That night, as Jokesterrap slept soundly, he began to have a dream.
Insert dream sequence music bit.
The sun was glistening through the trees. The faint sound of an engine's pistons pumping could be heard, breaking the silence. The sounds got louder and louder until a shrill whistle echoed around. Then from around a bend came Gladstone.
She had been restored to her original beauty and her paintwork sparkled in the sunlight. And in the cab, happily at the controls, was Jokesterrap.
"Aw yeah, this is great!" he said.
As the engine continued down the line, Jokesterrap could see his school mates by the lines cheering for him.
"Told you all that I could do more than pranks," he called. "Let's show them what we can do, Gladstone."
He opened the regulator even more and Gladstone picked up speed, letting off a huge cloud of steam that completely soaked Trixie.
Trixie's incident made everyone laugh.
Then Jokesterrap climbed out of the cab and stood on top of it.
"This is amazing!" he cried out. Suddenly his joyous feeling was interrupted by a loud beeping.
The beeping came from Jokesterrap's alarm clock.
"Bother that alarm clock," he groaned. "I was having such a nice dream too."
He hit the button that turned his alarm off, then rolled off the bed onto the floor with a thud.
"Oof! Who thought it was a good idea for floors to be hard?"
After getting himself up and dressed, Jokesterrap made himself some breakfast of scrambled eggs and French Toast. A minute or so later, his parents came into the kitchen.
"Morning mom. Morning dad."
"Soon as I'm done with breakfast," said Jokesterrap, "I'll get my tool box and head over to Gladstone."
"Are you sure you don't want your friends to help?" his mother asked.
"I'm sure of it."
"Don't you think you're hogging the fun to yourself?"
"A little bit," said Jokesterrap. "But I don't want to risk Gladstone's safety. Besides, I'll tell them about her after I've fixed her."
"Alright then," said Tinker. "Just remember what I said last night."
"I will, dad," said Jokesterrap. As soon as breakfast was done, he picked up his tool box and set off on his bike.
Jokesterrap soon came to Sweet Apple Acres, seeing none of the Apple Family watching, and made his way into the forest. He didn't know that at at moment, Applejack came outside.
"Say wasn't that Jokesterrap?" she asked, watching the back wheel of Jokesterrap's bike disappear into the forest. "What in tarnation's he goin' back there for?"
"No idea," said Big Macintosh as he walked past with a crate of apple cider.
Jokesterrap soon arrived at Gladstone's shed. He opened the shed door and greeted his engine.
"Good morning, Gladstone," he said cheerfully. "Ready to get that new steam dome on?"
Even though Gladstone couldn't talk, Jokesterrap felt like she was ready.
"Right," he said. "I'll just get my tool kit out and just set to work."
First, he loosened the rivets that held the old steam dome in place.
"That was easy enough," he said. "Now to get the old dome off."
But doing that was easier said than done. Lifting up a steam dome by hand is not the easiest task in the world, and Jokesterrap took some muscle to move it.
"Come on, you!" he strained. "Get moving!"
At last, the old dome slid off the engine and hit the ground with a clang!
The noise echoed all the way back to Sweet Apple Acres.
Granny Smith was napping on a rocking chair at the time and she woke with a start.
"Can't Applebloom and her friends do more quiet activities?" she asked.
At that moment, Applejack came into the room.
"Y'all alright granny?" she asked.
"Apple Bloom and her friends're causin' a ruckus ag'in!"
"How can they be causing a rukus? They all went down to the arcade."
"Oh, right. But then what was that clang I heard?"
Back at the shed, Jokesterrap was resting his arms for a bit.
"Now to get the new dome on," he said.
Getting the old dome off was difficulty work. But getting the new one up on the boiler, now that was even more challenging.
"Shoulda asked them to get me a small crane, I suppose..."
So Jokesterrap got out his cellphone and called the engine repair shop.
"Hello? It's me again. Listen I know I called before asking if you had spare parts you didn't need anymore, well now I need another favor. See, I realized that some of these parts might be a little heavy for me to move on my own. You wouldn't happen to have a small crane I could use, would you? You do? Oh thank you very much. You don't know how much this helps. When do you think it'll be here" Next time the parts come by? Great. See you then. And thanks."
