Chapter 1: A Night To Remember
"So you were just giving her a chance?"
The show unicorn grinned. "Yes. A chance to fail in front of all of her friends, but of course, that didn't work out very well."
Inkblot did see how it could have been considered a flaw, but didn't consider it. "Are you kidding? She took care of it so that the magic of the Great and Powerful Trixie could be preserved."
Trixie smiled. "Of course! Why waste my raw power on a silly little Ursa Minor when there are other wonders to be performed?" As if on cue, she shot a shower of shimmering sparks out of her horn, with the other unicorn's mouth gaping in awe. The sparks were all colors of the rainbow; each color was shimmering against the hill the two were on.
"Wooooow! Amazing!" the white colt squealed. His pupils were greatly enlarged in awe of the event. They were so large, his left eye would have blended in with the black birthmark around his eye if it wasn't blue.
"Thank you. Thank you," the blue unicorn said as she gave a theatrical bow. Inkblot gave an accompanying applause.
"So, are you staying in Ponyville tonight? I know that the Ursa Minor destroyed your trailer, so maybe you could stay at my place?" the colt asked anxiously. What he wouldn't give for her to say yes...
Trixie could detect the anxiety. "I'm very sorry Inkblot, but the Great and Powerful Trixie always has places to be. I need to be in Canterlot by tomorrow to prepare for my spectacular show for the princesses."
The black and messy-maned unicorn almost stepped back in surprise. "You're doing a show in Canterlot?! That's amazing! They deserve talent like you!" He was upset that she couldn't stay, but he had a better idea. "Do you think I could come, too?"
Trixie scoffed as she started to walk away. "Please. I know you too well. You're a child at heart. You would be bored by all of the sophistication in a matter of seconds."
Inkblot followed loyally, still keeping up the conversation. "Well, I probably would be bored to tears, but that doesn't mean I won't try to make it. When's the show?"
Trixie smiled. "The Great and Powerful Trixie will be performing at the Royal Theatre at 9 PM this Saturday. Tickets are a pricy 80 bits, but it is without a doubt worth every last bit. Come and be amazed!"
Inkblot planned out his weekend. He had to turn in his article for the Ponyville Post by Sunday, which was in three days. He'd be able to turn it in beforehand and still have time to see Trixie's performance. "Alright! I'll be there!"
The show unicorn looked at her fan with a smile. Something she normally never wore in front of fans. Then again, her other big fans just let an Ursa Minor loose into Ponyville. "Well, the Great and Powerful Trixie departs from this town and makes her way to Canterlot. Next time I see you, I want to see that cutie mark, Inkblot."
The white unicorn cringed. "Please don't bring that up." It was a touchy subject that he preferred to avoid. Even though he was an almost fully grown colt, he still lacked a cutie mark. It was embarassing in most cases, but when Trixie said it, his blood seemed to freeze.
Trixie chuckled, then leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. Inkblot's cheeks turned into a rosy red as he was frozen in place. His heart seemed to skip a beat as it happened. The unicorn wished he could feel this feeling for every second of his life, but after a breif moment of bliss, it was over.
Trixie gave another quiet laugh as she saw the look of complete shock, yet blissful joy on the unicorn's face. "Farewell, Inky."
Inkblot tried to say something as Trixie trotted away, but the kiss had jumbled his mind so much, he could hardly think straight, much less talk straight.
As Trixie disappeared over the hill, the dumbstruck unicorn only stood there comprehending what happened. He was just kissed by the Great and Powerful Trixie. Just the idea of it made his heart skip a beat or two. And as she left, she called him "Inky". It was like a pet name. Inkblot always thought lovey-dovey nicknames were just mooshy fake romance, but the name "Inky" just made his heart explode.
When he finally unfroze from his trance, he let out an elated holler while he bucked his back legs. For the next twenty minutes, he celebrated his kiss on the hill, partying to himself harder than Pinkie Pie could ever party.
Inkblot trotted his way home from the hill, still wearing a smile he never knew he had. He was so possessed by the joy of Trixie's kiss that he hadn't even thought about getting sleep. It was 3 in the morning, but the unicorn figured he was better going to bed late than never.
He followed the dirt path to Ponyville. Despite the recent destruction, the town was very quiet. Almost everypony seemed to be asleep in their homes, given the exception of two young moustached unicorns.
Inkblot was just about to cross the "Welcome to Ponyville" sign when he heard a voice come from behind a tall set of bushes. "Alright, and the message is sent." The voice was definitely from a stallion, but it was sort of high-pitched and weak. It shook in anxiety often like an uneven chair with springs attached to the bottoms of the legs.
