Throne Room, Canterlot Castle
7:20am, 27th of Summer, 1002 C.R.
The TARDIS missed. As the Doctor was being dragged away by the Royal Guard, he went through the calculations in his head. He considered the helmic regulators being uncalibrated for this universe but it shouldn't have thrown him this far off the mark. If this universe was moderately parallel to his old one, then a trip to the moon should be the simplest thing in the world!
"Excuse me," he said to the guard holding his left foreleg in a vice-like grip, "What year, day, and time is it? I must've put the wrong coordinates."
No response from the large pegasus. The Doctor sighed and mulled over the events again. The TARDIS was thrown off her heading and put her by an outside force; it was like something made her gravitate here, something insanely powerful.
Then again, it could be the TARDIS being cheeky again. Over a thousand years of travel made the Doctor very wary about his beloved TARDIS, she took him to places he didn't want to go but she thought he needed to go.
He rolled his eyes and smiled, oh, he'll have a few words with the TARDIS when he gets back.
"But why here?" he muttered aloud, "Looks like a regular ol' castle, oh, don't mind me boys, I talk to myself a lot, everyone tells me to stop but I can't help it! I'm such an interesting block to talk to."
The guards offered no response to the Doctor's mutterings and sat him in front of an empty throne. Brandishing rope, they then tied up the Time Lord. "Oh, come on! Do we need the rope? I won't move, I promise, come on, you can trust me!"
"The guards err often on the side of caution, after all, you broke into the Royal Bath while Princess Luna was there." A calm majestic voice spoke from behind them. The Doctor noticed the guards visibly straightened when they heard her voice.
"You must be the queen!" the Doctor deduced, unable to turn his back to confirm his findings due to the rope. The guards turned to the trapped stallion and pointed their wings at him as they unsheathed with an audible shing!
"At ease," she ordered with the sort of calmness and tranquility of a mother offering a bright-eyed child their favorite dessert before dinner. The guards instantly dropped their wings as she walked in front of them and faced the Doctor.
The Doctor didn't have a very clearly defined sense of physical aesthetics in this universe (though he would admit he looks quite dapper as a pony) but beautiful came to mind when he saw her. Unlike every pony he came across this universe thus far, she was the only one who remotely looked like an actual horse. Though frankly, she was quite slim and trim in a way someone would remark as curvy and vivacious. She had snow white coat with a magical mane and tail that held a multitude of colors. A horn protruded out of her forehead and was much longer than the unicorns he came across, and large majestic wings were furled on her sides.
Not only that, but the Doctor felt sheer power from this mare. It felt like standing in front of an unstable nuclear reactor, brimming to explode, and he felt that with a wrong word she'd detonate.
"Oh, look at that! Wings and a horn, you must be very special aren't you? What are you then? A winged unicorn? A pegacorn? Qilin? No, no, definitely not, I met a qilin once, not a happy chap I'll tell you that."
"Leave us," she told the guards who stared strangely at her. She merely smiled politely at them and the guards instantly obeyed and left the room without complaint, "I apologize for my guards, they tend to be overprotective."
"Oh, no, that's fine," the Doctor dismissed jokingly, "Lovely fellows, really. I can see why you hired them, fascinating personalities."
She said nothing and maintained her calm neutral smile that made the Doctor a bit nervous. However, he has had experience defusing these types of situations, "I'd shake your hoof, but I'm a little tied up at the moment."
"Ah, yes, I apologize." Her horn glowed and the rope unfurled around the stallion and piled up neatly beside him.
"Whew, appreciate it, I try not to get tied up this early in the day. Hello, I'm the Doctor!" He extended his hoof but stared at it for a second, "Hm, shaking hands will be difficult now."
"It's princess, by the way," she corrected coyly.
"Of course you are excused. I was simply correcting you, in that I am the Princess, not queen. Semantics, you see, play a great deal in Equestria. I am Princess Celestia, and I must ask why you broke into the Royal Bath?"