With that, Jokesterrap hung up and turned towards Gladstone.
"They're going to be bringing a crane around soon," he said. "That way I won't risk hurting myself while trying to get that new dome up on you."
Jokesterrap stayed with his engine talking about various things. And as always, Gladstone remained silent.
"If only you could talk," he said sadly, "I could have someone to confide in when I'm alone."
A little bit later, Jokesterrap had to go home for some lunch.
"I'll see you again later, Gladstone," he said as he closed the shed door.
"I look forward to it too," said a voice.
Jokesterrap heard the voice.
"Who said that?" he asked, sounding rather alarmed at someone might have found Gladstone's hiding place.
He waited to see if he'd hear anymore, but the only thing he could hear was the trees rustling in the breeze.
"I'm probably imagining things," he said to himself.
He got on his bike and made his way back through Sweet Apple Acres.
"I sure hope nobody catches me," he said to himself. "Last time I made it through easily."
Jokesterrap soon came into view of Sweet Apple Acres.
"The coast is clear," he said. "Better get going." He was just about away from the house when...
From behind one of the trees came Applejack.
"May I ask what y'all were doin' in the woods back there?" she asked.
"Oh, uh,"Jokesterrap begin, trying to come up with a story, "I was just taking a little ride through the forest. It's such a nice day, you know."
Applejack looked at Jokesterrap for a few seconds beore backing off.
"Alrighty then," she said. "Y'all know what made that clang earlier?"
"Clang? What clang? I didn't hear a clang."
"Are ya sure?"
"Of course I'm sure," said Jokesterrap innocently.
Before Applejack could say anymore, Jokesterrap raced off.
"What's he in a hurry for?" she wondered.
Applejack decided to call the gang in for a meeting in the barn.
"Ah bet y'all are wonderin' why Ah called ya here," she said.
"Ooh! Is it a party for all of us?" asked Pinkie.
"Not really," said Applejack. "Ah think there something up with Jokesterrap."
"Where?" asked Pinkie.
"Not up there," said Rainbow Dash, "down here."
"How can something be up when it's down?" asked Pinkie.
The rest of the gang facepalmed.
"She means that something is going on," said Vincent.
"Ohhhhh," said Pinkie.
"Applejack's right," said Flash. "Jokesterrap's not been acting like himself lately. He doesn't do pranks anymore, and he doesn't hang out with us as much."
"He's been acting that way since he got that package," said Sunset.
"He also got offended when I called his old bike a heap of scrap," said Vincent.
"Earlier, Ah saw him comin' out of the forest by Sweet Apple Acres," said Applejack. "Said he was just taking a ride."
"Why would he ride through a forest, of all places?" asked Rarity.
"Beats me," said Appljack. "Also Granny Smith heard some clang in the forest, thinkin' it was Apple Bloom and her friends again. But it couldn't have been them cause they were at the arcade."
"Maybe we should ask him what's going on," suggested Fluttershy.
"He probably won't listen to us, and especially not me," said Vincent, "considering I upset him without meaning to... twice."
Sunset put an arm around Vincent's shoulder to comfort him.
"If that's the case," said Rainbow Dash, "we'll make him listen to us."
Rainbow Dash motioned the gang closer into a huddle and whispered.
A little while later, Jokesterrap was making his way back to Gladstone's shed.
"I think I'll take the long way this time," he said. "I don't want to risk Applejack catching me."
"What's that?" he said. He sniffed again and recognized that smell to be...
The smell seemed to levitate him off the ground as he followed it.
As Jokesterrap followed the smell, he bumped into a lamp post.
"Sorry, madam," he said, rubbing his head and continuing to follow the smell.
Eventually, the smell lead him to the barn at Sweet Apple Acres.
"Why have I been lead here?" he wondered.
He then saw the pie sitting on a table. Next to it was a piece of paper saying "Free Pie".
"Guess it wouldn't hurt," said Jokesterrap. As soon as he was close to to the table...
Suddenly he was grabbed by Flash and Big Macintosh.
"Hey, what the-?!"
Suddenly the rest of the gang came out from behind some of the bails of hay.
