-Begin Act III-
Chapter 14: Trottingham’s Golden Noose
Out in the empty grey plains of Equestria that stretched as far as the eye could see, a lonely dirt trail ran through the worn grey grass, headed for the shining city of Trottingham. Along it rode a lone wagon, ferrying ponies each within a few feet of each other but feeling far away from the others.
Four ponies, to be exact, with four brands of individual emptiness, though not all would be willing to admit it.
Three ponies lay in the back. Fate was sitting against a pair of stacked crates making small motions with his hooves and muttering something to himself to pass the time; Trixie and Greed were still asleep next to him, with their backs to each side of the wagon, their hooves barely an inch apart.
An alicorn sat in the front coach, the reigns running down to two harnesses that would be pulling the wagon if they were not instead pulled by magic. But in the alicorn’s mind the harnesses were not empty,