The Doctor chuckled and shrugged, "I sort of had a problem with my… vehicle, faults on both sides, we can agree, and to be fair, you ponies don't normally wear clothes."
Princess Celestia smiled humorously, "True. Back in the old days, it was considered a level one heresy to view the princesses bathing."
"What was the punishment?" The Doctor extended his hoof and grinned, "Hopefully, just a slap on the hoof?"
"To be honest, I'm not really sure. It was such an old rule and besides, there hasn't been a pony daring enough to chance punishment," the Princess looked up for a moment, considering, "Well, the last pony in recent memory was Starswirl the Bearded."
"Lovely chap, I imagine."
She nodded in agreement and looked at the Doctor with slight concern. He recognized that look, he's seen it on hundreds upon thousands of people; a disapproving look, one that told him to grow up and consider the consequences of his actions.
Unfortunately, the Doctor was never really good at following orders.
"Who are you?" she asked.
"I told you, I'm the Doctor. Well! That's what everyone calls me, not really sure why. Well! I call myself that too."
The Princess looked unaffected by the Doctor's strange and eccentric rambling, she looked like a mare with infinite patience and could sit through the Doctor's long-winded rants for years if need be.
"I know the names of everyone, pony or otherwise, in Equestria. I don't recognize you, so, what is stopping me from imprisoning you for your crime and suspicion of saboteur?" She spoke with such calm regality that it felt like she was asking for more tea and not threatening the Doctor.
He couldn't help but smile arrogantly, "There isn't a prison in the universe that can hold me, trust me, they tried."
"Then, we come at an impasse." Princess Celestia smirked and leaned forward, resting on her crossed forelegs rather comfortably. Posing as if she were ready to take a nap, the Princess didn't seem bothered that her regal image was effectively ruined in front of this strange stallion.
"There is no impasse," corrected the Doctor.
"You won't lock me up. I know you, well! I know what you're like anyways, you're too nice to do something like that."
"And how have you come to that conclusion, Doctor?" Her tone was so polite and light, it only reaffirmed the Doctor's finding.
"Pictures," he answered before standing up and gesturing around the throne room, "This is your throne room! Yet, there aren't any images of you. What kind of monarch would do that? One uncomfortable with the attention royalty garners. You aren't egotistical, you're too nice."
"Excellent deduction, Doctor," she complimented. "You have granted me several considerations. So, I must grant you a few of my own."
The Doctor sat down in front of her and smiled kindly.
"You don't belong here." Her tone was kind enough but the Doctor felt unnerved at her words but maintained his calm expression, "You are not from this world, and although you look like a normal pony, you are obviously not. You don't appear hostile, that much I can sense, but still can impose a problem if left unabated. Which leads me to correct you. I am nice, Doctor, but do not mistaken that for good. If you resemble the slightest threat to this world or anyone on it, I will not stand by and let you go on."
The Doctor looked at the princess for a moment, trying to get a read on her. He knew she wasn't lying, that much was certain, but she was so unreadable it frustrated him. He tried to keep his poker face up, but his pony anatomy betrayed him as his large impressionable eyes spoke volumes of truth.
She recognized that look in his eyes. The look of an ancient pony hiding his weariness as far down as possible, after all, she's practiced the look for years.
As a quickly as a coin switching sides, the Doctor's goofy and care-free smile appeared on his face, "Don't worry, I don't intend to be anything but help. And besides, I promised Twilight a trip, and it's the least I can do really."
For a moment, Princess Celestia's mask faltered and the Doctor was able to register a slew of emotions in her eyes; anger, worry, resignation then neutrality, going by so fast he thought he may have imagined it. She raised an eyebrow, "Twilight Sparkle?"
"Yes! Lovely little unicorn, saved her life and Ponyville against this giant alien plant, which by the way wasn't my fault. I promised her a trip and I'm nothing if not a pony of my word. Why, do you know her?"
She wavered briefly, and the Doctor resisted the urge to grin broadly. She nodded and sat up straight, a dominant position, make oneself as big as possible, "Twilight Sparkle is my personal student and the wielder of an Element of Harmony. She is an exceedingly powerful unicorn."