"Good work, guys," said Vincent.
"What's the big idea?" asked Jokesterrap. "Luring a guy in with pie and ambushing him. What next; you gonna give me cement overshoes and send me sleeping with the fishes?
"It's not like that," said Rainbow Dash.
"We just wanted to talk to you," said Twilight.
"Well, ya could've come up to me and asked!" retorted Jokesterrap.
"We figured you wouldn't listen to us if we did," said Rainbow Dash. "You've been hardly paying any attention to us lately and you act as if you're hiding something."
"Now it's time to come clean," said Twilight. "What is going on here? What are you up to?"
Jokesterrap didn't want to say anything, but then he remembered what his father had said.
"Don't be too proud to ask for help."
He also remembered how he had struggled with Gladstone's dome and figured he would infact need help. So he took a deep breath.
"Alright," he said at last. "I'll tell you what's going on."
Flash and Big Macintosh released their grips on him as Jokesterrap dusted himself off.
"But what I'm about to tell you," he went on, "cannot leave this barn. Understand?"
Jokesterrap made sure no one else was listening in and spoke.
"I have inherited a real steam locomotive," he said. "Her name is Gladstone."
The friends couldn't believe what they had heard.
"You? Owning a steam locomotive?" Rarity had to wonder how of all people, Jokesterrap could own a locomotive in spite of his childish behavior.
"Yes," Jokesterrap retorted. "Want to see her so you'll believe me?"
"Oh, I suppose..."
With that, Jokesterrap lead the group out into the forest towards Gladstone's shed.
"Remember," he said, "this is only between us."
There were murmurs of agreement and understanding.
"Alright," said Jokesterrap, as he opened the door. "Friends, meet Gladstone."
The doors creaked open and the group couldn't believe what they were seeing!
"Isn't she a beauty?" Jokesterrap asked.
"So this is what you've been up to," said Vincent.
"That's right," said Jokesterrap, "all I've done is try to fit the dome on... which kinda explains the clang, Applejack." He then turned to his engine.
"Gladstone,” he said. “This is Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Sunset Shimmer, Flash Sentry, Applejack, her brother Big Macintosh, Vincent, and my cousin Rarity. They're my friends. Now they're your friends too."
"Pardon my pickiness," said Rarity, "but don't you think Gladstone looks rather old?"
"Be careful with what you say about Gladstone," said Jokesterrap firmly as he put a hand on the engine's buffer. "She's sensitive."
"Kinda like you when you get the teeniest bit of dirty on your dresses, eh, Rare?" Vincent joked with sarcasm.
Rarity just fumed and said nothing.
"How did you come in possession of her?" asked Sunset.
Jokesterrap told them all about his grandfather Porter Coupling and of how he helped build Gladstone.
"And when she was about to be scrapped," he went on, "grandpa actually bought her from the railway to save her. He even promised me that one day, she would be mine."
"Why didn't you tell us about her in the first place?" asked Flash.
"Because Gladstone's a very delicate and old steam engine," said Jokesterrap. "You know what people do to old steam engines? They leave them in cold and lonely sidings, then they cut them up and sell them for scrap."
"That's not fair," Fluttershy said quietly.
"Eenope," agreed Big Macintosh.
"To most people, Gladstone's just a simple little engine," Jokesterrap went on. "But to me and Grandpa Porter, she's family. If anything bad happened to her, I don't know what I would do. Since you guys are my friends, will you help me fix her and keep her safe?"
"Of course we will," said Vincent. "What are friends for?"
"We'll make Gladstone the most awesome engine there ever was," said Rainbow Dash.
"Yay," said Fluttershy quietly.
"One question," said Twilight. "How are we even going to be able to fix her? None of us know anything on fixing a locomotive."
"My grandpa left me the blueprints to her along with a journal containing info on what parts she needed," explained Jokesterrap. "That's what was in the package I got."
"Oh, well that answers my question."
"What about you, Rare?"
"Well," said Rarity, "I suppose it wouldn't hurt."
"You can count me in as well," added Sunset.
The friends got into a circle and one by one, put one arm out, which went on top the other. Then on three, they threw them into the air. They were now a team together with one similar goal.