"Now are you sure you packed everything?"
"Everything but the answer to that question."
"What? Oh. Very funny."
"Thanks. And shouldn't you have asked before we started this trip?"
"I'm sure I did."
"Well, little late to worry about it now."
"I know, I know. But you know me. I just can't pass up an opportunity to panic."
"Relax, we're just up and relocating our entire lives. It's no big deal."
"Well, when you put it that way..."
"Hey! Look outside!"
"What is it? Oh, wow..."
The yellow carriage came to a stop at the top of a hill as the brown stallion pulling it slowed to a halt, giving the cart's two occupants a spectacular view of the sight below them. The sun peeked up over the horizon, bathing the towering buildings in morning light. The heavily industrialized city stood in stark contrast to the near barren desert that surrounded it, appearing as a bunch of toys left in the sandbox by a filly. The only thing that broke the illusion was the apparent activity within, with masses of ponies and pony-drawn vehicles moving through the streets in delicate tandem.
"Isn't it everything I told you it would be, Bon Bon?" one of the two ponies in the carriage asked.
"Las Pegasus, the entertainment capital of Equestria." Bon Bon replied. "Lyra, I think I'm going to have to start taking your word more often."
"That's a dangerous thing to say." Lyra teased.
"I realize." Bon Bon said. She paused. "Why are we stopped?"
From the front of the cart, a hoof clapped against the ground twice.
"End of the road, ladies." the brown pony responded in a disinterested tone. "Yer bits only get'cha so far."
"But I thought you said you'd take us into the city for what we paid." Bon Bon's voice wavered slightly.
"I said it would get'cha to the city. I mean you can see it, can't you?" the stallion answered shortly. "If you don't have any more bits, this is as far as you go."
"Haha. Wow, what an-" Lyra began to say.
"Okay. Fine." Bon Bon interjected, a bit too cheerfully. "Come on Lyra, this is our stop."
A multitude of banging sounds came from the cabin as the two ponies gathered their things, and a green magic field covered the side door as it opened to let them out. Lyra stepped out first, her horn glowing with the same emerald light, and wearing a black backpack that clashed with her mint green coat and mane. Bon Bon followed suit, with a pink purse hung over her beige neck, two large saddlebags attached to her hips, and a small briefcase balanced on her head matting down her pink and blue mane.
"Thank you for all your help." Bon Bon thanked the brown pony, her smile seemingly genuine enough.
"Pleasure's mine." the pony replied with disinterest. He reared up on his hind legs and took off down the hill, leaving Bon Bon and Lyra in the literal dust. Lyra's yellow eyes shut closed as she coughed, while Bon Bon's smile slowly turned into a sneer as her blue eyes narrowed.
"Bucking plothole!" Bon Bon shouted once the carriage was out of earshot. "I gave him every bit I had, and he couldn't even have the decency to take us into the city when he's already heading there?!"
"Calm your sweets. A little exercise never hurt anypony." Lyra said, pointing a hoof at Bon Bon's cutie mark, a trio of candy treats.
"You're not the one who has to carry all this!" Bon Bon said, indicating her luggage. "I swear he left the meter running back in Whinnychester."
"Just like you to assume the worst in somepony." Lyra sighed.
"I'm not going to respond to that." Bon Bon huffed.
"Except to say that you aren't." Lyra replied.
"Are you just going to let me suffer or are you going to offer to take one of my bags?" Bon Bon asked.
"Well since you asked so nicely..." Lyra's horn lit up as she levitated Bon Bon's briefcase to her side, next to her lyre cutie mark. "Geez Bon Bon, what all did you pack anyways?"
"Everything but the furniture." Bon Bon replied without the least bit of sarcasm. "Not everypony can live as spartan as you."
"Spartan? Well I've always considered myself pretty well built, so I'm glad to see you agree." Lyra said with a happy nod. Bon Bon sighed, but laughed in spite of herself.
"Well at the very least, I won't be bored with you around as my roommate." Bon Bon admitted.
With that, the two began their trudge down the hill and towards Las Pegasus.
The Subordinate Six
Episode 1: The Ensemble
by Legendary Emerald
"Wow, look at that building. It's huge!" Lyra said, pointing a hoof towards a towering feat of engineering and the color pink. Her gaze immediately switched to another building, this one baby blue. "Oh, no wait, that one! That's the biggest."
