“It’ll probably be a few hours, Miss Pie! You might want to get comfortable!”
The dark red colored stallion said at her with a yell, due to the still heavy wind. He and his friend were accompanying her to the facility as guides, so far having traveled around 20 “clicks” north northeast of the Crystal Empire. Ten clicks was when the Artic environment that had plagued the land before its return began again, and at that point they had equipped themselves with the gear to keep warm. They were bundled up in warm coat-saddles and boots, along with the masks, traveling along the remaining thirty clicks until they reached the Durectron’s base. She shivered in response, thinking sincerely about killing him and his friend, but deciding against it due to the fact that she needed him to get there.
“It’s warm in here. Care to join me?”
Pinkie was still not used to this Dashie-inside-her-head yet. The two ponies stomped along the cold snow, Pinkie holding hopes that she may either die out here or get there and Durectron have something that could suppress auditory hallucinations…
“Ya still don’t get it, do ya? I’m not a hallucination. I’m in your mind. Literally.”
Pinkie, for once in her sociopathic life, shuddered at the thought. Fortunately it was sheltered by the cold, so it looked natural to the other two ponies.
“Oh, bucking tartarus…”
“What? What’s going on?”
The other stallion, an olive-green pegasus with a purple mane and Old English X as a cutie mark (she had seen it before they left), pointed ahead at a cloud massing in the distance.
“See that cloud over there? That’s a blizzard. We need to find cover, and quickly. We’ve got maybe ten minutes or we’re royally screwed.”
They stomped along further for about 5, before the red stallion, with red eyes and a black mane shouted out:
“Calan, Miss Pie! Over here! There’s a cave!”
They got in just when the blizzard hit, Calan rushing via his wings and shaking the snow from his tail, as he was the furthest away.
“Heh, that Calan’s a fast flier. Wonder if he ever heard of me…”
The two stallions were Durectron employees, who knew the area well. Turns out her grandfather wasn’t completely correct. It wasn’t a secret facility; though she guessed maybe there were areas she wouldn’t be “allowed” to access. She wondered if they knew what was happening…
“Mr. Calan, mind if I ask what’s been happening at the facility?”
Calan scrunched his nose and removed the mask, fluffing his wings.
“I don’t know. Me and Jacket here are just guides. We take ponies there and back; but we hardly ever go in the facility with everypony else.”
Pinkie gave a close-eyed smile.
“If you really want to know, when you get there, talk to my sister, Callie. She’s a researcher there.”
He reached into his coat pocket, pulling out a cigarette with his mouth. He pulled a lighter out and began smoking.
“Yo, Jacket, you want one?”
“Nah, I’m good here.”
“Alright,” he replied, and then looked towards Pinkie Pie. “You aren’t an asthmatic, are ya?”
He puffed the drags out. Pinkie didn’t really care much if other ponies smoked.
“Wow, he smokes and he is that fast. It took him three seconds when he was three minutes away from the cave. Makes me wonder. I’d challenge him to a race but I’m stuck in here.”
The three ponies unrolled sleeping bags, and then Calan proceeded to build a fire. They curled up, and fell asleep.
Pinkie woke up a few hours later. The blizzard had just died down not but a few moments ago, and it was still late in the night. She walked up to Jacket, and opened his supply bag (touching his beard because she was curious as to what it felt like) and pulled out the map they had been using earlier.
The Durectron logo adorned the top. She ran her hoof around the map itself.
“Wow, Pinkie, I knew you were a murderer, but petty theft? Really?”
“Shut up.” That wasn’t something she said often, but it mattered very little. She headed out with a spare flashlight, leaving the two stallions in the cave without a care as to what happened to them.
She had lost track of time. Celestia knew where she was, or so she hoped, because she didn’t. The Durectron employees, unlike her, had been trained to read the map. To think, miles later she had finally figured that out.
“Uh-oh. Pinkie, you might wanna look up.”
She looked ahead… and saw another blizzard incoming. She made a rush to find shelter, but nothing was to be found… until she tripped over a metal trap door, activated by a valve…