After a very long wait, for which you can blame World of Warcraft and my other hobbies, here's another chapter of this very strange piece of… well, no idea what to call it, though 'literature' is probably out, lol.

I'd like to thank everyone at and for their positive reactions and excellent feedback and advice. I hope you'll like the new chapter and tell me what you think. Every single review (positive or negative) helps to make the story better, or so I hope at least.

Corrected a few little mistakes in the first chapter; most notably the color of Applejack's coat, which is apparently orange (though it looked light brown to me in the cartoon).

CHAPTER 2: First steps into a new world

'thoughts'

"direct speech"

What has gone before:

Ponyville is in great danger. A mighty Ursa Minor is rampaging through the town and there's only one hero up to the task of saving the day: The Grrreat and Powerful Trixie… or at least that's what she wants everypony to believe. Unfortunately, her attempts to slay the creature have failed spectacularly and everything seems lost. Just as she is about to be turned into a pony pancake she pulls off a miracle. Concentrating every last bit of mana she has left into one final spell she opens a rift in time and space and summons a being powerful enough to defeat the Ursa, one Ranma Saotome, human martial artist extraordinaire, who promptly defeats the foul creature.

This is his tale: The tale of a displaced human who will set out to find a way home and in the process learn some valuable life lessons, amongst which the importance of friendship.

"Soooo… What do we do now?" Ranma awkwardly asked after Princess Celestia had left. Stranded in a foreign universe, with no way home and no point of reference he was completely lost and out of his element. 'This must be how Ryoga feels all the time', he sympathized with his rival.

"First of all, YOU will apologize to Fluttershy!" Rainbow Dash flew over the pigtailed teen's head and pointed her hoof at his face. "Nopony upsets her with impunity on my watch!"

"Calm down!" Twilight Sparkle reasoned with her friend. "Ranma hasn't done anything wrong."

The martial artist blinked in surprise. Not his fault? That was a first. Wasn't it always his fault when something went wrong? These talking animals surprised him more and more, but in a good way.

"Fluttershy jumped to conclusions without knowing all the facts," the purple unicorn continued. "Ranma is not in the wrong here. I know how you feel, and I don't like to see her upset either, but don't take out your anger on Ranma. I'm sure that if we explain the situation she will calm down."

"Ehehehe. Well… I miiiight have overreacted a little bit," the pegasus landed and rubbed the back of her head in embarrassment.

"Maybe just a tiiiiny bit," Twilight grinned. "You'll see that I'm right."

"I hope so. However, I'll still keep an eye on him. I'm not sure we can trust him yet." She then looked at her friends. "Alright. Let's go and see how Fluttershy is doing."

"Ahm sorry, but ah can't," Applejack excused herself. "It's already late and ah have ta get up early in the morning. There's a lot of work ta do in the orchard. See y'all tomorrow. You too, Ranma," she tipped her hat before sprinting away.

"Same goes for me, I'm afraid," Rarity went next. "I would really love to accompany you, but I had a very tiring day today and can barely keep my eyes open. I have some very delicate needlework to finish tomorrow and I can't do that if I'm not at my best. I hope you'll understand."

"No, that's okay," Twilight reassured her friend. "I'm sure I can take care of it by myself… and Rainbow Dash, of course," she added when the pegasus squinted her eyes at her.

"Oh! Oh! I'm coming too," Pinkie Pie enthusiastically jumped up and down. "I don't have anything else planned right now. Maybe we can even have a welcome PARTY! YAY!"

"Then it's settled," the purple unicorn announced, quite used to her friend's randomness by now to not let it disturb her. "Let's go!"

"Alright!" Spike enthusiastically exclaimed. "An adventure."

"Not you, Spike!" Twilight ordered. "You are going back to bed. You're much too young to be up at this hour and I really need your help tomorrow. There's a lot of work to do."

"Awww!" The dragon whined. "You're never letting me have any fun. That's too unfair."

"I'm sorry, Spike, but you know how grumpy you get when you don't get enough sleep. Don't worry, though, I'll tell you everything once I'm back."

The unhappy dragon returned to the library, grumbling all the way while Twilight led the group toward Fluttershy's cottage.

"So Ranma? What do you like to do?" She asked the pigtailed teen out of the blue but with obvious interest. She was really giddy. Here she was, having made first contact with an intelligent, alien creature and having a meaningful conversation with it. This was every scholar's dream and she was the one living it. From what she'd seen so far these… humans were rather interesting beings.

