Location: Earth, North American continent, United States, Canterbury, Canterlot high.
As the last bell of the day rang all the students of Canterlot high scrambled out of their classes and bolted for the doors.
"We want to remind you that the graduation ceremony will take place this afternoon at three pm, and that the remedial courses will start next month. Have a good summer," Luna's voice boomed out of the speakers.
Sunset Shimmer walked through the halls smiling, she was happy that school was finally over and she was looking forward to all the fun she and her friends were going to have.
They even saved their money over the year to allow themselves to make a collective vacation, and that very evening they were going to choose what was going to be the destination.
After a year of magic mishaps, from the attack of the sirens, to the Friendship Games, the only thing Sunset wanted was some peace. She was in fact going to propose to spend two weeks at a nice spa she looked up online. It was located in California nearby the sea, and had a review rate of five stars.
Sunset smiled and hoped that the others would like her idea, even if even if Rainbow and Twilight probably would have prefered something else. Rainbow would have wanted to do something exciting, and Twilight probably wanted to visit some highly cultural cities… however, whatever they'd have chosen, she knew that she'd still enjoy it.
She reached the bus station then waited for the bus to come. Twilight and the others joined her shortly.
"Hello Sunset," Twilight greeted her.
"Oh hi Twilight, how was the last day of school?" Sunset asked.
"Good but… kinda short." she answered.
"Twilight my friend, I can safely tell you that school days can't be too short," Rainbow joked, causing everyone to laugh.
Twilight just smiled and rolled her eyes a little.
"Mine was good too, I even set off a party cannon in the classroom when the bell rang!" Pinkie said.
"Woah, did ya get in trouble?" Applejack asked.
"Nope, professor Cranky didn't even budge. It was probably because everybody stampeded out the class, but that's only a guess," Pinkie said smiling, causing the others to chuckle a bit.
"Anyways, where is the party tonight?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"At my place of course!!! I made sure to prepare everything needed to throw the early summer party of the century!!!" Pinkie exclaimed.
"You mean like the one you threw the last year?" Applejack joked.
"Exactly!!! a century is one year in party years!" Pinkie grinned.
"When is it?" Twilight asked.
"Seven pm sharp," Pinkie announced smiling.
"Oh great, I'll be sure to come," Twilight exclaimed to them. "I might be a little late however..."
In that moment a bus arrived and the seven girls got in it.
"Why do you think you'd be late?" Sunset asked while looking for a good seat.
"Oh, I didn't tell you! I have been developing a new magic scanner, with a worldwide examination radius!" Twilight explained
"A… magic scanner? You mean like your spectrometer?" Sunset asked, remembering Twilight's old device.
"Not quite, unlike the old model I made, this one doesn't isolate magic for studying, it just reveals the peaks in magic energy around the world and reports the locations of the major ones on a map," she explained.
"Oh… you made sure it's safe, right?" Sunset asked, remembering what happened during the Friendship Games.
"Yeah I did, it's completely safe. I perfected it thanks to the lessons about magic you gave me during the year," Twilight answered.
"Why did you build it?" Pinkie Pie asked from the seat behind them.
"Because I want to have a better idea of how much magic affects our world, and I want to know if there is anything we should have to worry about on the horizon. Like for example if other magic beings tried to attack our world," Twilight explained,
"Hmm good point," Sunset said.
"Yeah, I wouldn't want another magic monster popping out of nowhere trying to hypnotize me or steal my emotions, whatever," Rainbow Dash said.
"The main program is going to go online this evening if I if I manage to compile it in time. But don't worry, I won't miss the party," Twilight said blinking "Promise."
"You better not miss it!" Rainbow Dash said, patting her.
The bus's door closed shortly after, and the bus moved down the street. One by one the Rainbooms got off and each of them prepared for the great evening.
Location: Earth, Oceania, Sunrise island.
Sunrise island was a very popular tourist destination, thanks to it's beautiful forests, clean white beaches, crystal waters, and above all the waves, which were so epic that they were only rivaled by the ones of Sunset island.
With these conditions the mass and luxurious tourism thrived. Numerous hotels, from the most decaying inn to the most opulent 5 stars hotel, were built all around the coastal area and the pinewood to house the thousands of tourists that came every summer.
