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Record Attempt

by algernon97

It's way too early for this, Carrot Top thought. As she sipped down a bitter cup of coffee, she stared at the scene unfolding in front of her. In the hazy dawn light, not twenty feet away, her best friend was building something in her garden. What it was, Carrot Top hadn't the foggiest idea, but she had a sinking feeling that she would find out very soon.

She stepped off the porch and stumbled her way down, blinking away the drowsiness. Her friend had yet to notice her.

"Derpy?"

No response. Carrot Top tried again.

Fire roared out of the contraption and singed her mane. Carrot Top took another swig of her coffee, stepped around the device, and found her friend huddled over the improvised flamethrower.

"Derpy."

The gray pegasus finally noticed her. She whirled around and greeted Carrot Top with a smile, then frowned when she saw the smoke trailing off of Carrot Top's face.

"Oh hey, Carrots, what's up? You, uh, you alright?"

"Derpy, do you happen to know what time it is?"

The pegasus said she did.

"Mm-hmmm. And do you know where you're standing right now?"

Derpy Hooves did not.

"Well," Carrot Top said after gently placing her mug down, "allow me to enlighten you, my good, dear freind." She reached down and pulled a trampled rose out of the dirt. "You happen to be standing in my rosebushes. And," she said as she looked at a long, sad trail of ruination, "it looks like you've destroyed just about everything but the carrot field."

Horror crept over Derpy's face. "Oh. Oh! Oh my gosh I'm so sorry, I didn't see them when I came down! Oh, no, oh, dear..." She zipped about the garden, fluffing up flattened bushes, pushing daisies back into place, and so on.

Carrot Top cleared her throat. Her friend, whom Carrot Top had to constantly remind herself was indeed her friend, stopped and looked at her.

"I'm not angry," Carrot Top lied, "I just want to know what you're doing destroying my garden at five in the morning."

"Oh!" Derpy bounced over to the thing lying there. "It's my world record!"

"Your what?"

"My world record." She lifted a metallic sheet, revealed a wicker basket connected to the sheet via a series of ropes. "I was testing it this morning and I kinda had to land really quick. I've been trying to fix it since I got down."

Carrot Top stared at the hot air balloon, then at her friend. "You do know you have wings, right?"

"Well, yeah, but you don't." Derpy set about prepping the balloon for another try.

Carrot Top wandered over to the pegasus and her balloon. If she thinks I'm going to get in that with her, she's crazier than I thought. She leaned over and took a closer look at the metallic fabric. "Tell me that isn't what I think it is."

"It definitely isn't lead that I stole from the pencil factory and mixed with silk." The basket fell over with a dull thump. Derpy hopped in it, checked the burner. "And it definitely isn't a reinforced balloon that'll go up to the edge of space before coming down. It definitely isn't that."

"Uh-huh. I don't want to know how you did...any of that." Carrot Top tested the strength of a rope. "OK, I do, but the last time you told me how you did something like this it took me a week's stay at Ponyville General to get my head straight." She thumped the basket. "Never mind how you're supposed to make it fly."

"Oh, that's easy! You just --"

"Don't tell me." Carrot Top saw a small note stuck on the side of the basket. She stopped, moved closer. Something was scrawled onto it in Derpy's chicken-scratch hoofwriting. "What's this?"

Derpy leaned over. "Oh, every record-breaking thingy needs a name."

"And this is what you're calling this thingamajig you're in?"

"Well, it sounded good at the time."

Carrot Top smiled. "I see." She stepped back and stared at the balloon again. "So, you really think you're gonna break the record with it?"

"Well," Derpy scratched her ear. "The one for a solo flight, nah. That's impossible to beat. I mean, that unicorn got so high she could see the ground bending around like one of those globes. But," she mused, in a voice that seemed far away, "the two-pony record is pretty low. Wouldn't take a lot to beat it." She busied herself with the burner. "But, uh, I can go for the solo one in this rig! But I've gotta get the mail out today, and I gotta get some seeds for you, so I'll just get this squared away and --"

The basket swaying and the sound of hooves against wicker made her turn around. "What --"

Carrot Top held up a hoof. Behind a thin smile, she said, "Don't. Just show me what the world's like up there before I change my mind."

The burner roared. Flames spewed up into the balloon. There was a creak, a groan, and an excited shout. Golden light bathed the land as the sun climbed into the sky.

The Carrot Muffins and its passengers soared as far and as high as any pegasus dared to fly -- and perhaps beyond.