"Martial arts," he answered like a shot, without even having to think about it.

"Like karate and kung fu?" Pinkie interrupted, jumping in front of Ranma and making silly punching and kicking gestures while fighting off imaginary enemies.

The pigtailed teen blinked, wondering where she got the white uwagi and black belt she was wearing.

"Something like that," he chuckled and winced when the earth pony overextended a punch and fell flat on her face.

"I'm okay," she spat out some blades of grass and gave her friends a thumbs-up.

Twilight shot her friend a reproving look before concentrating on the road again. Then she blinked. Did she just see…? She snapped her head into Pinkie Pie's direction and stared at her friend's hooves. Not noticing anything out of the ordinary she shook her head. Pinkie Pie will always be Pinkie Pie. It was probably best not to think too much about it lest she went crazy. She returned her attention to the newcomer to their little group. "Anything else?" she gave him an expectant look.

"Well…" He had to think about it for a while. Most of his life had been centered on and around martial arts so he hadn't had much time for anything else. "Eating, of course, and lazing around, I guess."

"Oh!" The unicorn was a bit disappointed as she had hoped humans were more interesting than that.

"What do you expect?" Ranma continued, trying to lift his new friend's mood. "I've been on the road training with my old man ever since I could walk, only staying in a town for a short while before moving again. I saw a lot of interesting places but didn't have much time to make friends."

"You're a wanderer then?" Twilight enquired further. "You must have a lot of stories to tell."

"Heh! You got that right, but since most people outside of Nerima don't believe in magic, monsters, or ki attacks they usually don't believe me."

But then he remembered who he was talking to and when he looked at the ponies he grinned. "Heh! I guess that won't be much of a problem here, right?"

"Yes, magic and monsters abound Equestria," the unicorn confirmed. "Though, I have never heard of ki. What is it?"

"Ah. I guess you could call it life energy." Ranma concentrated and a small sphere of energy formed in his hand.

"Ooooh, shiny!" Pinkie touched the pulsating ball. "Hehe! That tickles," she giggled as her hair went static.

"Interesting. What does it do?" Twilight enquired.

"Watch!" The martial artist grinned at her. He took aim and launched a low powered Moko Takabisha at a medium sized rock which exploded and would have peppered the ponies with shrapnel if Ranma hadn't used his speed to catch the pieces that would have hit his new friends.

Twilight Sparkle's and Rainbow Dash's jaws dropped to the ground and even Pinkie Pie stood still for a moment.

Rainbow Dash was the first to recover and looked at Ranma with stars in her eyes, completely forgetting her former enmity towards the person who upset her friend. "That… was… AWESOME! You really have to teach me how to do that."

"Aha! I knew it!" Pinkie shouted as she jumped away from the group and pointed an accusing hoof at Ranma. "You're a giant robot or youma and trying to conquer Equestria."

Clad in pink tights, a black cape, and a black eye mask she then took up a heroic stance. "Not on my watch, evildoer! In the name of Equestria, I will punish you!"

"How is that possible!" The purple unicorn shouted in disbelief, drawing everyone's attention to herself.

The pigtailed teen just shrugged his shoulders. "Training. Lots and lots of training. Anyone can do that with the right training."

"That's simply… I can't…" Twilight continued before pausing and fixing Ranma with her eyes. "I have to get to the bottom of this. I need to make some tests. And you WILL help me!"

The martial artist shivered at the intensity of the pony's gaze and the authority of her voice, and quickly agreed.

"So, can you teach me?" Rainbow Dash asked once again. "The Wonderbolts will beg me to join their ranks and make me their leader. I can see it from here…" She got lost in a daydream and giggled happily.

"Erm, I can try, but it's a lot of work. It will take years and I don't know how long I'll be staying here."

"Heh! It won't take me years. I'll have it pat down in a few days," she boasted with a confidence that bordered arrogance hitting her chest with a hoof. "I'm the best athlete around after all."

"We'll see," Ranma replied while negligently sidestepping a flying tackle from 'Superpinkie'.

"Stop it, Pinkie!" Twilight admonished her friend after losing her patience. He's not a giant robot or a youma… whatever that is."

"He's not?" The pink pony sounded disappointed. "Awww! That would have been really neat."

"Yeaaah, riiiight," The pegasus wasn't quite as convinced as the earth pony.

"We're here," Twilight suddenly announced.

Ranma looked around and,apart from a small cottage covered in vegetation and nest boxes there were no other houses around. Not far away he noticed a dirt path leading into a dense, dark forest. The place looked really nice and peaceful, unlike the dojo where there was always something going on.