However recently the island aroused the interest of the US military and of a private company: the Hubberton corporation, which built a research facility on the farthest side of the island away from prying eyes. It was protected also by the military, which installed multiple walls separating it from the town.
This new interest was given by strange satellite readings, and by some interesting information which came from an unknown source, referring to an abandoned foreign military project. It involved both parties and, above all, the CEO of the Hubberton corporation.
The facility was a complex of geodetic domes and various buildings connected with covered pathways and rails for heavy materials transfer. It even had it's own military harbor. No expenses were spared to build it, everything inside and around domes was state of the art technology imported from around the world. There were touch screen panels at each door and corner, and multi-spectrum cameras in every room and on the outside keeping the place tightly controlled.
The domes ten and nine served for power generation and water purification, eight to six served as storages for food, materials and equipment, the ones from five to two contained the laboratories and various research structures, and in the end the dome number one contained the main computer of the base, the communication center and had a vast underground structure. The rest of the buildings contained the living quarters, the cafeteria, the toilets and an antenna park for long range communications.
After years of construction the final pieces to make it operational were on course, transported by a heavy ship escorted by a convoy of military ships.
The main ship was in the middle of the convoy, it was very large, modern and had a very extensive cargo hold. Soldiers and sailors were dotting the decks of the ship, waiting to reach the destination.
"Here is Captain Lanchaster to Sunrise facility, do you copy?" the man on the bridge of the ship held a transmitter to his mouth.
"Here is harbor sunrise 001, what's the status?" a man at the other side of the radio asked.
"We are approaching the island, we should arrive at the harbor in fifteen minutes. The cargo is in mint conditions and ready for the pickup. There haven't been any transport accidents," the captain said.
"Very well, proceed on this route and prepare to engage the autopilot," the man answered.
"Copy that, over and out," the captain finished, closing the connection and performing the instructions just as ordered.
Minutes later the ship was driven inside the harbor and its men quickly disembarked, while the cargo hold was opened up revealing some machines that looked like very advanced drills, as well as others that looked like oversized hummingbirds.
The procedure was overwatched by the base's executives from a domed control room at the highest point of dome number one.
The room was circular, quite large and had a darkened crystal dome that allowed a 360 view of the base while seeming dark from the outside. There was a self opening spiral staircase in its middle which provided the access, and from it quite large touch screen desks, glass cornerless screens and various computer terminals filled the room radially.
Only an handful of people were needed in that room to run the base as most of it was automized, ten tops in the most critical situations.
As the executives carefully overwatched the unloading of the machines through their screens a section of the dome started to shine and pixels appeared around it forming the frame of a screen, in which the face of a middle age man of british origin was shown. He wore a white jacket and a formal suit of the same colour.
"Status report," the man demanded.
"Right away, sir," one of the executives said, standing up and walking in front of the screen. "The drills have arrived, we'll be ready to begin in 4 hours tops."
"Very good, inform me as soon as the drills are operational, then commence the drilling. Hubberton out," his interlocutor answered, closing the connection thus causing the screen to disappear, reverting the glass back to transparent.
The man returned to his seat in front of a table. After inputting some commands through a touch screen desk the feed from the cameras around the port appeared, showing the crew members of the ship and the base's staff unloading the drills and transferring them to the first dome through the railway.
Twilight passed nearly all the afternoon and part of the evening compiling her magic-finding program, and finally she was a few lines away from finishing.
While being home made, her computer had some of the best pieces of hardware around, as well as a bootcamp with an operating system optimized by Twilight herself. It had a three screens, keyboards of different kinds and languages, a printer, a scanner, and a powerful internet connection via optic fibers and direct to satellite.
"Alright, let's adjust the last variables, verify the connection protocols, and done!" She pressed enter.
The computer started to compile, showing writings and symbols all over the screens. After some moments a model of the globe appeared in the middle of the left one, presenting some luminous points moving all over it, which represented the satellites that Twilight’s computer could access legally. The right one showed lists of satellites, prefixes, servers and locations, as well as graphs and fraunhofer lines.