"Uh huh." Bon Bon struggled under the weight of her luggage as she followed Lyra through the paved, crowded streets of Las Pegasus. The buildings were indeed tall, and sharply contrasted with the simple design of the homes back in Ponyville. Las Pegasus was a candy-coated wonderland of engineering, with buildings of all shapes, sizes, and especially colors lining the streets. Cluttering the environment even further, garish billboards jutted out from the ground on tall poles, advertising venues of interest and upcoming performances.
So distracted was Bon Bon by the glitz of the city, she almost didn't notice a low rumbling begin to approach them from behind. As the sound finally reached her, Bon Bon's ears twitched and her eyes shot wide.
"Get down!" Bon Bon screamed, lunging at Lyra and driving the two of them to the sidewalk. A blue, ramshackled carriage shot down the road as its horn blared a tune that was far too pleasant for warning the numerous pedestrians to run for their lives. A conical purple windcatcher covered in stars decals whipped in the air above the vehicle, and several flier poured out of an open window.
Nearby ponies groaned as they picked themselves off of the ground, some pausing to read the advertisement on the papers that the wagon had left behind. Lyra untangled herself from Bon Bon and stood up.
"Holy Celestia!" Lyra swore. She pointed a hoof up ahead. "That got to be the biggest building ever!"
"We were almost ran over!" Bon Bon yelled, turning bright red when she noticed other ponies begin to stare at her. "I-I mean, there'll be time for sight seeing later. We need to pick up our keys before seven."
"Fine, fine." Lyra replied, looking at a map of the city. "Also, was it just me or did that wagon just now not have any ponies pulling it?"
"That doesn't make any sense, Lyra." Bon Bon said with a sigh. "Things may be different here, but the laws of cart... motion... pulling, still apply."
"Thank you for the insight, Twilight." Lyra chuckled. "Heh, that rhymed."
"The apartment complex, Lyra. Where is it?" Bon Bon asked humorlessly.
"Just a little bit further. We just need to turn down this road." Lyra said, turning and heading left. "It's in the outskirts of town. Practically in the suburbs."
"The further from the center of town I looked, the cheaper the rent." Bon Bon explained, following the other mare. "Equestrian Quality Developments was the only place we could afford the down payment on."
"Oh. Well in that case, we're there." Lyra said.
The two stopped in front of a large sign with the establishment's acronym emblazoned in bold blue text. The actual apartments stood past it; aligned in a crescent were a series of three beige buildings with blue roofs, two stories each. A smaller one floor structure sat between the three apartment buildings, and the rest of the lot was taken up by parking spaces and some small grassy areas.
"Well it's obvious the photos I saw were from a few years ago; the paint isn't quite as bright as I thought it would be. But this is still very nice." Bon Bon stated happily.
"I'm liking it." Lyra nodded her agreement. "Building number 3, right?"
"And room 203. That's the second floor." Bon Bon answered, setting down her hefty saddlebags. "I'm going to go pick up our key from the landlord. Take these to our door, please?"
"Not a problem." Lyra replied, effortlessly taking the bags into her magic field. Bon Bon's eyes narrowed.
"Sometimes I really envy you." the earth pony huffed, trudging over to the small building.
"Hey, this isn't as easy as it looks!" Lyra called out. When Bon Bon didn't reply, she headed out over to the building with the letter 3 on it in bright blue font. "Well, maybe half as easy as it looks."
No other ponies were up and about, making the place feel very empty. She made her way up the outdoor stairwell with some difficulty, her magic aura beginning to fade as the saddlebags repeatedly banged against the steps.
"Oops. Hope she didn't pack the kitchen sink, or we might have a leaky faucet on our hooves." Lyra quipped, laughing at her own joke. She set all of the bags down in front of the light blue door labeled #203. "Guess I'll just wait now. And talk to myself. Can't forget that."
Lyra stood up on her hind legs and leaned over the railing, looking at the ground below. From her vantage point she could see a pool set up behind the small building. Nopony was in it though, denying Lyra even the simple pleasures of voyeurism.