The unicorn knocked at the door. She waited for a minute, but didn't get an answer.

"Well, you won't get her to come out like that. Let me show you how it's done." Rainbow Dash took the lead and knocked very loudly at the door. "Hey, Fluttershy! I know you're home. Open the door! It's us."

After a few moments the door opened, very slowly, and a pale yellow head peeked carefully out of the small opening. Recognizing her friends she stepped out of the house with a smile on her face, glad that they got away from the monster. Then her eyes fell on the creature standing behind the other ponies.

"EEP!" The door slammed shut.

"That could have gone better," Rainbow Dash sweatdropped.

"Ranma. Maybe you should step out of sight for a bit while we try to reason with her," the unicorn suggested.

"Ooh! Ooh! Let me try this time," Pinkie Pie frantically waved her front hoofs in the air.

"Thank you for the offer, Pinkie, but I believe a more subtle approach would be better the better choice," Twilight objected.

"Awww," the earth pony pouted, looking miserable for all but a second before her mood switched back to happy and saluted. "Okie dokie lokie! You're the boss."

The purple unicorn shook her head and knocked once again.

The door slammed opened and out into the open stepped… Pinkie Pie. "Hey guys! What's up?"

"PINKIE PIE!? But I…" Twilight turned around and noticed that, indeed, her friend wasn't there any longer. "But that's… How did you…? Oh, never mind. I don't want to know," the unicorn shook her head at the riddle that was her friend.

Rainbow Dash on the other hand was a lot more vocal. "How did you get inside?".

"Through the window, of course, duh." The pink pony answered as if it was the most natural thing in the world. And indeed, when the pegasus looked at the window she saw that it was wide open.

"Is-is the monster gone?" A gentle voice asked from somewhere inside the house.

"There is no monster," Twilight explained, having recovered her wits in the meantime. "It was all a misunderstanding. Ranma is not the Abominable Carnivore. He's very nice and doesn't mean us any harm."

"Rea-really?" A yellow head adorned with a pink mane timidly poked out from behind Pinkie Pie's rump.

"Yes, really!" The purple unicorn smiled encouragingly.

"Thank Celestia!" Fluttershy gave a sigh of relief as she stepped into the open. "I was afraid the monster would hurt my little friends."

"Ranma! You can come out now," Twilight shouted.

The pigtailed teen did just that and approached at a slow pace and greeted the shy pony casually. "Yo! What's up? Sorry for scaring you earlier."

Fluttershy reflexively took a step back, but encouraged by her friends' presence she stopped and decided to confront her unfounded fears. She knew she could trust their judgment.

"Hello, Ranma. Nice to meet you. I'm very sorry for running away like that. I really thought you were the Abominable Carnivore."

"Heh! Don't worry. I've made far worse first impressions and some for much stupider reasons," the martial artist waved off her concerns.

Twilight then took over and explained the whole situation with Ranma; what he was, where he came from, and why he couldn't return home for now and of course that he had no intention of eating any of them.

"You poor, poor creature," Fluttershy pitied the human. "You must be quite sad, so far away from home."

"Naaah! Not really. I'll find a way home and maybe some time away from all that craziness will do me some good. With all the weird things I've seen in my life talking ponies is far from the weirdest."

"Does that mean we're all friends now?" Pinkie Pie enquired hopefully. "That means… It's PARTY TIME! YAY!" Then she panicked. "Oh no! I haven't prepared anything. There are so many things I need to get. We can't have a party without cake or streamers. I need to get confetti…"

`"Pinkie?" Twilight tried to her friend's attention. "Pinkie?" No reaction. "PINKIIIIIIIE!"

"Huh? What? What is it? Are we under attack? Take cover!" She jumped behind a bush.

"No Pinkie, we're not under attack," the purple unicorn sighed, "but I'm sure the party can wait until tomorrow. I'm very tired and I am probably not the only one. I suggest we all get some much needed sleep and meet again tomorrow to think about what to do next with the current situation."

Everypony agreed and they were about to leave Fluttershy's cottage when Pinkie Pie pointed something out nopony had thought of so far. "Where will Ranma sleep tonight?"

Twilight froze on the spot and cursed inwardly. She had completely forgotten about that little detail. "Hmm… good question. I'm not sure."

"I wouldn't mind putting him up for the night, but since he can't fly that wouldn't work," Rainbow Dash explained, "and Pinkie Pie's room is probably too small for the two of them."

