A Fresh Start
Finally, after a week of constant nagging from both the Apples and Trixie, Goggle was ready to journey out of his lab and interact with the ponies of Ponyville, only this time properly. Taking a deep, cleansing breath Goggles raised his paws and pushed the barn doors wide open, as the morning sun washed over his light blue fur, he couldn’t help but feel a sickening twist in his stomach. Granted he had been used to his fear of ponies throughout his entire life, but now it feels as though a new form of anxiety was beginning to etch its way into his mind. For a moment, he felt the need to turn back around, run back into the barn and shut the door behind him, however a certain blue Unicorn blocked his path and stopped him from doing so.
“No turning back Goggles,” she said sternly. “You go out there, and take this like a Stallion.”
“I’m not even a pony!” Goggles argued.
“You know what I mean!” Trixie snapped back. “Look, I’ll be with you the whole way, trust me the ponies are going to be more ticked off with me than they will be of you. A lot of them still haven’t forgiven me for what I had done.”
Goggles heart sank at that, Trixie didn’t like going out herself because of what happened and yet here she was, at his request, helping him make a fresh start with the residents of the town. Narrowing his eyes with a new confidence, he turned back towards the entrance to Sweet Apple Acres and proceeded to walk.
“Let’s do this.” he said.
The trip to Ponyville was as short as it normally was, so far no pony seemed to pass the Unicorn and the Gizmonk on the way over, suddenly the buildings came into view, as did the number of residents of Ponyville.
“M… maybe this wasn’t such a good idea,” Goggles said nervously
“I said no turning back,” Trixie said sternly. “You got me out here to help you, and by Celestia you are going into that town!”
Seeing no point in arguing any further, Goggles sighed and continued walking towards the town.
Once the two arrived in the main part of town, they were both met with a number of different expression from all the residents. Some were wide-eyed with surprise, others looked upon them with concern, the only common factor that all these looks had was the sense of curiosity. Suddenly Goggles noticed something at the corner of his eye.
“Oh great,” he said with a cringe. “They’re whispering.”
Trixie then turned her head towards a pair of ponies whispering to each other near the flower shop, who both shot a glare once they noticed her looking at them.
“Actually, I don’t think it’s you they’re talking about,” Trixie sighed, trying to shield her face with her hoof.
However Trixie was only half right, as a matter of fact, every pony was whispering about both of them. What made things worse was when the smalls groups of ponies seem to grow with every building they passed, they just HAD to pick market day to go into town. Finally Trixie and Goggles soon found themselves completely surrounded by ponies, all of which had their eyes on them, with a nervous sweat dripping from her brow, Trixie nudged Goggles slightly in front of her.
“Now or never boss,” she whispered in his ear. “Come on, speak up,”
However Goggles didn’t usher a word, at least not for a minute, it was bad enough that he was breaking his personal code yet again, but now he felt like the crowd of ponies surrounding him would pounce if he did. Finally he tried his best to words out at least one word.
“Uh…hi?” he squeaked.
However the word that Goggle had managed to force out was barely audible amongst the crowd of ponies, some would say that it wasn’t even a whisper.
“A little louder Goggles,” Trixie growled, starting to get really irritated with the Gizmonk. “I don’t think a bug could’ve hear you that time.”
Goggle wanted to speak, Celestia know he did, he couldn’t tell whether it was habit or fear, but for some reason Goggles didn’t speak again. As the ponies surrounding him edged their way closer towards him, Goggle began to feel so much pressure it was beginning to suffocate him and he soon found himself hyperventilating. In a matter of moments the whispering began again, only this time Goggles could hear them.
“…I hear he spoke down to a rapid beast like a hunter…” he heard one pony say
“…and what is that mare doing here anyway?...” said another
“…it’s kinda weird if you ask me…” said a third.
Finally Goggles take it anymore, not only was the fear getting to him but also the pressure, every single face within the crowd began to weigh down on him like a growing pile of bricks, since he was unable to break his first defensive instinct of silence Goggles decided there and then to act upon his second instinct. Seconds later Goggles found himself jumping his way out of the crowd of ponies and running as fast as he paws could carry him.
“Goggles!” Trixie shouted. “Come back!”
But those words fell upon deaf ears, as Goggles continued to run he eventually found himself followed by a group of ponies who were so curious that they desperately wanted to hear Goggles speak just to satisfy their interests.
