Well, my first delving into Friendship is Magic. Mostly OPs-original ponies, but some canon cameos. I'd like to thank sun_tzu and Carpeträger from for their permission to use parts of their MLP timeline for this fic. And I'd also like to thank all the bronies and the creative team behind Friendship is Magic. I own nothing but the Ocs-and possibly not even that. ;)
Here we go!
The day slowly wound down in the offices of the Canterlot Times, the second-largest newspaper in the land of Equestria. The papers had been printed, distributed and delivered. Janitors had already begun pulling out dusters, brooms and carts laden with cleaning supplies. Secretaries finished up reports. Reporters filed away half-written stories and photographers closed up their dark rooms-all except for a few. The presses still ran in the bowels of the building, readying the evening edition while some reporters continued their work.
One such reporter sat at his desk, pencil clamped firmly in his lips as he wrote out a small column. His name was Byline and had light brown skin contrasting with his yellow mane, dark blue eyes and a pencil and notepad cutie mark on his flank. He paused in his column and glanced up as a shadow fell over his desk. A blue-skinned filly stood there and he slid his pencil into a pouch on his saddle. "Yeah?"
The secretary motioned to a glass-enclosed office near the back with her horn. "Front Page wants to see you before you trot off," she said, horn glowing slightly. "Get in trouble with your last interview?"
Byline snorted as he slid out of his chair and trotted over to the office of the editor of the Canterlot Times. He pushed the door open and peeked his head and neck inside. "Need to see me?" he asked a grizzled male unicorn with a graying mane, sideburns reaching down almost to his chin and a rolled-up newspaper for a cutie mark.
The stallion, Front Page, sat inside the somewhat cramped office, desk in front stacked with papers, a pencil cup and a teacup with saucer. Filing cabinets dominated one entire wall while the other had shelves mounted into the walls, lined with pictures and various awards from a long career in the business. Two chairs were set in front of the desk. And behind him was a huge bay window mounted into the wall with a view of Canterlot. "About time," he said, his horn glowing briefly. The stack of papers floated off the desk and to one of the filing cabinet, already opening as they approached. "I'm sending you to Ponyville for a story. The oldest Earth Pony in Equestria is turning one hundred-five and I need a fluff piece done on it."
Byline entered the office the rest of the way and nudged a chair over so he could sit down properly. He looked Front Page in the eyes and snorted. "Ponyville? Isn't that near the Everfree Forest?" He cocked an eyebrow and scratched the side of his head with the tip of his horseshoe. "And isn't that where Nightmare Moon resurfaced?"
Front Page's eyes widened. "Oh, so you pay attention on occasion!" His horn glowed again and a cup of tea floated over to his waiting lips. He took a sip of camomile before continuing. "I kid, I kid... sort of." He cleared his throat and the cup lowered back down onto a saucer on the desk. "I know how odd this is, and I'd normally just do a blurb in the birthdays/anniversaries/obituaries section, but this letter arrived yesterday." He slid open a drawer and a piece of rolled-up parchment floated out, unfurling. "It's from... Princess Celestia herself."
Byline's eyes locked onto the scroll as it unrolled. His eyes scanned the intricate writing and the large, sun-shaped royal seal at the bottom. He finally looked up to the top and began reading...
Dear Front Page
It has come to my attention that one of my subjects is reaching a milestone. Granny Smith, an earth Pony in Ponyville, will be turning one hundred-five in one week. She is very dear to me heart and deserves a little attention on her birthday.
I humbly request a reporter and photographer be sent out for an interview with her, to be published in its entirety in a subsequent edition of your fine newspaper, which I have a lifetime subscription to. I'm certain it will make a fascinating article and look into how things have changed over her long life.
I look forward to reading the article in its entirety when published, and will be eagerly awaiting my edition when it arrives.
Princess Celestia of Canterlot, Equestria
Byline's ears twitched as he finished the letter. "So, I'm being sent to interview her on the princess' request?" He snorted and shook his head. "What the hay sort of article is she expecting?" He looked up at Front Page. "What sort of article are you expecting?"
Front Page's forelegs bobbed slightly as he shrugged and telekinetically rolled the parchment up and put it back in his desk. "Right now you're the best I can send on such short notice. Headline is covering the Manehattan elections and Press Corps is doing the Appleloosa/Buffalo negotiations." He locked his baggy eyes on Byline. "Do your best on this, Byline. The paper's reputation and possibly continued survival rests on this article."
Byline's mane seemed to flatten as he reared back in his chair. "Pressure, much? What, do you think Celestia will banish me to the moon if it's not Pullopitzer Prize?" He shook his head. "So, who's the photographer you'll be sending with me?"
There was a pause before Front Page let out a sigh. "Flash Bulb," he muttered, chewing on his lip.
"Flash Bulb!" Front Page shouted, rattling the glass walls.
Byline's eyes drifted to the window and the full moon hanging in the sky. This late already? I wonder how my relief will look hanging up there instead of Luna's. "That low-watt waste? She barely remembers to take the lens cap off half the time and you're..." His head drooped before shooting up again. "What about In Focus?"
"Tied up with a photo shoot with Prince Blueblood." Front Page shook his head. "I'll make sure she gets double hazard pay in her next paycheck."
"Rock farmer convention-also in Appleloosa."
Front Page slammed a hoof onto his desk. "Byline, you're going with Flash Bulb! Celestia knows how much I'd love to send someone other than her-"
"-to this, but you two are all..." Front Page sighed and his tea cup floated up once more for a sip. "She'll be meeting you at your house in the morning. "
Byline slid out of the chair onto all fours and swished his tail. Better make sure I got plenty of coffee in my system. "You can count on me," he said, smirking.
Front Page leaned forward as the reporter left his office. "And don't forget to fill out an expense report this time!" he half-shouted. He levitated his tea cup to his lips, but found it to be dry. He tapped a button on his desk and leaned close to a microphone. "Dew Drop, more tea please."
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