As always, the Princess's polite and calm speech was perfectly maintained, but her eyes spoke a different story: If Twilight comes back with a hair out of place, I'm holding you responsible twice.
"Oh, yes, I know. Very clever, too. She's currently helping me out in my predicament. Well! I wouldn't call it a predicament. I like this world, very calm, very nice. If I had to be stuck anywhere, I'm glad it was here."
Princess Celestia considered for a moment, years of wisdom expressed on her face as she sized up the Doctor. She nodded affirmatively and with the gentlest smile she had, she said, "If you are planning a trip, may I make a suggestion?"
Canterlot Castle Courtyard, Canterlot
8:00am, 27th of Summer, 1002 C.R.
Princess Celestia led the Doctor to the courtyard where, amongst dozens of statues of ponies and beautiful foliage, sat the TARDIS in the middle of everything. The light on top flickered impatiently and the Doctor swore she was cross with him, but couldn't resist smiling when he sauntered up to her.
"Ah! There she is, cheeky little girl really. Threw me here when I was aiming for the moon!" He laughed as he patted the side of the box and Celestia wondered who exactly this eccentric pony was.
"She is your vehicle?" Celestia asked.
"Yep! The TARDIS, the best ship in the universe!"
Princess Celestia chuckled, "She's made of wood."
"I know," he turned toward her with that brilliant smile, "Isn't she great?"
Celestia laughed to herself, a small reserved sort of noise that would've made any stallion swoon over her, but the Doctor was so enamored and distracted with the TARDIS that he hardly noticed.
"Oh, I never did get an answer to my question. When is it? Time, date, year? I'll need the proper coordinates to jump back to my time."
The princess relayed the date and the Doctor gaped before scowling at the blue box. "You sent me three hours back in time? Ooh, you cheeky little—"
"I'm sorry, are you saying that it's also a time machine?"
His anger quickly subsided as he looked rakishly at the princess, "Like I said, best ship in the universe."
He opened the door and quickly stepped inside, "Anyways, best be off! Don't want to get pummeled by that other pony, what was her name again?"
"Princess Luna," Celestia supplied.
The Doctor shook his mane as if he had a sugar rush and frowned at the TARDIS's interior. "Oh, she thinks she's really clever hm? Hardly the point, anyways, I'll get out of your… magic mane, and thanks for the advice, oh, and you might want to stay around. You'll love this bit."
Entering the TARDIS entirely, the door shut and almost instantly Celestia understood what he meant. The box began to fade out of existence producing an almost mechanical sound, like air being filtered with a lyrical rhythm behind it. It was uplifting and mind-blowing that the Princess couldn't contain her smile when the box disappeared completely.
Golden Oaks Library, Ponyville
1:00pm, 27th of Summer, 1002 C.R.
The Doctor emerged out of the basement in time to see Twilight composing notes at her desk. Adjusting his bow-tie, he approached the unicorn with a great big smile.
"Oh, you're back," droned Twilight who busily scribbled a few more words down, not turning to face the stallion, "How was your trip?"
"Didn't go exactly how I planned, ended up traveling three hours back in time and landed in a great big bath, nearly got arrested, but I made a few new friends! I think."
Twilight didn't respond, only nodded and muttered more under her breath, leaving the Time Lord questioning his choice in companions these days.
"Um, what exactly are you writing?" The Doctor asked, sneaking up behind Twilight and looking over her shoulder.
Twilight's ears perked up and she turned around with a smile that worried the Doctor as she levitated the notes to his face. "Homework!"
20 minutes later
"Okay, go through it one more time."
"You need to get your story straight!"
The Doctor pouted and crossed his forelegs across his chest as he slumped on the chair. Like a teacher whose patience is running thin, Twilight Sparkle rolled her eyes at the surprisingly foalish Time Lord.
"I'm 1307! I don't need to be treated like a child," the Doctor snapped.