After what felt like an hour, Goggles began to climb down from the tree that acted as his hiding place. It took him ages to lose the hordes of ponies that were after him, but eventually Goggles had managed to give them the slip and hide in the foliage of a tree until they lost interest. After the last 10 minutes, Goggles felt it was safe enough to leave his space and head back to the farm, though he certainly knew that he was going to get a scolding from Trixie upon his return, Celestia know he would probably have to double her pay just to calm her down. Suddenly his train of thought was interrupted by the sound of cracking emanated from his right hand, looking up he saw that the twig of a branch he had grabbed had easily broken in two as he found himself plummeting to the ground, only to land on an unsuspecting pony in a cloak who had been walking by.
“Oh Scrap-Bunnies!” he blurted out as he painfully picked himself up. “I am so sorry, here let me help.”
He then proceeded to help the pony he had landed on back to her hooves, only now that the hood of her cloak had fallen back from the fall, Goggles could now see that this pony was far different than the ones around town. She was a light grey mare with darker grey stripes all over her body, she wore golden jewellery including a pair of hoop earrings and a set of golden rings around her neck, and sported what appeared to be a Mohawk that was the same stripy colour as the rest of her. It was then that Goggles realised that the pony he was help was in fact a Zebra.
“You are most kind,” she said in a deep, soothing voice. “Would asking your name be of any mind?”
At first Goggles was so mesmerised by the zebra’s unique appearance that he had completely forgotten himself, however he quickly snapped back into reality and spoke again.
“Oh of course I don’t mind,” he said nervously, the fear of speaking to a pony still inside him. “Though I’m surmised you don’t know already, m… my name is Goggles.”
In response, the Zebra raised an eyebrow with a look of thought on her face, she knew she had heard that name before.
“Goggles?” she said tapping her chin. “Ah yes, the Gizmonk with the technological fame, please to meet you, Zecora is my name.”
Goggles had absolutely no idea as to why the Zebra was speaking in rhyme but he didn’t mind, in fact he was fascinated by Zecora’s distinctive rhythm in her voice, it felt calming. Suddenly he realised that he too had heard a familiar name, one that Apple Bloom had mentioned several times.
“Zecora?” he said. “Wait, I’ve heard of you, you’re that Zebra who lives in the Everfree forest, right?”
Zecora smiled at that.
“Indeed that is me,” she answered. “Perhaps you can join me for a cup of tea?”
No other words could have filled Goggles with such joy at that point, the very mention of his favourite drink was enough to make him say yes to anything, and after the morning he has had he felt like he really needed it. Ten minutes later, he found himself sitting across a table from Zecora, in front of a small tea-shop that Zecora liked to come to whenever she was in town. Thankfully it was in a part of town that wasn’t as populated as the rest of Ponyville, Goggles could only thank the heavens that Zecora was one to love the peace and quiet. As he sat there drinking a cup of his favourite beverage, the events of what happened earlier still etched in his mind like a termite trying to eat its way through the trunk of a tree, Goggles only knew it was only a matter of time before it snapped. Needless to say, Zecora noticed this and spoke to the Gizmonk.
“Goggles, you appear to be feeling low,” she said. “Tell me, what is it that troubles you so?”
At first Goggles didn’t want to answer, in fact just out of habit he didn’t really want to speak at all. Goggle didn’t understand why though, after all he was able to talk to the Apple Family, Silver Lining and Trixie just fine, heck, he even spoke down to the Diamond Dogs without hesitation. Perhaps it was because at the time, the fear he would normally feel had been clouded by adrenaline and the panic for one of his friends. Seeing no alternative solution, Goggles opened his mouth and told Zecora what was on his mind.
“I hear that you’re good at giving advice?” he said with an inquisitive look.
“That is what many ponies say,” Zecora answered with a smile. “So what help can I give you today?”
With a deep sigh, Goggles proceeded to explain his situation. Starting from his time in Kappan, and then leading up to the events with the Diamond Dogs. With each word Goggles spoke, Zecora listened intently, stopping him every once in a while to ask the occasional question to clear up something she didn’t quite understand. Goggles then finished his explanation by telling Zecora what had happened earlier that morning, when Trixie had brought him to Ponyville, after which Zecora closed her eyes and took a deep, cleansing breath, pondering the right words to say to Goggles.
“What you are suffering from is obviously a rational fear,” she said, taking another sip of her Green Tea. “Your turmoil in the other land has clearly made you cling to it so dear. But with this problem I can definitely suggest, that allowing the ponies here your trust would be best.”
She may have said it in rhyme, but Goggles was able to absorb the basis of what Zecroa was trying to say.
“It’s not that I don’t trust anyone,” he pointed out. “It’s just that I’ve kept my secret for so long that it’s become almost impossible to speak to any pony without shivering in fear.”
