fine shindig." )
Dusk smiles and lends a hoof where he can, making sure Blue stays safe and well too.  He nods, "I agree!  Have yourself a wonderful night."  He'll even offer to help draw the wagon back, but looks like AJ is doing a fine job of it.  He waves as the orange mare steps off into the growing evening, wagon behind her.  Earth ponies are mighty impressive at what they do too.  Even if some might not give them enough credit for it.
BlueFeather pouts as her mug is taken away from her, she was not done with that! She lets out a soft little snort, and digs out whats left of the whisker in the little flask under her wing, opens it up, and smells it, blinking and lifting her head, and, well it looks expected, so she waves a wing at AJ too, not sure why though.
Applejack don't need no help from nopony! This time, anyway. She waves at everypony and trundles off down the road back to the farm and ultimately her bed.
Fluttershy waves! "Sweet dreams, Applejack." ...phew. "I-I gues there's a lot of cleaning up to do..."