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EvenMotion
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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 5:29 am

Lightning looked up at the mare in front of her. Her recognition was a bit slow due to the fall and the accompanying dizziness. But after a moment of collecting her bearings she did a double take.

"Gold Andromeda... right?" She stood up from the ground a little wobbly, bending down and picking up fallen papers into her waiting hooves. "Hi... uh, again. I dozed off and one of the books must have fallen-"

She looked up at the shelf. Her initial double vision refocused. "Must have flown off the shelf to wake me. Been... busy."

Lightning dumped the papers onto the table and quickly minimized her job application on the screen.

"How's it going?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 9:43 am

Gold sighed in relief because: A) White Lightning wasn't suffering from any recognizable brain damage, and B) She didn't know that Gold had been the reason the book 'flew off the shelf'.

"Oh, I've been fine. I guess. Decided to drop off a book that was due today, as you can probably guess. Of course, when I arrived and started browsing for a book on stereo wiring when I...saw the book land on your head and knock you down."

Gold hoped the small hesitation wasn't noticeable.

"Anyways, it's been pretty uneventful for me the last two days. What about you?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 10:00 am

Lightning winced ever so slightly. It was still a tender subject for her since she hadn't found anything else to replace her former job.

"Been busy... doing things, and stuff. Looking at places." Lightning laughed nervously. She knew it was a blatant lie. She also knew that she sucked at lying as it sounded as fake as her laughter. She bit her bottom lip and looked back at her flyers.

She tried her best to keep her fake smile, but she wasn't sure how long that was going to last.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 10:17 am

Gold followed the mare's quick glance and briefly caught a glance on what was on the table. She turned her eyes back to Lightning's.

Gold knew the mare was lying. She had dealt with con artists trying to sell her faulty equipment and things they tried to trick her into thinking were valuable. Knowing when a pony was lying to her was almost second nature.

But Gold saw the pain in the forced smile. This was a sensitive situation for Lightning at the moment, and Gold was not the kind to put her nose into someone's business like that. It was best she feigned ignorance until Lightning felt comfortable talking about it.

She put on her most charming smile as she spoke.

"Oh, sounds like you have been busy. I must say, it's quite hard finding time for one's self when they're 'doing things and stuff' and 'looking at places'."

The charming smile turned into a sly grin as she raised a brow to add to her small jab.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 1:53 pm

Lightning frowned. She'd been had. Not hard considering her lackluster effort.

"Sorry," she began. She closed down her session on the computer and scooped her fliers into her saddlebags. "It's been a rough couple of nights. I got fired. Don't really want to expand on it right now."

She walked towards the exit and stopped. "Would you like to walk with me?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 2:48 pm

Gold's smiled twisted into a grimace.

'Ouch, why don't you go push her into the snow while you're at it, Gold?'

"Uh, sure, I guess I can walk with you. And, I'm sorry. I didn't think it was something like that."

She caught up with White at the door.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 2:56 pm

As they exited into the winter wonderland, Lightning felt a pang of remorse. She didn't want to alienate Gold. Celestia knows she didn't have any friends, other than Bottoms Up. Even so, she had never seen him outside of work, let alone actively pursued stuff like that. Gold seemed like a nice filly.

"It's alright. I'll find something. Besides, there's no job for my talent around here."

None that won't take a bribe, she thought.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 3:04 pm

Gold felt relief at being forgiven, though some remorse still lingered. It gnawed at her a little like the cold air.

Her hooves crunched as she walked through the snow alongside Lightning. She was glad she left her horseshoes behind, cause bronze tended to cool rapidly in the cold.

What White said at the end though intrigued her.

"Oh? And what IS your talent? I would've guessed it was being a bartender, but your cutie mark doesn't relate to alcohol. Not unless you put 'shock and awe' in your drinks.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 3:13 pm

Ah.

In retrospect, she should have expected that question come up. Most ponies were comfortable and excited to share their special talent. Hers had brought nothing but a broken dream and a deep hatred for her parents. For this city. It made her want to run away from the lights and high society that snuffed her out for being undesirable.

"High speed acrobatics," she said finally.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 4:00 pm

Gold's ears perked. Her eyes widened. Her smile came back.

