Forward by the author: This may be the most awesome piece of literature, ever. I mean, I know I'm awesome, but I've surprised myself with how good this is. As a bonus, it's ten pages/5,000 words long! For anyone itching to do a crossover with Deadpool and My Little Pony of your own, take notes, because the DOCTOR IS IN!
But I feel I need to insert a word of caution: all characters are as in character as I'm capable of. This means I've white washed nothing. Because we're dealing witha guy like Deadpool dealing with peace loving ponies, things get a little intense and tensions run high at first. Yet fear not! Things aren't all doom and gloom. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, so stick with me. The humor and action is intense in this first chapter, and the emotions run high, so without further audue . . .
For those of you who don't know about Deadpool, I've included some info at the bottom of the chapter.
Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Fluttershy,
Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity
My Little Pony: The Hero We Need
"To this day, I'm not exactly sure what he was. He was crude, selfish, and sometimes more than a little nasty. He was capable of doing things a pony would never dream of doing- without feeling so much as a pang of remorse. At least, that was what I thought. I think differently now.
I learned a lot from this creature, this 'Deadpool'. I learned that sometimes people feel the need to hide the good things about them just like they would hide the bad. I learned that I am capable of things I had never imagined. I learned shades of grey. I learned what real hate was like.
Most importantly, I've learned that the hero you need isn't always the hero you want; and whatever else you or I might think of him, Deadpool was- and maybe still is- a hero." – Twilight Sparkle, forward to 'Memoirs of the First War'.
Chapter 1: Are YOU talking to ME?
It's raining so hard that the drops sound like they're pattering on a tin roof as they hit the material of Deadpool's outfit. His feet were sinking slightly in the loose, muddy soil. Overall it is a very depressing situation, but it says a lot about Wade's character that he is more worried about his costume than he is about the lion-tiger-scorpion-tail-thing (a manticore, not that he knows or cares) that is glaring at him from across the clearing in this strange forest. He did have his weapons, which was strange considering he didn't have them when-
"RARRRRR!" the manticore growls at its prospective meal. Deadpool just smiles, confusing the creature.
"I thought I taw - I did! I did! I did tee a puddy-tat! An ugly putty-tat. So, Ugly, I don't suppose you'd know how I got where-ever-the-hell-here-is?"
"GRRRRRRR," it does not like its prey's tone, or the fact that this guy isn't afraid of him.
"Hey, no need to bring my mother into this, Ug," says the mercenary without dropping his smug smirk for a moment, "I can call you Ug, right? Short for "Ugly", y'know, 'cus you look stupid, too."
"If you don't how I got here, Ug," he continues, "then how about you direct me to the nearest bar? Taco stand? A 7-Eleven maybe? How's about a XXX-"
The manticore pounces, tired of his meals prattle. Of course, this is what Deadpool wants. With his feet stuck in the mud, his mobility is severely decreased. He had to wait until his foe came to him, and if he could control when that was? All the better.
It's clear that the manticore is much better suited to the terrain as he leaps through the air, suspends itself in the air with its mighty wings and then dives straight for Deadpool's head, attempting to bite it off his shoulders.
In a single movement, Deadpool swats the thing with the back of his hand and the manticore is flung on its back- not because of the force of the blow so much as from the surprise at Deadpool, in its eyes a strange creature, could respond at all to its charge. And then it felt something stab its tail.
"AAAAOOOH!" it bellows as it looks across its belly to see one of Deadpool's katana sticking up from the ground through its tail, effectively pinning the whole manticore down. Paralyzed with fear and pain, the monster looked up into Deadpool's eyes. It didn't recognize Deadpool's gun, but even through the eye-shields the predator could sense what came next.
"Night-night, Ug," and with that the fight ended with a bullet between the manticore's eyes.
(You didn't have to kill the poor thing), said Deadpool's, for lack of a better term, conscience, (It was probably just hungry. If you had released the tail, it would have ran.)
". . . and I decide to think of this NOW? I have awful timing."
(No you don't. I just hate you, or rather, you hate yourself. You're kind of a dick that way.)