On the outside her satellite dish started to move and beep, transmitting to one satellite in range at a time and receiving an answer.
"Good, the system is online, the satellites seem to be responding. Now, let's begin the first scan." She typed some commands causing a window to open, showing what looked like an input interface.
"Range of scan: globe, period of scan: twelve hours, sensibility: two fifths." She dialed the last factors into the window, which then collapsed into an icon at the corner of the screen.
"This should do for a test run," she said, clicking on a button labeled ‘commence scan.’
As she did that the points around the globe started to shine and generate radial waves, and under the radar screen an image of the American continent showed up. It presented a bright red colored point in correspondence of her city, meaning that it picked up the magical energy of Canterlot High.
Let's hope there are no bugs anywhere… now if only I had a little more time... she thought, before being interrupted by Pinkie's knocking on the front door.
"HEY TWILIGHT!!! You didn't forget our party right, right?!! Come on, come out, we’re all waiting for you," her cheerful voice reached the second floor.
"HERE I AM!!!" Twilight answered.
"Guess it’s time to activate the mobile interface." She quickly got the phone and held it to the computer’s screen and after pressing a button on it’s side it showed a loading bar. After it was completely filled up, the phone showed exactly the same images as the screen.
"it works!" Twilight triumphantly raised her hands, and then reached her closet, putting on the summer outfit she had prepared for the great evening.
The outfit consisted in a nice pair of jeans, a warm orange tank top and high sole sandals.
After placing Spike in her purse as well as a swimsuit, she exited the front door and reached her friends waiting on the opposite site of the street, nearby a grey minivan.
"Nice dress choice Twilight, those jeans are perfect with that top," Rarity complimented.
"Happy you approve! I remembered your tips about how to combine clothing of different colors, they really helped," Twilight remarked.
"Oh darling it was a pleasure," she answered.
"Alright now girls, less talking and more DRIVING!" Rainbow announced, while Pinkie pushed the horn a couple times.
"Yeah girls, to the party!" Applejack said, swinging her hat.
"Which is at my house!" Pinkie exclaimed, opening the door for Twilight.
As she got in and sat down the car darted through the city to Pinkie's house in the outskirts.
"Ah! What a glorious summer evening! Perfect for the last day of school!" Applejack exclaimed, looking at the beautiful sunset in front of them.
"Or for a party!" Pinkie smiled.
"Yay..." Fluttershy squeaked.
"I have to say I'm very excited about spending the night with all of you. We already had slumber parties, meals together, excursions, and last month I got to celebrate my birthday with friends for the first time. And now I'm going to have my first early summer party!" Twilight exclaimed eagerly.
"Yeah, and trust us, it's gonna be awesome!!!" Rainbow Dash said.
"To lighten up the wait let's play a game! I spy with my little eye anyone?" Pinkie suggested, earning an approving nod from everyone.
"Ah spy with mah little eye..." Applejack looked around the street, until she noticed the city’s park "...the apple tree we planted in the park this spring!"
"Oh right, for the park restoration program, that was one busy day," Fluttershy said.
"Ah, it wasn't that hard." Rainbow Dash put her hands behind her head with a confident and proud smile.
"It was so rewarding, Ah never felt so happy about giving a tree of mine a new home." Applejack smiled looking at the beautiful blooming tree.
"Let's go ahead, I spy with my little eye, the skatepark!" Sunset Shimmer said.
"One of my favorite places in town, and most importantly the very place where I performed my ponified version of the super rotated launch for the first time! Now that was awesome!" Rainbow Dash said.
"Yeah, you really blew their minds with that trick back then," Sunset Shimmer remarked.
"While I'm still unsure about how a person can pony up, I am sure your 360 degrees aerial turn multi-rotated with mid air transformation will allow you to stay on that hall of fame for a long time," Twilight explained.
Rainbow Dash just smiled and relaxed herself on the seat.
"Look! Here is our school! CHS!" Pinkie Pie pointed at the large building with the horse statue in the middle of it’s courtyard.
"All the adventures we had around the city will never top the ones we had there," Applejack exclaimed.
"That's right!!!" Pinkie Pie said.