“And yet you freely speak to me,” Zecora retorted calmly. “As well as the Apples, Silver Lining and Trixie.”
Goggles looked down at the table at those words, this Zebra certainly knew how to cut straight to the point even if she did do it in rhyme.
“You have spent many a year hiding behind the role of a beast,” Zecora continued. “And yet you showed your intelligence freely and not thought of it in the least. It is clear to me that while you were scared for your life back home, your biggest fear now is of being alone.”
Definitely knew how to cut straight to the point. It was like this Zebra had a way of reaching into your soul and pick at the deepest emotions one can feel, even if the one she’s talking to doesn’t even realise it himself.
“I guess you could say that,” Goggles admitted. “Even before I came here I used to show off my intelligence to ponies despite not being able to speak to them, because of my code. Being the only one of my species around, I had to make do with what I had. When I came here, I came to know the kindness of ponies rather than their judgement, but now that my secret’s out, I’m terrified that they would cast me aside because of it.”
It was hard to admit it to himself but Goggles knew it was the solid truth, he may have said it many times to those who already know his secret, but he was hoping that it was just something random that came out of his mouth at the time. Noticing his frustrations, Zecora lifted his chin up and looked deep into his eyes as she spoke.
“If I may say just one more thing,” she said, her voice gentle and full of care. “I too know what being alone brings.”
Neddless to say this Surprised Goggles but regardless he didn’t allow himself to interrupt Zecora while she was talking.
“I used to be unwelcome in the town because of what ponies saw,” Zecora explained, gesturing to her stripes. “However once they grew to know me then many simply looked at me with awe.”
Goggles couldn’t help but smile at that.
“You have already earned the ponies’ trust with what is in here and here,” Zecora continued, gesturing to his head and heart. “Do not simply throw it away because of what you fear.”
Goggles couldn’t help but tear up happiness, never in his life had anyone spoken to him with such care and wisdom. It was as though he were speaking to one he would consider a mother figure if had known what it actually felt like. Needless to say, Zecora’s words sunk deep into Goggles’ mind and spirit, so much so that he now bore a new look of confidence across his face, one that easily trumped to supposed one he had while leaving the barn that morning.
“Thanks Zecora,” he said, rising from his seat. “You know, I haven’t made anything for you yet. Perhaps I can come over to your hut and make you something to say thanks for the advice.”
“Oh do not worry about me,” Zecora giggled with delight. “I really never was a fan of modern machinery.”
With that Goggles gave a polite shrug and began to walk away, knowing full well as to what he had to do next. However before he could disappear around the corner, he heard Zecora’s voice calling out after him.
“Oh and if you meet up with Trixie again, perhaps you could help her with her own pain!” she said.
Goggles may have blinked but he could have sworn that Zecora gave him a wink at that last remark. Help Trixie with her own pain? Of course that meant what Trixie was saying earlier about the angry looks ponies have been giving her ever since she came back into town. Suddenly the orb at the End of Goggles tail lit up, indicating that he had another brilliant idea.
“Will do!” he called back, looking at Zecora for a final time before disappearing around the corner. “Thanks Zecora, bye!”
As soon as Goggle was gone, Zecora couldn’t help but quietly laugh to herself.
“If only he knew, what these turns of events would eventually lead to.” She said.
It may have taken shot of another half an hour, but eventually Goggles had managed to find Trixie again, her face fuming with anger as she hid in the alley between two houses, trying to find a way back to Sweet Apple Acres without having to face the other ponies after the embarrassing display earlier. Needless to say she jumped in shock when Goggles silently tapped her on the shoulder.
“Where have you been!?!” she snapped angrily, clearly still ticked off with him “I’ve been looking all over…”
However Goggles simply press his paw against her mouth to shut her up, his new look of confidence still etched across his face.
“Trixie, for once in your life stop being snappy and calm down,” he said sternly before taking away his paw. “I know I was little edgy earlier but now I’m truly ready. Are you?”
Trixie raise an eyebrow at that.
“What do you mean?” she asked confusingly.
“It’s not just ME that needs help fitting into this town,” Goggles answered plainly. “If you know what I mean.”
Of course Trixie new EXACTLY what Goggles meant, and as such she was taken aback by his statement.
“Well… Well I,” she stuttered, looking down at the Gizmonk, hoping to refuse but faltered upon seeing the stern look in Goggles’ eyes. “Fine.”
Before long both Trixie and Goggles once again stood in the busier section of town, the crowd of I interested ponies leaning in to see if the Gizmonk will actually talk this time.
“Are you sure about this?” Trixie asked, quietly making sure no pony in the crowd heard her.