"Whatever. Let's get back to business- what was I doing before I came to this D&D fueled hellhole of a nightmare forest? I remember who I am and shit, but the last thing I remember is . . ."
(That'll have to wait, genius. That gunshot probably woke up every man-eating thing in this place. I have a feeling the party has just begun . . .)
As if on cue, he heard the howling of what he would soon discover to be timberwolves.
(. . . and oh look! Here come some more guests!)
Yet even as Deadpool starts to paint a swath of Everfree Forest with the blood of any unfortunate creature that happened to think he was food and had the balls to try to take a bite, the consequences of his actions are already bearing fruit. The animals scurry to warn Fluttershy of the red and black monster, Zecora heard the noise and heads into Ponyville, and of course Celestia and Luna sensed the anomaly that is Deadpool the minute he arrived (but not how it happened)! Naturally, they all turn to the same pony for advice: Twilight Sparkle.
Said pony was reading a book in the library when the perfect storm of trouble that is Deadpool hit Equestria, since it had been raining all day. That's where she was when three individuals came to her at the same time, one of them tracking mud onto her floor, all of them getting water all over the place (having come in from the rain).
"Oh my, oh dear, oh no . . ."
"WE HAVE COME TO REQUEST AN AUDIENCE IN OUR SISTER'S PLACE . . ."
"I am sorry to bother you, Twilight,
But things in the forest are not right . . ."
Twilight continued reading. It helped calm the rage.
"MY SISTER HAS DEEMED THIS MATTER OF TOO GREAT OF AN IMPORTANCE TO BE HANDLED THROUGH A LETTER . . .
"Re-e-ed MONSTER! RED! BLACK! MURDERER!"
" . . . I am filled with worry,
if we do not address this problem,'
we will all be sorry . . ."
She magically closes her book with a loud THUD. The room grows quiet.
"Okay, let's try this again. One at a time, starting with Fluttershy," she said in a deceptively calm and patient voice.
"BUT . . ." interrupted Princess Luna.
"Now Fluttershy, start from the beginning," then she notices that the yellow pony is hyperventilating and adds, "Try to calm down and keep to the facts."
"O-okay. The animals are panicking because something strange is in the forest killing things. They're soooo excited, it's hard for even me to understand, but so far it's killed a few manticores, a cockatrice, a lot of timberwolves, and possibly a chimera-"
"-all of those are carnivores. Maybe it was protecting itself? Did it eat any of them? If it's just some unknown predator-"
"-it only ate the cockatrice. The rest just attacked it- it was noisy and food has been scarce this year and it attracted a whole lot of attention. That's not the bad part, that's not why I'm so worried, it's, it's, it's, so horrible . . . the words . . . it's hard to say them . . ."
"I mean you no disrespect, but pardon me while I interject," Fluttershy nodded her consent and Zecora continued, "If this were some mere beast, I would not trouble you in the least. As it stands, this thing's no fool, for with its hands it uses tools. It walks on two legs, without fail, even though it has no tail. I could barely see it through the rain, but I think it enjoys bringing pain."
"That's . . . very disturbing. Have you seen anything like it before?"
"I feel I have seen it somewhere, if only in a nightmare," and then Zecora's eyes widened as she remembered something, "In my home they roam, in trees above the plains, to keep to themselves they go to great lengths."
Twilight raised a brow, "Did you just try to rhyme "plains" with "lengths" just now?"
"There aren't many things in Equestria that walk on two legs, but let's come back to that," she looks over to Princess Luna, "Anything to add, Princess?"
"THE BEST FOR LAST, I SEE," she says wryly, "AS A MATTER OF FACT, AS I WAS SAYING BEFORE, I HAVE INFORMATION TOO SENSITIVE TO BE SENT THROUGH YOUR ASSISTANT," a grunt of indignation could be heard from the pile of books Spike was hiding under. Everyone ignores it.