"The day we competed in the Friendship Games, the battle of the bands, when we reformed you," Rarity listed all the exciting adventures they’d had.
"I can remember it like if it was yesterday..." Sunset remembered with a smile, "...when you showed me the true magic of friendship."
"The dazzlings!" Pinkie said
"Yeah, and how we kicked their sorry siren butts!" Rainbow Dash remarked.
"No, I mean, I spy with my little eye, the Dazzlings, they are over there around that campfire!" Pinkie pointed at the three sirens seemingly camping in the park nearby the school.
They were wearing the same outfits, but by now they were tattered and dirty. They had one tent between the three of them, which didn't look much better than their clothing. A pot sat next to the remnants of a fire pit.
"From riches to rags as they say." Applejack turned her head away.
"Serves them right for trying to brainwash all of the school and trying to kill us with death voicewaves," Rainbow Dash pointed out simply.
"it's soundwaves," Twilight pointed out.
"Potato tomato," Rainbow Dash answered.
"I hope they aren't having it too bad… they don't look very good to me." Fluttershy looked down as she noticed their torn up clothes and messy hair.
"Oh my, their clothes, the horror… I know they were bad, but I can't stand an uncared for ensemble..." Rarity said, trying not to look at them.
"Let's steer clear of here before she passes out," Rainbow Dash suggested.
"Aaagreed," Pinkie Pie approved, steering rapidly and driving off the siren's campsite, hoping that they didn't notice them…
“I don’t think they saw us… WOAH!!!” Pinkie Pie accelerated quickly upon seeing Aria preparing to throw the pot at them.
The launch wasn’t very good however, and it didn’t hit the van, leaving only an angry siren and other two hungry ones about to join her shortly.
“Oh! now look at what you did!” Adagio yelled at her
“Our dinner...” Sonata frowned looking at the weirdly green soup spread on the street.
Eventually they arrived at Pinkie's house, which was completely equipped for the great party, both on the outside and the inside.
There was summer themed decor all over the place, including surfboards, sunflowers, white sand, a swimming pool with beach toys and torches, while inside there was a nice dancing floor with karaoke in the living room, a buffet loaded with tasty treats in the kitchen and lots of summer-based movies in Pinkie Pie’s room nearby her TV.
"Wow," Twilight said amazed. "This decor is beautiful."
Spike jumped out of her purse and was amazed too. “Cool!”
“I’ll say!” Rarity exclaimed with sparkly eyes. “Where did you find the money to get all this stuff?”.
"I have my secret party contacts…” she whispered in Rarity’s ears with an elusive expression before returning to her normal cheerfulness. ”I wanted to do my best for your first summer party, and what screams summer more than artificial white sand, Karaoke, surf and summer drama movies and a tiger shark?" She bounced around.
At the last item she named everybody except Twilight and Spike was taken aback.
"Pinkie… you didn't really..." Applejack mumbled worriedly.
"Oh of course not silly, I meant that inflatable shark floating in the pool, " she said pointing at one of the beachtoys.
"Oh whew. " Applejack wiped her brow, relieved that even Pinkie wouldn't do something so crazy.
"I tried getting a real one but the aquarium staff was very clear, the pool was too small… Anyway, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!" Pinkie Pie said, getting a stereo and turning it on at full volume.
The rest of the group joined her shortly, unleashing their party spirit into the night.
After being extracted the machines were placed on some wagons and transferred inside the base via a maglev system. Their first destination was a shed in which they underwent various system checks and inspections to confirm the absence of any abnormality.
They were then moved inside the central dome and through a very large lift they were slid into an underground room. There the drones were connected to recharging stations, and the drills held by some mechanical supports in front of big holes in the floor.
From a separated room a group of technicians were monitoring the status of each one of them using advanced computers. Their screens showed very detailed schemes of the drill’s innerworkings.
"Drills activating, all values in the green zone, fueling at seventy percent. We'll be able to start the excavation procedure in less than an hour," one of them exclaimed in a microphone, while observing the data on the screens.
"Very well, complete the fueling. Start checking the probe drones and keep us informed. Don't take any initiative until Mr. Hubberton is online as well, we'll rally the scouting team," the director ordered, closing the chat-box.