Goggles responded with a nod, on the way over he had talked with Trixie about how he was going to help her and himself at the same time, so she knew full well what was going to happen. As the ponies leaned further in, to look upon Goggles in closer detail, the Gizmonk in question began to take a deep, cleansing breath. Listening to the faint sounds all around him, he began to feel a distinctive rhythm to them, at that point, Goggles did more than talk… he sang:
Let me say hello to all you ponies,
I know, right? The talking gives you chills,
Be with me and Trix, both standing here,
Let us make your concerns disappear,
Together, right here in Ponyville!
Of course even though every pony in town had heard the rumours, most ponies never truly believed it. But now that he was here, dancing and singing, their curiosity was met with a mixture of shock, concern and in some cases, delight. Goggle then nodded towards his assistant, indicating that it was now her turn.
Actually, I'd rather not be standing here now,
Cause I know, you ponies think I’m swill,
But for the sake of my dear Gizmonk boss,
I shall stay with my hooves crossed,
Frightened, but here in Ponyville!
Of course, most ponies scoffed at Trixie’s public attempt, but regardless they continued to listen to her and Goggles sing.
It’s true I’ve kept this secret, but now I’m coming clean,
My voice can utter words all clear and true,
And I know I have been boastful, egotistical and mean,
And that is only just to name a few,
At this point, the two were met with mixed variety of looks from smiles to just plain confusion, however neither one of the two was willing to give up on their endeavour yet.
Me and Trix, stand here to plead you ponies,
For some love, and a chance to show our skills,
She’s a magic mare with lots of funk,
And he can make such art from junk,
We’re begging, forgive us Ponyville!
Now every pony was taken aback, Trixie and Goggles were publicly apologising? They understood why Trixie had to, obviously, however they were just confused as to why Goggles was apologising. It was at that point that Applejack and the rest of her friends, along with the Cutie Mark crusaders, had appeared amongst the crowd, all of which were surprised to see Goggles out and about. Suddenly Pinkie Pie had an idea, which of course involved pulling a piano out of nowhere and setting Spike in its seat, of course every pony else simply decided to go with the moment and allowed Spike to play the piano along to the tune. Catching onto the beat, the rest of the ponies in the crowd began to sing too.
DAISY, ROSE AND LILLY:
Goggles boy, aren’t you just the cutest,
Trix was bad, but I guess I’ll show some goodwill,
CRANKY DOODLE DONKEY:
I’ll still waiting for my new light,
That Gizmonk’s tech gave me such delight,
Ever since he moved to Ponyville!
Now every pony was catching on to the beat, of course seeing the crowd act this way made Goggles feel good inside, so much so that any fear that he had felt before was simply melting away. Trixie however felt more embarrassed than flattered, it would seem that her ego still needed to be taken down a peg before she was ready to be fully accepted. Regardless she listened with some small delight as the song continued.
These two folks, deserve some recognition,
Forgiveness is such a hard cup to fill,
Let’s crank up the beat for our new friends,
The fun in town just never ends,
Just another day in Ponyville!
At this point Goggles, couldn’t help but dance with joy as Vinyl Scratch began playing her turntables to add to the music, everything seems to be going incredibly well. He knew that musical numbers were a common event in Ponyville but had always thought that was just Pinkie Pie’s thing, but now he felt that this particular one was helping him solve his problems, which was only confirmed when Twilight and Silver Spoon walked up to him.
GOGGLES if you’d allow us, we’d like to welcome you,
We hope you really like it in our town,
Even Trixie seemed to get a small compliment from a reluctant grey Earth Pony, who had walked up to her.
And if it makes her happy, we welcome Trixie too,
Oh that’s just great, just kick me when I’m down,
Now Trixie could only hide her face in her hooves with embarrassment, she REALLY needed to sort her pride out. Goggles on the other hand, was so happy, he began jumping in and out amongst all the ponies in the crowd.
I tell you now, I’m glad I got to meet ya,
From Aloe, right down to Iron Will,
And the fears I had are gone for good,
And I'd go with them if I could,
Finally, just to give the song a big finish, Goggles jumped from the crowd, of ponies, to the nearest tree, only to climb up it and jump onto the nearest rooftop.
I've got no strings on me,
I'm feeling fancy-free,
It’s wonderful to be…
Here in Ponyville!!!
And with that, Goggles jumped off the roof and gracefully landed onto Trixie’s back, much to her annoyance. As soon as the song ended each and every ponies was left stunned, allowing Goggles to break the silence.
“So…” he said with a smile, “Who wants to ask the first question?”