"Really? You can do high speed acrobatics?! I love watching stunt shows! But unlike most pegasi in my class, I never really dreamed of joining the Wonderbolts. Had small wings, couldn't fly for very long. Broke a few noses of whoever mocked me for them. But I always enjoyed watching the Wonderbolt airshows."

Her grin somehow got bigger.

"So tell me, what kind of stunts do you do?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 4:14 pm

Lightning looked down the street, holding her wings tight against herself. "Several Wonderbolt routines. I can pull off Rainbow Dash's filly flash out of their more tough routines, but I mainly do my own tricks. Ones more tuned to my talent."

She sighed. "But I'm hard to work around. I've auditioned before for a few groups, but its hard for others to work around my wingspan. My signature trick doesn't mesh well with programs either."

Only part of that was really true. She'd been accepted before because they had their sights fixated on her special talent - Rainbow included. In fact, after the payoff, Rainbow threatened to beat the general manager until they gave the money back. She refused the help - even from an icon and turned down the invitation to try again.

She frowned. Dirty money still suppressed her talent.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   12/10/2012, 4:58 pm

Gold could see that something was wrong. The forlorn expression, the sigh, all of it. She didn't like seeing such decent pony sad. What could cheer her up.....OH.

"Hmm, you know Lightning, I know where we can find an open field away from the urban areas. Maybe you could show me some of your stunts sometimes?"

She leaned closer, her sly smile returning.

"Also, I find your wings rather beautiful. Only a pony with magnificent grace could manage to control her wings and still perform such dangerous stunts."


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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   13/10/2012, 12:21 am

Lightning blushed hard. She was completely unused to compliments on her wings. Sure she had amazed some ponies who never thought it was possible for them to get that big. But most of the time it was a hindrance. If she wanted to fly, she needed extra takeoff room. If she wanted to do stunts, she'd need an extra half a wing of clearance

"I... I've learned not to use them much. They don't build things with my wingspan in mind. But... uh, I guess I could show you sometime. I mean, I have my own little practice area, but it doesn't leave room for earthbound ponies. Not like it matters for us."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   13/10/2012, 3:45 pm

Gold couldn't hold her chuckle. The blush was rather adorable.

"Well, I certainly hope to see you perform some amazing stunts sometimes."

She shifted her headphones a little. They were chafing a little. She looked around a little and turned her head towards the sky.

"I think I should get back to Stone Wall. If I don't get back soon, she'll start tippin' carriages looking for me. And when she DOES find me, she'll either rip me a new one, kiss me in relief until I pass out in the snow, or a combination of both. Likely both. And she'll even more likely bop me in the head."

Gold chuckled to herself.

She looked back at Lightning.

"Say, wanna come with me? Stone, me, and some old friends of ours might be going out on the town later. Maybe raise a little hell at a music club. I know a great bartender who can mix a drink that'll put some ink on your quill and your head in a letter in the morning."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   13/10/2012, 11:25 pm

Lightning giggled. She assumed that would be a somewhat normal interaction for loved ones to share. At least most books had some interaction like that. She had no real personal experience with love or relationships.

Not yet, she reminded herself. Lightning wasn't so far in denial that she believed she wouldn't find a significant other.

"A club?" The offer was tempting, if only for the promise of strong drink. But she didn't want to be rude. Gold and her friends had been planning this. She didn't want to step on any hooves.

"I think I'll pass." She shook the bag with flyers, "I need to make sure I can earn enough bits for next months rent."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 4:31 am

Gold pouted a little melodramatically at that.

"Aww, that's too bad. I'm sure Pyro Technic would've LOVED to meet you. She loves meeting new ponies. If only the ponies she meets can get over her fascination with fire."

She gave a sad smile.

"You know, if you ever need some spending money, I could offer you a job, if you haven't already found one. My store's been doing rather well, and Stone and I could always use an extra hoof."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 6:05 am

"I'll think about it. I'm hoping I get something closer to my talents, but-"
Lightning stopped following that line of thought. Here she was talking to an acquaintance and she was ready to spill the beans on her family? She had better morals than that. Even though the secret would be better served out in the open, it would destroy her. She didn't have the money to fight against her family.
"It gets complicated," she settled on.
She stopped walking at the foot of her building.
"This is my building. Did you want something to drink? I bought cider yesterday."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 6:14 am

Gold waved a hoof.