The pink earth pony nodded sadly. She would have loved to have someone else over, but there were also the Cakes to consider.

"Applejack and Rarity have a lot of space but I don't want to wake them up at this late hour. So I guess he'll sleep at the library. There's not that much space, but it will have to do for now. You don't mind, do you Ranma?" She asked the new arrival.

"Anywhere is fine with me. During my travels I often had to sleep in forests or caves, so I'm not very difficult."

"The library it is then," Twilight decided. "Follow me, I'll show you the way. We have a busy day ahead of us and we will probably need all the rest we can get."

When the group reached Ponyville they split and Ranma followed the unicorn to the library. He looked around and was surprised at how normal the houses looked. He hadn't really paid all much attention to the architecture at his arrival, but it was really strange how normal it looked. He didn't really know what to expect, but ponies living in human homes was certainly not on the list. The Golden Oak Library, Twilight's home, however looked really strange. It was a large, hollowed-out living tree with a really improbable layout for the windows.

"Welcome to my humble abode," Twilight opened the door and led the martial artist in. "What do you think?"

"It's bigger on the inside."

Before his host could answer Ranma winced when he heard a loud voice shout "You're back! How did it go?"

"It went great. Fluttershy has calmed down and nothing happened. You haven't missed anything."

"Oh, that's okay then," the dragon was relieved. He didn't like being left out of any adventure. Then he noticed their guest. "Hello… erhm… what was your name again?"

"It's Ranma," the teenager answered.

"Ah, yes. Now I remember. Are you staying here?"

"Yes, he is," Twilight answered, "at least for this night. I don't have a spare bed right now, but he can sleep on the couch if he doesn't mind. Is that okay with you, Ranma?" She asked the pigtailed human.

"Sure. No problem. Beats the bed of nails my old man had me sleep on when I was younger."

Seeing his host's incredulous look he chose to elaborate. "Yeah, well, he had seen a fakir on TV doing it and thought it would be a good method to toughen me up. But like so often he hadn't really thought things through and simply took a wooden board and planted some nails in it before strapping me to it with some rope. If I hadn't learnt how to strengthen my body with ki a few months earlier I would have been a goner. Turned out you're supposed to plant the nails in an equal distance apart to distribute the weight of the body evenly to avoid injury."

"Pardon me for saying this, but your father is an idiot," Twilight shook her head at the stupidity of the man.

"Yeah, I know, but this is still tame compared to some other crazy ideas he's had."

"Like what?" Spike asked, inserting himself into the conversation. "Throwing you to the sharks to motivate you in swimming faster?" The little dragon joked.

"Actually…"

"He did?!" Spike shouted looking at the human with wide open eyes.

"No, but I'm surprised he didn't think of that one. When I was ten he had me carry a couch with him sitting on top while I had to run away from a starving pack of wolves. I still have some bite marks on my legs."

The statement was answered with shocked silence until Twilight huffed indignantly. "That's horrible. Torturing a child like that… If he had used that kind of methods in Equestria he would have been arrested and would be rotting in jail for a very long time."

"He's not that bad," Ranma defended his father. "I know he's a moron, but he's not evil. He just doesn't think things through and takes shortcuts whenever he can."

Although the unicorn was skeptical, she didn't want to offend her guest. "Well, since he's not here for me to form an opinion I won't argue with you."

She wanted to ask more questions but reconsidered when she noticed that Spike was yawning and had trouble keeping his eyes open. "I'd like to talk more, but I think it's time we go to bed. Ranma, the couch is in the corner over there. Make yourself comfortable and…"

Before she could finish Spike toppled over and stumbled against a ladder that crashed down and landed on a tray protruding from the edge on a table. The tray flipped over and propelled the filled glass carafe deposited thereon straight at Ranma's head exploding into a million pieces and drenching the martial artist in very cold water.

"Why does it always have to be water?" A redheaded human girl shouted to the skies much to the astonishment of the two witnesses to this bizarre event.

AUTHOR'S NOTES:

And that concludes this chapter. I just hope this chapter won't disappoint your expectations (in case you had any, which I seriously doubt). No pre-reader was harmed during the conception of this chapter since I haven't used any. Any mistakes you might find are entirely my fault and I would be ever so happy if you would point them out to me.

Applejack's accent was a pain in the butt to write and I'm pretty sure I got some of the typical Southern accent wrong. If so, please tell me.

POSTED : 2014/04/30