"WE FELT A MAGICAL DISTURBANCE WITHIN EVERFREE FOREST. EVERFREE FOREST IS RELATIVELY WEAK IN MAGIC, AS MY SISTER AND I EXERT NO CONTROL OVER IT AS WE DO WITH THE REST OF THIS LAND. CHAOS IS DOMINANT THERE," she pauses to think about what to say next, "THE DIFFERENCE IS HARD TO EXPLAIN. TO THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE, CHAOS LOOKS LIKE MAGIC. THE IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE IS THAT MAGIC IS SOMETHING WILLED AND CHAOS IS SOMETHING THAT IS WITHOUT INTENT, THOUGH IT CAN BE HARNESSED.
SOMETHING WAS SUMMONED WITH MAGIC, BUT IT IS SOMETHING BORN OF CHAOS AND MAGIC. A MOST CONFUSING ENTITY . . ."
"One moment, Princess Luna- you probably don't notice, but you're shouting again."
"Sorry, sometimes I forget. Needless to say, if this figure these two have spoken of is the same as the entity we sensed, then the situation may be more grave than predicted. We can only say three things for sure. It is male, it is not a pony, and it is not from our plane of existence."
A visitor from another dimension! Now this caught Twilight's attention. Maybe this won't be as bad as she thought. Then again, it might get worse.
"Okay, girls, I think I have a plan but we're going to have to be careful. I'll prep a translator spell, because if we can talk to this . . . man then we might be able to reason with him. Zecora, get Applejack and tell her to round up the others as well as some supplies- we may need to do some hiking."
"It shall be done,
but may I get in on the fun?"
"It's alright with me, but I'm not sure if it'll be all that fun. It'll be nice to have someone who knows the forest as well as you do. Tell her we'll meet near Fluttershy's house near the outskirts of Everfree. Fluttershy," she looks over at the trembling Pegasus pony and her expression softens, "How about you stay and clean up? You guys were in such a hurry, you made a big mess," all three of them blushed with embarrassment. Fluttershy sighs in relief.
"Um, Princess Luna . . .?"
"We shall report back to our sister. We, uh, I feel the situation is in good hands."
"Right and I have some studying to do. There may not be anything exactly like him, but I think there's something similar- Simians, I think they're called."
Meanwhile, Deadpool has polished off his *snort* cockatrice. It was late and he had been walking all day, hoping to find civilization or, failing that, a beer joint.
"That chicken was awesome. Totally worth blowing half my matches to get a fire started. I could get used to this living off the land stuff."
(Oh yeah, you're a regular Tarzan. A Tarzan who talks to himself and can't start a fire without matches).
"I can totally start a fire without matches, asshole, but all the wood around here is damp. So just shut up, the chicken was awesome!"
(The chicken was awesome, but it wasn't a chicken. I, and by extension I must painfully admit, you know what a chicken is. Which brings us to the point I've been dodging all day: we is not in Kansas anymore, Toto. True talk. And while we're on the subject of unpleasant things we'd rather not think about there is the ammo issue. The issue being we're clean out).
"This is why I have my katana to fall back on, and don't forget the matches and that one grenade I have left. Thank Rob for little pouches."
(Should I go tell the X-Men I'm fully equipped to take them all on? Don't answer that, it's sarcasm).
"Why are you so ne- EHHHH!" he says as he slides down a ledge, into a nest full of eggs. The biggest eggs he'd ever seen in his life.
"I know what I'm having for dinner," then he looked up and saw a certain gold-color, warm-blooded reptilian creature, "Oh, goodie! A dragon, now I won't have to waste the rest of my matches cooking . . . her . . . eggs . . . oh, #$%."
As Deadpool meets something he's actually afraid of, five ponies, a zebra, and a baby dragon are searching for him. The rain had stopped at three past noon, and they'd been hiking since then. It was nightfall, and not only had they not seen any sign of the strange being but the whole forest itself was eerily peaceful.
"Who wants to sing a song?" Pinkie Pie, as she pulls a wagon full of supplies, asks, and when nopony pays her any mind she sings anyway:
"Oooooh, when you're in the woods looking for a maniac,
you better watch your back,
because he might attack!