"Apparently, you do," she retorted walking past him with exasperation apparent in her expression. "Now, go through it again."
Rolling his eyes, the Doctor ruffled his mane up from sheer boredom, but did as Twilight asked. "I'm Time Turner—actually, can I change that name?"
Sighing heavily, Twilight rubbed her now aching head. "Why?"
"Because I sound like a little trinket! I'm a Time Lord—"
"Oh, yes, I know, how impressive," drawled Twilight.
"—A pony that can turn entire armies away at the mere mention of my name!"
"I certainly don't need silly names like Time Turner!"
"Then what do you want?"
The Doctor considered for a moment. "John Smith."
"I already told you, no, you can't use that name!"
"Why not? I happen to like John Smith!"
"The name simply isn't common here, you'll stand out if you start calling yourself that. Now then, Time Turner is a perfectly good name and it fits your cutie mark!" They had being doing this routine for the whole of twenty minutes; Twilight trying to get the Doctor to be more or less normal and the Time Pony reacting like a foal that had his favorite toy taken away from him.
"Fine," he conceded, "I'm Time Turner, from Trottingham. I'm twenty-seven (really, though, I look much younger than that) and am a clockmaker."
"Good," smiled Twilight, it was nice to have the Doctor properly cooperating. "What are your hobbies?"
"Multidimensional temporal-spatial manipulation and extrapolation—" Twilight's glare intensified, "—That is to say… I read and make soufflés."
"Excellent!" She grinned, turning around, unaware of the Doctor's condescending and juvenile expression. "Now, then, what about your work?"
"Hey, Twilight," called Spike as he walked through the door, he carried a dozen scrolls in a stack so high that his little body was comically hidden underneath it. "Where do you want these?"
"Oh! Spike!" The Doctor cried suddenly, causing the dragon to stumble and yelp at the stallion's outburst inevitably tripping and spilling the scrolls.
"What?!" he cried in surprise.
"You appear to have dropped your scrolls," the Doctor pointed out.
"Oh, gee, thanks, I would have never been able to figure that out if it weren't for you," quipped Spike.
"No problem at all!" grinned the Doctor, "But didn't you promise me a little trip around Ponyville?"
"Yes! Remember? You were so excited to show me around, well, I'm sorry for taking so long to get ready. But we should go, see the sights, smell the flowers, maybe invade someone's personal space," he rambled on, undeterred by Spike's abject confusion.
"Wait, Doctor, I was going to show you around first," interjected Twilight, "And besides, we still have a lot more to study up on. I mean, your family history, where you went to school and such."
"As riveting as that sounds Twilight, poor little Spike has been dying to show me around." Before Spike could protest, the Doctor swiftly picked him up, cupping his cheeks, and presented him to Twilight to demonstrate his point. "And it isn't like me to keep a dragon waiting! So, I guess we'll have to do this a little later. Raincheck?"
"Oh, thank you so much for understanding Twilight, you're a lovely unicorn and I'll bring back some jelly babies for you when we get back!" The Doctor, with Spike in tow, ran out of the door before Twilight could ask what a jelly-baby was.
"Gee, Doc, subtle enough?" Spike asked as the two walked down Ponyville proper.
The Doctor ran a hoof through his mane uncomfortably, "I'm sorry Spike, it's just she was giving me homework. Me! Doing homework? Ridiculous, really."
"I know what you mean," Spike nodded sympathetically, aware of how controlling and demanding the librarian was when in a particular mood. "She made me memorize the Hoofy Decimal System in an hour when we moved to Ponyville."
The Time Lord raised a curious eyebrow at the little dragon, "Hoofy Decimal System? Really?"
He shook his head, "No, nothing. I suppose I should get used to this pony world and the idiosyncrasies along with it, still, shouldn't be too bad. Not anymore worse than my dinner with Atilla the Hun, Benjamin Franklin, and Johnny Cash, I suppose."
Spike scratched his head at his otherworldly obscure references, he tried to decide who was the more eccentric, Twilight or this Time Lord. "Right. Where'd you say you were from again?"