When Bon Bon failed to exit the building after an entire minute had passed, Lyra began to look to her left and right shiftily. She slowly backed up towards the door to the apartment, and turned to face the doorknob. A sly smile crossed over her features as her horn lit up and enveloped the knob in the light.
"Let's just see..." Lyra said, sticking her tongue out the side of her mouth as gears began to click inside the lock mechanism. So intent was she on her lockpicking that she didn't notice a shadow passing over her.
"Are you trying to break in?" a voice suddenly asked, causing Lyra to yell and sending her entire body into spasms.
"I, uh, m-maybe!" Lyra answered in defiance, staring at the gray pegasus in front of her. The mare didn't appear to be staring back, at least not directly. Her yellow eyes, which matched her golden mane and tail, seemed to be looking off in different directions. A goofy smile was plastered across her face.
"Well you're never going to get inside just by staring at the door." the mare laughed. She placed her right forehoof over her chest. "Don't worry, I got this."
The pegasus took a few steps back towards the railing, and coiled her legs underneath her as her eyes narrowed in determination. Her rear wiggled like a kitten's, soap bubble cutie mark threatening to float away. Then, with a single, powerful flap of her wings, she charged forward and slammed into the door with her entire body. The door caved under her weight, swinging inside and depositing the comatose mare across the doorstep.
"Oh my gosh, are you okay?" Lyra asked worriedly. The other pony shakily got to her hooves and began to sway from side to side.
"Heh heh, everything looks all funny." she said, eyes facing both directions for the first time. She shook her head a few times and they returned to their crossed state. "Ah, that's better."
Lyra laughed in spite of herself, and the other mare joined her.
"Hey, wait, I know you!" Lyra said, catching her breath. "You're Derpy Hooves. Ponyville's number one mail mare!"
"That's me!" Derpy said with a smile. "And you're Lyra Heartstrings. Ponyville's number one, uh, heartstring."
"Well I'm glad to see my reputation precedes me." Lyra joked, gaining another giggle from Derpy. "I can't believe we'd meet again in Las Pegasus, though."
"I know, right? This is really lucky." Derpy nodded to herself. "Oh, jeez, this is your apartment, right? I really should have asked that before I busted down the door. I'm not aiding a criminal, am I?!"
"No no no, nothing like that." Lyra laughed, waving away the idea. "I'm moving in here today. Just got a bit tired of waiting for my friend to get back with the key."
"Ah. Ooh, is Candy here too, then?" Derpy asked.
"You mean Bon Bon? Yeah, she's right over..." Lyra began to point to the welcoming center, but stopped as she noticed the pony in question climbing up the last step of the stairwell. "Right there! Hey Bon Bon, look who it is!"
"Oh?" Bon Bon stared at Derpy as the pegasus waved. She waved back nervously before her mouth opened wide. "Oh! Oh, Derpy! What a nice surprise!"
"Hiya, Candy!" Derpy replied, still waving.
"Bon Bon." Lyra whispered.
"Bon Bon!" Derpy repeated.
"Simple mistake." Bon Bon answered kindly, looking only slightly uncomfortable. "Wow, who could have guessed that..."
Bon Bon's sentence trailed off as she noticed the open door, as well as the vaguely pony shaped indent on it. She laughed nervously.
"Hey, Lyra? How did you get the door open?" she asked in a calm tone, smiling sweetly.
"No need to thank me." Derpy said, leaning back against the wall and rubbing a hoof against her chest. "I've locked myself out hundreds of times. No silly door can stop the Derpinator."
"And neither can any lock, I see." Bon Bon grit her teeth as she inspected the chunk of wood that had been taken out of the door frame. "W-well, I guess it's nothing some duct tape couldn't fix."
"I don't see how ducks are going to help." Derpy chuckled. "Even if you catch one, they're not known for their adhesiveness."
Bon Bon laughed, a bit too loudly and a bit too harshly. She pretended to wipe a tear from her eye.
"Oh, well it's been great seeing you Derpy, but Lyra and I need to get our rest. Long morning, and we have to unpack later too. You know how it is." Bon Bon said, left eye twitching precariously.
"Oh yeah, I know all about it." Derpy said. "I'll see you two later, then!"