"Naw. Like I said, Stone will mount my ass on the wall if I take too long. Plus, I think I've kept the store closed too long."

She still smiled.

"Well, it was very nice meeting you, Lightning. And if you ever change your mind, stop on by at 'Bass Rite' around 9:00 PM tonight. Shouldn't be hard to find us. Or, better yet, stop by my store at any time."

She held out her hoof.

"I hope to see you again sometime."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 7:35 am

Lightning met her hoof with a fair amount of pressure, shaking like it was some promise she was keeping. At least, when this was all over she'd be able to stop by the electronics store with some extra bits.

"I'll see you when I see you."

With that, she waved goodbye and walked into the building, towards the stairs.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 11:54 am

Gold waved back and watched the mare disappear into the building.

Deciding to give her wings a good stretch, Gold flexed them and took off while staying close to the street.

It didn't take long for her to arrive at her store, a familiar earth pony waiting for her. And she looked relieved.

"I'm glad to see you back Goldy."

Her eyes gained a gleam, and before Gold knew it, she was on the ground, clutching her head.

"OW! WHAT?!"

"Don't make me worry like that again. It took you THAT LONG to return a book?"

"I MET UP WITH LIGHTNING AGAIN! JEEZ!"

Stone's expression softened.

"You mean the mare you met?"

"Yes!"

"Oh. I'm sorry then."

"It's fine."

"GOLDY!"

Before Gold had time to react, she was scooped up in a bone crushing embrace that stole the air from her lungs. The mare unknowingly killing her was a unicorn with a fiery red coat, a mane that started out a red, then orange, then blue, then white at the very tip of the pony tail she had her mane set in, her tail matching, and a lit stick of dynamite as a cutie mark. Her red-violet eyes sparkled as she closed them, her large grin getting even bigger.

"Happy....Pyro......can't........BREATHE!"

Gold was dropped on her rump as Pyro Technic let go of her. She proceeded to take deep greedy gulps of air as a stallion and mare entered through the door. The earth pony stallion, with a light teal coat with salmon colored eyes, a burnt orange mane, and a hammer and wrench cutie mark gave a rather effeminate chuckle.

"Oh ho ho ho, Pyro sweety, you really need to learn to control your hugging urges. I'm afraid we'll all develop back problems if you don't."

Gold, finally gaining something akin to her breath, spoke up.

"Hey Axle Nut. How's the business going?"

Axle sighed loudly.

"I'm surprised that so many hooligans treat carriages so ROUGHLY. It's heart-breaking to see such well decorated carriages get so horribly damaged. It's hard enough running such a small business while both working there yourself and dealing with those branded repair shops trying to by your business. My father owned and ran the shop! My grandfather owned and ran the shop! So Celestia help me, I'll own and run the shop!"

Gold smirked as Axle got off the small crate he somehow got on top of.

"I know the feeling. Got a bunch of assholes trying to buy the shop from under me and Stone."

"And I will make sure they do not succeed, Andromeda deary."

Gold turned towards the unicorn mare.

Her mane was a deep burgundy color, combed neatly so that it covered her left eye, with a matching tail, a chestnut colored coat, and midnight blue eyes. Her cutie mark was a rolled up scroll with a quill lying next to it. She wore a fashionable redwood colored jacket with gold lacing, her boots matching.

"I hope so, Fine Print. There's no way I'm selling my shop to some jerks who'll just slap their brand on everything and call it good. It takes a noble to beat a noble."

Gold started out the door, with Stone Wall. Pyro Technic, Axle Nut, and Fine Print following behind in their winter clothing. Gold suddenly stopped and turned around, a fire in her eyes.

"Ladies and gentlecolt? Tonight.....we PARTY!"

They all gave a cheer in response, scaring and upsetting a few passing ponies.

Gold pointed her hoof upwards.

"Now, to meet Mist Negus and DRINK TIL WE CAN'T FEEL OUR LIVERS! WHOOOOOOO!"

She was answered.