"Gallifrey. But enough about me, you should show me around this lovely town. I didn't have much time to take in the sights when running away from psychotic omnivore alien plants. For example, who is that pony running toward us at incredible speeds?"
Before Spike could consider a response, a pink blur tackled the Time Lord and tumbled for ten meters before stopping suddenly with Pinkie Pie pinning him to the ground smiling broadly. "OHMYGOSHIHAVEN'TSEENYOUBEFOREYOUMUSTBENEWWA NNABEBESTFRIENDS?WHAT'SYOURNAME?FAVORTIETREAT?ANDLEASTFAVORITEVEGETABLE?"
No normal pony would be able to understand Pinkie Pie's off-the-wall method of speech, it is fortunate, therefore, that the Doctor is anything but a normal pony.
He chuckled at her eccentricity before returning her smile with one of his own, "I'm the Doctor—er, or rather, I'm uh, blast what was my name again? Oh, I'm Clockwork! Yes, that's who I am, Clockwork, just a clockmaker. My favorite sweet? Hm, I'm not really sure but I was really fond of jelly babies several lives back, and my least favorite vegetable? Again, tricky question, maybe asparagus?"
Pinkie giggled, "Doctor Clockwork? That's a great name! Are you good at fixing clocks? Oh, I think we're going to be great friends!"
"Oh, I'd like to think so— AGH! Much, Ms Pie, but I won't be any use to you with my lungs shattered!" He groaned under the earth mare's strength. She dropped him and apologized profusely.
"Hey, Pinkie." Waved Spike, "I was just showing, heh, Doctor Clockwork around town."
"Ooh! Idea!" Jumped Pinkie before stretching her foreleg to impossible lengths somewhere out of sight and snapping it back with a lightbulb in hoof and holding it over her head, "We should go to Sugarcube Corner!"
The Doctor's eyes widened at Pinkie's blatant disregard for conventional physiological functions and turned to Spike to voice his concerns but the dragon was indifferent to her strange actions. "How did you… Sudden elasticity of your foreleg with your structure intact and retaining its shape, but, that's impossible."
He brandished his sonic screwdriver and scanned Pinkie's foreleg in question. She giggled as the probe ran over her leg, "That tickles! What is that doohickey?"
"Sonic screwdriver," he answered absentmindedly, "Hm, that's strange, no physical abnormalities... but how then?"
"What's Clockwork talking about?" Pinkie asked in the middle of giggles from the sonic screwdriver.
Spike shrugged, "Just nod when he thinks he's being clever. Anyways, let's go to Sugarcube Corner, I'm starving!"
"Yay!" Pinkie wrapped her forelegs around both Spike and the Doctor, in another physically impossible feat, and pulled them toward the revered confectionary.
Pinkie Pie went into the back to grab treats for her guests, leaving the Doctor and his scaly friend alone for the moment.
The place was as the Doctor had expected, relatively normal with an assortment of treats on full display before them. Everything looked scrumptious and its effect showed as Spike could hardly contain himself in front of these treats. The Doctor chuckled to himself as the phrase; "Child in a candy store" came to his mind.
"Are there any other dragons around here, Spike?" he asked, stopping the reptilian from snatching a cupcake off a shelf.
"Yeah, but not around any pony civilizations," he answered, keeping his eyes on the revered treat, "Dragons aren't taken well by ponies. We're kinda dangerous."
"Oh, I know the feeling," remarked the Doctor enigmatically.
"Why do you ask?"
The Time Pony pointed at Spike's scaly hands, "You, so far, are the only creature I've seen with opposable thumbs. Which begs the question, how would hooves be able to get the filling inside these cakes."
"Oh, well, that's an easy answer, Doc. You see they use—"
"And here we go!" Pinkie trotted into the room with a large plate of assorted cupcakes sitting on her back. "Cupcakes! My favorite flavor, cupcake-flavored!"
