As I glanced at the gift, then back to the mare who was offering it to me, I felt an odd shiver run down my spine. Like something was wrong about this, to be accepting what amounted to a symbol of adulthood with all the trappings of a friendly birthday exchange. I knew what it was before I unwrapped it.
A Pipbuck. A slim, sleek pink ring of heavily enchanted plastic, measure to right right around a pony’s foreleg. Three large balloon-shaped buttons: two blue sandwiching the yellow in the middle of the row. A clear-as-ice rotillary dial flush with the upper rim. A particularly shiny and oh-so-eye-catching section of the panel which was clearly intended to reduce that area’s magical insulation.
“Happy Birthday, Memory Editor! And congratulations on getting your cutie mark. You’re now officially an adult member of this Stable!” I thought of Code Breaker, and how proud she’d be. I thought of Game Shark, and how he’d mouth off at length about the technical features of the device, and explaining how grateful I should be that such things were around for mere ponies to experience. I felt cold again. My unease must have been showing, as Catch Exception spoke up.
“I know it’s hard, having to do this so soon, but you’ll be fine. It’s in your blood. They would be proud. ” As if I didn’t know. ”And you’re not being given this to replace them-” Oh really? Then why me? Why today? “- but you have a special task ahead of you today that calls for your particular talent.” So you want meme to do what my Mom used to do? How swell. Wait, that’s not how this ceremony usually goes.
“Wait, what?” I started to slip the Pipbuck onto my hoof. It slipped smoothly up my left foreleg until I stopped. I felt a brief squeeze as the resizing talisman worked its magic, then a momentary prick, a small electric tingle that ran from my hoof to my heart then all around. And there went the overlays, one after another, displays informing me of my physical condition, my equipment, and a compass all started to pop into view with a rosey pink tint. Just like in the simulator, but quite a bit faster.
“Head to room 2B. From there, you’ll get your house-clone, your next special present, and from there just do what your Pipbuck says. ”
New Quest Added: Cheaters Never Prosper
Objective: Report to room 2B to be given your next parting gift and instructions. Good luck, Emmy.