"WHOOOOOOO!!!!"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 3:56 pm

Lightning trotted down the morning streets, breathing in time with her strides. The cold air threatened to freeze the sweat as it rose from her coat and dripped to the ground. Her early-morning runs were a welcome distraction from the day she would have to start her new job. As her luck would have it, she knew it was going to be a terrible experience.
A few things forced her to make her decision in the course of a week. First, none of the hundreds of applications she had put in came back. If they did, it was always due to her lack of talent for that particular job. Specialized businesses only wanted those who were passionate about their jobs. Special talent a must.
Then her apartment building caught fire. Badly. Since she barely owned anything in the place, she was able to escape the blaze without issue. She was even lucky enough to keep her mini-fridge and blankets. But the building was messed up and needed to be closed for reconstruction. So for the time being, she was forced to find another place on the promise of bits - of which she had ten to her name.
Which, after a night on a park bench, forced her to join another noticeable career - the guard. So far, she hadn't garnered the attention of her parents, and while the new recruit barracks wasn't comfortable, it was a roof over her head.
But it came at the price of being the laughing stock of the guard. She was the only mare in training, so she had to take care of her empty barracks by herself. The other colts had decided that while she was at breakfast to ruin her bunks by spilling them onto the floor. Three times she'd been reprimanded for failing to keep it clean. They still hadn't given her a key to lock the room.
That, and boot camp hadn't really started. This was only a taste of what was to come. In the couple of days before her training started tomorrow, she had resumed her acrobatics workout which was a once a week ordeal. Now it was several days a week, with no end in sight.
She slowed to a walk as she approached her old apartment. The only reason she was even back her was to pick up the mini-fridge she had to sell. She wasn't allowed things like this at the castle.
It took her about ten minutes to haul the thing over to Gold's shop, which Lightning was pleased to have located once more. After getting lost twice the previous day. She was still annoyed that she had carried a mini-fridge around Canterlot for a full hour.
She pushed open the door, her braided mane swinging loosely against her back - a new requirement for her. They didn't have a mane cutting regulation for mares.
Yet.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 4:50 pm

"Come on Fine, it wasn't THAT bad."

"Because you don't remember anything!"

"NOT TRUE! I remember drinking...and drinking....and drinking until Mist stole my glass. It's nothing but black from there."

"Ugh, Andromeda, you have no clue how EMBARRASSING this is for me."

"Not my fault you're repressed. At least you finally acted on your urges before you ended up losing it."

"I HAD MY TONGUE IN YOUR MOUTH FOR CELESTIA'S SAKE!"

Gold's blush could've set the whole store on fire, but it was nothing compared to Fine Print's.

Gold slowly turned her head towards Stone who was trying to suppress her laughter from behind the counter. Meanwhile, Axle was simply smirking while drinking the cup of Earl Gray tea he had, and Pyro Technic was giggling into her hooves, a small amount of unnoticeable red on her cheeks. Mist Negus had to work again, so she wasn't there for the weekly get together and planning.

Gold's voice wavered slightly.

"....Stone....you lied to me."

"Only to cherish the moment you find out."

"But, I'm dating YOU!"

"I told you before, Andy, I don't mind if you have a little fooling around on the side."

".....You are an evil enchantress and must be destroyed."

"Love you too, Andy."

"...And why did you tell me that it was 'Pyro' that Fine kissed?"

"Because she doesn't mind, and you don't remember anything, so I had the perfect opportunity to successfully trick you."

Gold was speechless, and Fine was too deep in her embarrassment to speak.

It had been over a week since the infamous visit to Bass Rite. And Fine was NOT going to recover from it anytime soon.

Ponies who had been there whispered amongst themselves of the horror and exhilaration that had occurred there that night. Reports of a crazy mare who drank what she named 'Fire in the Hole', a concoction of the strongest alcohols at the club that was topped off with a lit flame on the surface. They even say that she mixed black powder with it 'for a strong kick'.

If you met the stallion with a huge bruise on his face, he would speak of a lightly colored demon spawn in the shape of a stallion that had backhoofed him for mistaking a large gray mare with a mohawk for a stallion.

The biggest drinkers have shared tales of their complete and utter defeat by a mare of unheard of height and gray colors. Of how she had won every drinking contest, one after the other, without pausing to eat or let the strong swill settle.