Spike happily welcomed the interruption as he took a cupcake and began to eat, the Doctor acted with more hesitation, however, as he considered his hoof and the cupcakes in question. Fine manipulation would be obviously difficult for hooves, but Pinkie arched her back suddenly, sending a single cupcake flying, and caught it with an expert swipe of her hoof.
"How did you… ugh, I'll never take hands for granted if I ever get back home," the Doctor grumbled, awkwardly taking a cupcake and immediately dropping. "Great, heh, The Oncoming Storm defeated by a pair of hooves. Appropriate, really."
"Here, do it like this!" Pinkie bounced once more and caught the cupcake perfectly with the flat of her hoof, "See! Get it?"
"Not really," he mumbled, rolling his eyes as Pinkie bounced the cupcake off her shoulders and forelegs before catching it in mid-air with her mouth.
"Why can't you use your hooves Clockwork?" she asked innocently.
Spike chuckled, "It's his first time using them, apparently. It's a little funny to watch, to be honest."
"I'll get the hang of it eventually," the Doctor quipped, taking one of the cupcakes awkwardly; precariously balancing it on his hoof before eating it entirely.
"So, Doctor Clockwork, how are you liking Ponyville so far?" Pinkie asked.
"Lovely little place, I'll admit. I think I'll enjoy it here," he answered with a sincere smile.
"Got any plans for a job? We're always hiring at Sugarcube Corner."
The Doctor involuntarily shuddered at that job, the serious implication of him being employed in any manner was rather terrifying. Restrictions, limitations, parameters, all big nasty things that the Doctor abhorred, he wasn't much to abide by most rules anyways.
"No, thank you. I'll be working on a small time clock repair shop here," he said, completely aware of how hypocritical it was using Twilight's contingencies but felt it was easier than explaining outright that he was a Time Lord. "As it shows on my cutie mark, I can be considered a master of all things… timey wimey."
Pinkie Pie was ready to cheerfully respond when the cries of babies interrupted her. Turning around, Pinkie ran into the next room and emerged, seconds later, with two foals in carriers. Pumpkin and Pound Cake gurgled impatiently at the pink earth pony as she ran around reaching for bottles.
"Oh, look at that, foals!" The Doctor remarked happily.
"Yeah! Pumpkin and Pound Cake! The Cakes left me to foalsit them for a while! Ah, here you go!" Pinkie fed the twins their bottles but the foals pouted and pushed the food away. "Aw, aren't you hungry?"
"Actually—" The Doctor leaned into the foals, listening to their gurgles and cries, "—They want to be changed, and would much rather you give them the turtle rather than the lion, whatever that means."
"How did you know that?" Spike asked.
"I speak baby, sorry, didn't I mention?" Pumpkin Cake fussed lightly causing the Doctor to frown, "No, he's Spike. Really, you should learn their names Pumpkin first, you can't keep calling him the Purple One."
"The Purple One?" repeated Spike.
"Ooh, you can understand them? That's so cool!" Jumped Pinkie, unable to contain her excitement, "What do they say about me?"
"They call you—" he consulted Pound Cake, "—The Loud One. There is also a Quiet One, Whiny One, Apple One, Flying One, Other Purple One anddd... Weird One. Oi! Bowties are not weird."
"No, but time-traveling aliens are," Spike muttered under his breath, careful to not let Pinkie hear.
"Anyways, I think they'd better get changed before something really bad happens," advised the Doctor as he pushed the foals toward Pinkie who nodded in agreement.
"You're right Clockwork! Be right back!" Pinkie Pie ran out of the room only to come back with a large yellow bag thrown over her back.
"Do you really think this is a good place to change diapers?" asked the Time Pony with some concern toward the treats she had brought in.
"Oh, right!" With a sudden flourish, Pinkie stretched her foreleg toward the treats, grabbed them in a single swoop, and threw all of the cupcakes into her mouth.
Again, the Doctor was absolutely baffled by Pinkie's display of impossible dexterity of her body, being able to contort and stretch any part of her in ways that should not be physically possible. Normally, his curiosity wouldn't be this overwhelming, either this must be a new perk of his new incarnation or part of his ponified mind.