"Don't be a stranger." Lyra said, waving as Derpy walked over to a door that was severely battered, with wooden boards nailed to it in multiple places. Lyra suddenly felt an arm around her neck as she was dragged into the dark apartment. A second later, the bags left outside were levitated indoors in a green light, and the door was slammed shut.
"Where's the lanterns?" Lyra asked, staring at the darkened room around her. She dropped the saddlebags and briefcase to the floor unceremoniously, and then did the same with her backpack.
"There aren't any. Now give me a few seconds so I can finish seething." Bon Bon huffed, setting her purse down with the rest of the luggage.
"No lanterns? I'd say that's a bigger deal than a broken lock." Lyra said. Bon Bon sighed.
"There's these new discoveries, Lyra; I don't know if you've heard of them. Electricity? The light bulb? Fascinating things, really." Bon Bon replied sarcastically, feeling around the wall with a hoof. She felt something jiggle beneath her touch, and flicked it upwards. The room was bathed in soft light, illuminating the plain beige walls and light blue carpeting.
"Wow, we've got electricity here?" Lyra asked excitedly, running over towards the switch and giving it a few test flips. "Dang, this makes Ponyville look like Podunk-ville!"
"But look at the room." Bon Bon pointed out. "It's only about half the size of our old apartment."
The apartment was remarkably small, split in half by a wall that stretched halfway across the width of the room. The front half of the room contained a table with one chair, a small wooden bookcase set against the rightmost wall, and a large mauve sofa pointed at a small kitchen area set up against the dividing wall. The edge of a bed with blue sheets peeked out from behind the divider.
"Beggars can't be choosers." Lyra shrugged before collapsing onto the sofa, her back against the cushion and her lower hooves hanging over the edge. "Oh wow, Bon Bon, you need to sit on this couch! It's unreal!"
"Not like there's going to be anywhere else to sit for a while." Bon Bon said, taking their solitary chair and propping it up against the doorknob. She walked over to Lyra and saw her curious seating position. "Lyra, what have I told you about that?"
"What?" Lyra asked innocently.
"Sitting like that." Bon Bon clarified. "It's not natural."
"Oh really? Then what's the back of this thing meant for, then? Making sure I don't roll off?" Lyra asked, rolling back and forth across the sofa width. Bon Bon sighed.
"Whatever. Just don't do it in public. I don't want ponies staring at us." Bon Bon said, shivering slightly. Lyra blew air out from between her pursed lips.
"Jeez, don't give me the wrong idea, Bon Bon. If you're embarrassed to be seen in public with me, why did you even follow me when I said I was coming to Las Pegasus?" she asked.
"I'm not embarrassed!" Bon Bon answered hastily, a bit shaken. She quickly caught herself. "I mean... a-and I couldn't trust you to be able to make it on your own out here. You never even held a job in Ponyville."
"I know. But I told you, I'm a new mare now." Lyra said.
"A new mare who is going to get a real job? And actually pay her share of the rent this time?" Bon Bon questioned, regaining her backbone.
"Right, right." Lyra answered, stretching her fore-hooves as she yawned.
"I'm serious Lyra, no more panhandling with that instrument of yours." Bon Bon warned.
"Shh. I'm missing the cooking channel." Lyra pointed at the oven directly in front of her. Bon Bon rolled her eyes.
"I've got a few hours until my job interview at The Sweets Cart, so I'm going to try and take a nap, and forget the fact that we were almost killed by a drunk driver today. You should get some rest too." Bon Bon said before walking past the dividing wall. She stopped as she passed it, and tapped the width of it with her hoof. "Bathrooms in there, by the way."
Lyra gave a half-hearted salute and yawned again before closing her eyes. Bon Bon muttered quietly to herself and disappeared behind the divider. She returned a moment later with a blue sheet in her teeth, which she draped over Lyra.
"Thanks." Lyra said with a smile, eyes closed. "Goodnight."
"It's 7:15 in the morning." Bon Bon said as she turned off the lights and headed off towards the bed.
"Oh." Lyra said. She grinned. "Good morning, Bon Bon."
Bon Bon took a long, deep breath and shook her head.
"Good morning, Lyra." Bon Bon finally said, allowing herself a smile.