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Equestria At War

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I woke to the steady swaying of the railcar we were on in my Equestria dreamscape. For the last day this express train had been our home as we traversed our way across the kingdom. It had only stopped for fuel and water or to take on additional or let off passengers. Now the first major leg of our journey to Ft. Trotterdale was almost over.

We were scheduled to arrive in Manehattan at 11:45am. We'd be staying in the largest city in Equestria for a couple days before catching a series of trains that would take us to Baltimare. There we would board a steamship for the final leg of our journey. Scratch had set us with a room at the Two Pines Hotel, and we had a generous daily meal stipend while staying there.

I carefully climbed out of the top bunk I'd been sleeping in and pushed the curtain aside to see the countryside whizzing past our window. An overcast sky greeted my eyes and my weather sense told me we'd probably experience rain tonight.

In fact I was very curious to see how the Royal Equestria Weather Service operated on the edges of the kingdom. Most of the interior of Equestria experienced very predictable, stable, planned weather, but on the edges it was much more different. Ponies had not much sway over the weather that came rolling in from beyond its borders. Especially if it came from offshore.

For that reason the Coastal communities of Equestria had extensive, large, well equipped weather teams assigned to them. However even with their numbers the weather teams functioned more as traffic control that creation and production. Focusing most of their efforts in directing the worst of the weather away from the communities. However that was becoming more and more difficult as the coastline became more populated.

There was even an experimental program involving placing a large numbers of weather teams on steamships that operated up to a 100 miles offshore. The program was studying whether it was possible to even control or slightly disperse the effect of storms while they were offshore. So far the program had discovered:

1. That weather teams at sea had only a negligible on storms at sea. At least with current techniques.

2. Despite having a reputation for being daredevils and apparently enjoying in death-defying aerial acrobatics most pegasus ponies got seasick very easy on a ship in a storm. And they really didn't like being cooped up below decks when it was happening.

3. That continuously operating steamships for extended periods of time was very expensive. However to have any effect it was often necessary to have multiple ships assigned to an area, and these needed to be substantial ships since they had to sail toward the storm to get close enough to give the teams any chance of success. This was the opposite of what most ship captains wanted to do.

The one success the project had had was that it had resulted in there being a series of offshore weather stations which were able to relay more accurate weather information to onshore REWS stations. Either via unicorn sending or in one case with an experimental wireless telegraph transmitters located on a couple of the ships.

I pondered these problems as I left our cabin and made for the washroom in our rail car. A few minutes later I returned to find the two mares stirring. They were not enjoying the fact that trains had single bunks and they were looking forward being able to sleep together in a big, proper, bed. They grumbled this detail as they made their way to the washroom I'd just left. By the time they'd returned I had finished my morning grooming and was in the process of getting dressed. 40 minutes later everypony's coat, mane and tail had been brushed and the mares were fussing over their outfits. While they did that I sat by the window and preened my feathers.

Breakfast improved everypony's mood. Over French toast, cottage fries, fruit bowls, and mugs of coffee we discussed our plans in Manehattan. High on our list was another trip to Pony Island since our first trip there had been cut short by Discord's arrival. There was talk of taking in a couple of shows, and the mares definitely wanted to sample the nightlife. Oh and shopping. All along this journey there was going to be lots, and lots of shopping.

The sky was very overcast by the time we got to Manehattan. The conductor said they were expecting rain this afternoon. It was muggy with the temperature hovering around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The Grand Station had sustained fairly extensive damage during Discord's visit and the disruption in city government as a result of the Royal Sisters crack down on the Associations had further delayed its final repairs. For that reason we disembarked outside the main terminal. The city was wrapped in almost a fog, and that combined with great clouds of steam emanating from numerous locomotives coming and going meant the world was shrouded in a heavy, misty, fog.

After several minutes of searching, pointing, and we were reunited with our numerous pieces of luggage. Then it was simply a matter of flagging down a cab to carry us and all our stuff to the hotel. Eventually we were successful and we headed off for the Two Pines Hotel. Manehattan had a vibrancy and an unquenchable energy to it. Here the was the great engine that drove much of Equestria's economy. Fortunately our cabbie knew the way to the hotel because we were too busy gawking at the sites.

The Two Pines Hotel wasn't as opulent as the Black Stallion in Canterlot, but it was still a very nice place. Apparently Scratch had done her homework because we were given a suite with just one very large bed. The staff started to apologize about this mistake, but Petina smiled and said this arrangement was just fine for us.

"Besides. We sleep in the same bed back at our house!" Said the white mare in very chipper voice. The staff rolled with this declaration better than the management had at the Black Stallion, but the clerk still raised one eyebrow slightly at Petina's statement.

The rest of our check-in went with out a hitch, and soon we found ourselves exploring our suite. Well Carousel and I were exploring it. Petina for her part was rolling around on the bed like some gigantic white kitten. Playfully swatting one of the pillows with a front hoof. The suite had its own washroom with a substantial bathtub in it. There was a sofa and a couple of divans for resting and having company. Of interest to me there was balcony attached to our suite that could be used for taking off or landing, and it had a great view of the street 5 floors below us. We'd arrived in the big city.

To be continued.


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1 comment posted
Background Pony #F100
Ooh, I like the design on the locomotive. Victorian high wheel singles are my favourite, shows a leaning toward Stirling's 8ft Single.