"That shouldn't be possible!" he cried, turning to Spike in hopes he would understand the Time Lord's concerns. The little dragon, however, cared less. "You just can't… but ponies don't work that way!... said the talking pony to the baby dragon…"
Pinkie giggled at the Doctor's outburst, her hooves, however, had minds of their own as they scrambled to change the foals' diapers in a flurry of movements lost in a pink blur. "What's Clockwork on about?"
"Beats me, just nod when he stops for a breath," answered Spike.
In mere seconds, Pinkie stepped away from the foals with a pair of dirty diapers of which she cleanly, and neatly, disposed of.
The Doctor was hardly impressed by Pinkie's quick work on the foals, smacking his forehead with his hoof, "How?! Your hooves don't have the dexterity and nimble form that would allow you to change diapers so easily, much less at the speed you accomplished it! It is impossible for anyone—"
"Anypony," corrected Spike.
"Oh, don't you start," quipped the Time Pony, "I don't need another Twilight correcting me."
"Oh! Hey, you guys wanna see something cool?" Pinkie asked with an unnerving bright smile that resembled the grin mad scientists wear.
The Doctor wasn't sure whether to express surprise, uncontainable glee, or baffled confusion when he was shown Pinkie's "gift from Lyra Heartstrings". A twenty foot Medieval trebuchet stood in front of the trio, parked right in the middle of Ponyville Park. The Doctor wasn't sure where, or even how, Pinkie got this trebuchet or why no one was disturbed by the fact that an ancient war weapon sat in the middle of a park.
"How… did…" Was all the Time Pony was able to say coherently.
"Lyra was really happy to get it off her hooves, not sure why, don't really know what it is anyways but isn't it cool?" asked Pinkie as the earth pony jumped all around the catapult, kicking its sides and pushing down on the sling.
"Pinkie, you are aware that this is an ancient weapon, right?" The Doctor asked with some concern in his voice.
"Ohhh, is that what it is? I thought it was catapult!"
The Doctor nearly face-hoofed. "It is, it's used to sling projectiles at fortified bases, usually knocking down walls in a rather rude way. Last time I saw one this old was with the Vikings, loud lot but really friendly once you get to know them."
The Time Pony shook his head as he realized how badly he was getting distracted, he'd really need to work on his attention span this incarnation, ooh, butterflies. He shook his head again. "No, wait, where did you get this Ms. Pie, a catapult isn't something anyone—"
"Anypony," corrected Spike as he considered a pair of cupcakes in each claw.
"Anypony," the Doctor amended, "would have. Now, wait, what are you doing?"
As the Doctor spoke, Pinkie Pie, apparently either uninterested in what the Doctor was saying or as easily distracted as he was, was getting on the catapult, neatly fitting in the sling. She looked at him, grinned, and bounced slightly in the thick hammock-like drape. "Trying to see if it'll fire!"
"No, no, it'll never work like that. The counterweight is all off." The Doctor walked over to Pinkie, taking her off the sling as best he could with his awkward hooves, and headed to the side of the catapult. Grabbing two spare sandbags, he readjusted the counterweight and pulled the sling back properly. "There! Perfect, you simply squeeze into the sling and release the counterweight, and off you go!"
Pinkie Pie gasped in awe at the Doctor's hoofwork, but grimaced when she looked at the sling. "It doesn't look like it can launch anything heavy, though."
"Oh, don't be silly. This thing can launch projectiles twice my weight! Here," The Doctor slipped into the sling, "It'll be able to fire me for up to three hundred feet, simply release the counterweight—"
"Like this?" Pinkie placed her forelegs against the side of the catapult and pressed down on the mechanism keeping the counterweight in check. A sudden snap rattled the trebuchet and the Time Pony's eyes widened as he realized what was coming next.
"Wait! Wait!" Before he could attempt to get out, the sling shot into the air, launching the Time Pony far beyond the distance he wished to travel today.