In another dome a group of soldiers was playing a card game.
They were in the area containing the barracks for the security forces and orderlies, as well as the apartment buildings belonging to the executives of the base.
Unlike the apartaments, the dorms had only the most basic things needed for a person to live: bunks, a bathroom, and tables to eat, read and for miscellaneous activities.
Since most of the security force was on duty, all the dorms were mostly empty and one of them was temporarily used as a leisure lounge by the members of the scouting team. They were two men and three women, all dressed up in military uniforms, specifically helicopter flight suits, and were sitting on the ground between two bunks around some cards.
"I call your bluff George," a woman said annoyedly.
"Tough luck for you, Sarah," he answered.
"Go fish," another man, named Rupert, said as his turn arrived.
Before Sarah could draw her card the speakers crackled and the voice of the base directed cut through the conversation. "Scouting team, report to dome one, room A-thirty-one in ten minutes,"
"Well that's our cue," the other woman -named Karla- said, getting up.
"Let's go." George headed to the door.
The four exited the dorm and after getting out of the barracks reached a transport station. It was small and the only things that stood out were a touch screen to call the transports, some benches, some kind of interface, probably used to call the transports, and on the rails there was some kind of modern metro car.
"Looks like they have it ready," Sarah said, taking a seat on it, soon followed by the others.
Once they were all inside, the car closed the doors and started to move towards the central dome following the rails, while reporting the progress on a chart appearing on a screen inside of it.
The seven friends were really having a blast. After a nice karaoke session singing the songs they composed as the Rainbooms at full volume and after watching a summer drama movie, they got quickly to the pool for a game of water polo.
The teams were two: one led by Rainbow Dash, with Fluttershy and Sunset Shimmer, and another one led by Applejack, with Rarity and Pinkie Pie. Twilight and Spike served as a referees.
"Okay girls! Three, two, one… MATCH!" Twilight called.
Pinkie hurled the ball in the air and then served as strongly as she could.
"It’s coming straight for you Sunset!" Rainbow Dash yelled to her friend.
"I got this!" Sunset answered, managing to hit it right before it touched the water passing it to Fluttershy.
"Eeek!" she squeaked, returning it to Rainbow Dash and covering herself.
"Take this!" she screamed, squashing the ball right in Rarity's direction.
"Mmmh very well, not on my nails, not on my nails, not on my..." she whispered, shielding herself and deflecting the ball right in time, sending it in Applejack’s direction.
"Here it comes, Applejack!" Pinkie Pie warned her.
"Thank ya partner, now back to the sender!" Applejack exclaimed, slamming the ball back to the other part of the pool with it heading right for Fluttershy.
"Eeep!" she squeaked again, covering her face with with her hands.
Rainbow Dash tried to intercept the ball but she couldn't stop it from ending up in the water.
"Score!" Applejack yelled. She looked over at Fluttershy who still had her hands over her face. "You okay, Fluttershy?"
"Did it… hit me?" she asked trembling.
"No, it didn't, " Rainbow Dash answered.
"Oh whew… but wait, I caused it to land in the water, didn’t I?" She looked sad and ashamed of having caused the opposite team to score a point.
"No sweat, we aren't going down so easily," Rainbow Dash answered winking. "If you want you can trade places with Sunset so you can stay a little safer."
"Okay," Fluttershy said. Sunset nodded, so they switched.
"Hey Twilight, yah keeping the score?" Applejack asked, but Twilight didn't respond. "Twilight?" Applejack turned towards her, noticing she wasn't paying attention, and instead was looking at her phone.
Applejack coughed a few times to get Twilight's attention. "Twilight..."
"Oh what? Sorry, I wanted to check the progresses of the magic scanner, seems that there is no magic in the African continent so far," she said awkwardly.
"Twilight… you promised you wouldn’t let it distract you from the party," Pinkie Pie pointed out.
"Oh… sorry again, anyways Applejack scored right? I'll use my phone to keep the score," she said, pulling up a score keeping app.
"Okay! Time for some payback!" Rainbow Dash said, taking the ball. "My turn to serve!"