Another voice responded to the first one. This one was deeper, rougher, and had a sense of authority, but it still seemed to be fun-loving and light-hearted. "Good. Now we just hope that the HPIRT comes in and takes away the problem tonight. Knowing how the NPIRT has been doing lately, they'll be more likely to deliver us a pizza than clear a pony's memory." The deep voice laughed. After listening a while, Inkblot notices that he had a slight Manehattan accent.
The weak voice answered his apparent partner's voice. "Why do we have to do that, though? I mean, memory removal seems sort of flawed. That pony won't remember ANYTHING that happened today."
The deeper voice chuckled. "Well, if you're so worried about the ponies, then be glad we caught that one when we did. If a pony knows about us for over a week, we don't have the ability to wipe that much memory, so we have to take them out instead."
There was a pause. It gave Inkblot a brief second to think about the situation. A handful of questions flew to the front of his mind. Who were these ponies? What was the message? Who did it go to? Whose memory was being wiped? Was his memory going to be wiped tonight?
The pause subsided when the one with the smaller voice spoke up softly "W-we have to kill them? Like....KILL them...?"
The deep voice behind the bushes groaned. "This again? Yes. If they know about us for too long, it'll be implanted too deep into their memories for us to erase. The erasers can only erase up to about a week long of memory."
"Can't we just ask them to not talk about it? It's a lot better than just slaying the things."
"Well, that would defeat the purpose of us being secret. Some of these ponies want to be adventurous and travel to our world. Show ponies would just hog the cameras. Pranksters would dunk the hidden cameras. If they could know, then we would've told them already."
"K-killing them is just wrong, though. If I'd known we'd be k-killing them, I wouldn't have taken the job. In fact," a thump was heard as something hit the ground, "I quit," he exclaimed with a sharp tone, but clearly little to no confidence.
Suddenly, the smaller voice let out a yelp. Inkblot couldn't see behind the bush, but judging by what he heard, the voice was being strangled. The lower voice became threatening and vile, suddenly having his voice so rough it sounded like sandpaper. It had lost all of it's fun and joy. "Listen! We came here to do our job. I have no problem with you leaving, but we're gonna finish the job before you leave. Alright? Cuz your little hissy fit isn't going to put the show at risk. Got that?"
A choked whimper responded. Inkblot knew he had to take action, but he was hesitant. He took a step, but took it back quickly considering the scenario. He didn't notice he stepped on a small pile of dead leaves, making a noticable crinkle.
The unicorn finally decided to act. As he charged into the bushes, he heard the light scampering of feet making their way into the cover of another set of shrubs. Inkblot was alone in an opening surrounded by big bushes. His heart darted from side to side to find the source of the voice, but found himself to be alone.
He turned his head right to find something else. It was the thing that the guy who quit dropped. From just looking at it, he didn't have a clue what it was. It was a sleek, black, rounded box with a crease down the center. On the top of it was a grey rounded rectangle that featured the letters "hp".
Inkblot looked at it with confusion. Using his magic, he lifted the box up and inspected the thing in full. The crease was grey, and seemed to be able to open. The bottom of it was also black, but had strange grids and textures. Under the crease on the sides, there were a large number of holes. Most of them were either rectangular and circular, each with a mysterious symbol next to it.
He used his magic to open it up. It was divided into two parts. The first part was just a simple blackness. Nothing much about it. The second part was divided into at least fifty of it's own parts. There were a ton of tiny squares neatly aligned in three rows. Some of them showed letters. Other were numbers with symbols on top of them. Under the set of squares was a rectangular pad with an oval cut in half under it.
Suddenly, the top half sprung to life. It didn't even transition from its total blackness to a bright white screen. This bright screen had words on it. On the top left was a logo that said "Gmail". The large area that took up most of the screen contained a huge bundle of words, but there was one message that was obviously the most important. It was a message that stated,
"Was the recording successful?"
Under that was another cluster of miscellaneous words, but led to another message that was an answer to the above question.
"Yes, but we were spotted by one of the ponies. Get the HPIRT to Pony #167. Aside from that, we're golden. We'll have the town clear in fifteen minutes.
Inkblot took a moment to decipher what was going on. This black box must have been a communication device used by whoever those two were. Franklin was probably the one who got strangled. The HPIRT wiped memories. Somepony was getting his memory wiped tonight.
Their lives were being recorded.
That gave him a shock. How much of what they were doing was being recorded? Could they see him right now? Why were they recording the events in Equestria? What did they record?