But, the biggest talk was only whispered through giggles by mares to their friends, of how they were there when what will forever be called the 'hottest make-out session ever' had occurred. Of a white coated mare and a rather overly drunk chestnut colored mare that could've invented a new sport, if possible. It seems that those particular mares can no longer walk the streets of Canterlot without having another mare of same taste give them a sly wink and a blown kiss.

Or at least, that's what Gold had been told by Stone, who was still simpering at the counter. Still reading the morning paper.

So, they were quite a sight right now. A small card table pulled out from the back, some simple teas and sodas spread about, and four ponies sat, two blushing, one writing down a recipe for a better firework combination, and a stallion drinking tea and going over repair schedules in his head.

Their thoughts were interrupted when a white coated mare came through the front door, her mane in a braid and a rather dirty mini-fridge with her.

Gold rubbed her face, only succeeding to rub a small portion of her blush away, and trotted over.

"Hey White! Haven't seen ya in a while! Can I help you with anything or is this a friendly visit?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 5:06 pm

Lightning looked around at the shop. It was... more populated than she remembered it. She recognized the other mare behind the counter from the tavern - barely at that. The others looked like simple customers. She blushed a little at the attention she was given and walked up to the counter.

"I've been busier than usual. Last week was a mess, to say the least and I may have made a big mistake." She pursed her lips together and placed the mini-fridge on the counter. "Which is part of why I'm here. I need to sell this. I honestly don't care what its worth, so long as it doesn't go to waste."

She shifted her weight from one side to the other, balancing herself after carrying such a heavy thing around. Her self concious mind tried to remind her that she faintly smelled of sweat, but she shoved it to the side. Gold wouldn't care... would she?

Lightning found herself startled by this train of thought. They didn't know each other that well, so she was confused why her opinion concerned her.

She could be your friend? she reminded herself. If you even have time for that anymore, idiot.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 5:33 pm

Gold murmured a little to a herself. 'A big mistake? Wonder what she means by that.'

With her blush disappearing and the her inner electrician kicking in, Gold walked over to the mini-fridge, which Stone had adjusted on the counter and ran her hoof over some of the dark patches.

"Let me handle this, Stone. I'll look it over."

The large mare moved out of the way as Gold went behind the counter. As she ran her eyes over it, she spoke a rather business-like tone that was rare for her.

"With the market these days, I have to be more specific with my products. A mini-fridge is more sought after than you think. So, I'll have to look it over to determine it's value. So, I guess my store can double as a pawn shop for electronics if you think about it."

She opened it up first, a faint cold and ashy smelling haze coming from inside.

"Hmm, seems the sealants are in good condition."

She ran her hoof inside of it, looking for the necessary components.

"No dents or holes. A single rack for holding."

She turned it around, with some help from Stone.

"Hmm, back panel looks a little melted, the compressor and fan-assisted condenser coil are a little dirty with whatever this stuff is, but no real damage."

She tapped it a few times in specific locations before giving it one hard whack on the top of it.

"Nothing seems loose. Maybe a missing bracket for the internal support, but easily replaceable."

Gold smiled as she finished her review.

"Well White, this fridge, despite it's condition, is still operable, the parts are easily replaceable, and the best thing is, it's sellable."

Stone was still busy looking at the marks on the fridge.

"Considering the market and parts, I'll take it for around 250 bits, if you'll accept the price I'm paying you for it."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony   14/10/2012, 11:42 pm

"Gladly. I'll add that to my sign-up bonus when I-"

Oops.

She sighed. The cat was out of the bag now.

"When I get back to the barracks. I start training tomorrow. As you can tell, it was sort of a last resort method. I would have come here, had my apartment building not burned down. These places around here wanted a couple thousand bits for the first three months, which I didn't have. Sleeping on a park bench sucked."

She looked away sheepishly. "To be honest, the only things I really had to my name were this thing and a couple of old blankets. They didn't allow the fridge at the barracks, so here we are."

She stopped for breath, panting a little from how forced she was in just letting it all out there. She missed having someone to talk to that wouldn't scream or ignore her.

"Uh... How was your week?"

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The Lights of Harmony
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