He also asked himself another question. This one had to be decided quickly. Was he going to take the box? On a related note, was he going to turn himself in? Ironically, in order to come to a decision, he had to answer a ton of other questions. For example, did they know about him? Did they know where to find him to wipe his memory and take the box back?
Suddenly, more words popped up on the screen. Underneath it's miniature wall of text, there was another message. Inkblot read the message in hopes of finding some answers.
"This is Hopkins. Franklin decided to quit in the middle of the job. In order to ensure the completion of our mission, I had to use some force. Said force caught the attention of one of the town's locals. In order to protect our interactions, we had to flee. We didn't get a look at the pony, so we can't send the HPIRT to a second home until we do.
Also, during our retreat, Franklin accidentally left his laptop behind. Whether or not the pony who interrupted intends to keep the laptop or not is unkown to us. During the sweep in ten minutes, we can check the spot to see if it took the laptop.
At this moment, Franklin has gone completely rogue, threatening to tell all of the ponies in Ponyville of our existence if I interrupt this pony. Due to low supply of memory-erasing chemicals, that would be catastrophic. I'm left with no choice but to hope that this pony doesn't take the laptop.
Inkblot read it and read it over once again. A wave of relief swept over him. They didn't know what he looked like. Whether or not he took the laptop (that's what they called the thing), if he was found, he was going to just lose his memory anyway. If he took it and DIDN'T get caught, he would find out how this odd object worked. So, he decided to take it.
But there was a third option: Turn himself in. It seemed like the last thing they wanted was for ponies to know about them. Maybe it would just be a good idea to cooperate with them so they don't have to go through a huge ordeal. But then he remembered something Franklin had said from behind the bush.
"Memory removal seems sort of flawed. That pony won't remember ANYTHING that happened today."
That meant his kiss with Trixie...
Losing his memory was no longer a option. For the sake of remembering the fateful kiss between the two unicorns, Inkblot had to remember every event that happened to him tonight. That would mean that he was not going to turn himself in. He was going to go back home without encountering the mysterious duo and continue to the next day as usual. And he was taking the laptop with him.
The pale unicorn's horn glowed with a dark aura. The same aura enveloped the laptop as it was lifted off of the ground. The floating device followed him as he approached the edge of the bushes.
Inkblot barely stuck his head out and looked both ways. He was looking for anything suspicious. He was looking for anything that wanted to take his memory. After a good half of a minute, he concluded that the coast was clear, so he dashed through the street as quietly as possible.
The pony was fortunate because his house was nearby, but that fortune didn't prevent him from noticing that a part of one of the destroyed roofs snapped beneath his feet. He silently cursed the pieces of wood that made noise as he galloped across them. As he sped around the nighttime town, he saw that he was the only pony awake. Every house seemed to be shut down and full of sleeping ponies. Even the mustached duo that had been forced to work were asleep.
It wasn't long at all before he arrived back at his humble abode, a simple straw house with a printing press as the basement. He owned the novelty printing press because his father ran the town newspaper, "The Ponyville Post", which Inkblot usually wrote news articles for.
Inkblot entered the building panting. He had only sprinted a short distance, but the unicorn wasn't really in shape. He carried the laptop with him as he rushed up the wooden stairs. Although he seemed to be completely out of energy, the colt managed to lock himself in his room at top speed.
When he had shut the windows and ensured that the door was locked, he released a sigh of relief as he collapsed onto his plaid bedsheet. He had made it back to his room before anything spotted him. He was in the clear.
Or was he?
Inkblot thought to himself that maybe the thing had seen him run by with the laptop. He looked outside to see the moon shining brightly. It would have been easy to spot him. What if they did spot him?
The pony did the first thing that came to his mind. Write the night down. Not only was it something he loved to do, but it was also a precaution. If he were to lose his memory, then he could reread the message he was writing and he'd remember.
Inkblot sat down at the desk in his room. It was carved out of a big tree from the Everfree Forest, making it look maroon and almost luminescent. Using his favorite blue quill, he did what he did best. He wrote. His writings were recordes in a leather journal that his father gave to him a couple years ago.
Tonight's entry is a special one. I hope that one day, I will look back on this entry and remember tonight. Whether the HRPI whatever catch me or not, I want to remember tonight..."
And so he continued writing in his journal. He probably would have fallen asleep, but he realized that he had to stay up for as long as possible. That way, if they tried to get into his room to take his memory, then he'd at least be able to put up a fight. So Inkblot spent the entire night not getting a wink of sleep, but jotting down every last detail of the night he had, right down to the everlasting second that was Trixie's kiss.