"Shuddup! Tarnations, Pinkie Pie, ya might as well put the seasonin's on us and fry us in butter, with the way you're ringin' that dinner bell you have for a mouth," Applejack was carrying a separate cart, mostly filled with Rarity's things. She was not happy about it.
"Po-nies, are so del-i-cious
we might get ea-ten by something vis-cious!"
She stops when everyone started looking at her like she's grown a second head. This would have been awesome, because with two heads you'd always have someone to party with!
"Pinkie Pie's idiocy aside,"* Rarity chimes in, "We should be pleased we haven't encountered any nasty monsters! I find it very strange, darlings, but one can't complain."
"It's like they're scared or something," says Spike, "Some nasty things live in this forest, so that means he must be nastier than nearly all of them put together!"
"The law of the jungle we must abide
in this forest, you fight or hide," Zecora comments.
Twilight nods in agreement, "Here, it's everypony for themselves. Neither Celestia or Luna have any authority here, which means we're on our own."
"So if we get in trouble here, Celestia can't help us, darling?"
Twilight had never thought of it like that before, "I guess- it's never really come up before."
"So whaddya find out about them there 'Simians'?" Applejack changes the subject.
"Not much. They live in Zecora's homeland of Swahilia** and they mostly keep to themselves. They can walk on two legs, have arms like some dragons, but have hands on both their legs and arms. They have a tail for balance. They live in trees and caves to protect themselves from predators and they are excellent craftsmen- we trade food with them for things like metal tools. No magical abilities whatsoever, highly intelligent and as greedy as they are hard-working. Their society is led by a merchant-king . . ."
"Hold on, darling, I thought you said you didn't know much. So are we talking about a Simian or not?"
"I don't think so, from what I gathered from Luna's information there may not be a species exactly like what this man belongs to in the world. He doesn't have a tail and he's much too tall to be an actual Simian. However, we need to understand him quickly- he was summoned or otherwise brought here and if it was against his will, he's likely very confused. It'll be easier if we understand the closest thing to him we have information on. For example, I brought some bits as a peace offering. I wish I had something shiny, because Simians like that, too."
"Your observations seem quite sound, as his feet were firmly on the ground."
"Why, I do believe I packed some gems with my things- if it, I mean, he doesn't take the bit," she pauses as Pinkie snorts at Rarity's pun, "Then it might take that," then she notices Applejacks grimace and added, "I brought them in case Spike needed a snack."
The baby dragon smirks, but before he can ask for a snack a rainbow streak comes in for landing.
"Guys! Something's coming this way! Two somethings, one's too small to make out from up there but the other is a DRAGON! A humungous dragon! It's not a flier, so I think we have time to . . ."
She didn't have time to finish that sentence, as Deadpool ran over her as if she was a speed bump, tripping and falling flat on his face. Rainbow Dash was out cold, but Deadpool was swearing into the dirt as Twilight hit him with the translator spell like she had been preparing to do all day.
"Hello, visitor from another place. My name is Twilight Sparkle, and that sensation was just me casting a translator spell on you. There is no cause for alarm, we mean you no harm. Do you understand me?"
Deadpool arose, dusting himself off. He looked like hell. His costume was dirty and torn. He burned so many calories running that he dropped maybe as much as fifty pounds, and so what was left of his outfit clung loosely to his frame like he was a scarecrow.
"Are YOU talking to ME?" Twilight smiled at the creature. Her spell had worked.
(Are these horses or something? They're so . . . adorable! Let's collect them all. We haven't practiced taxidermy since we stuffed Black Swan. Or maybe we could cram them into little balls and only release them to fight each other for my amusement)!
"I ain't sure I lahk the way he's lookin' at us."
"Do you think he likes to PAR-TAY!"
"Before his muscles were thick, but now I think he's gotten sick."
"Everyone, be quiet and let me do all the talking," she cleared her throat and held up a bag of coins with her magic, "Here is what we use for money, we call these coins 'bits'. We offer them to you as a token of peace," Deadpool takes the coin purse and puts it on his utility belt.
"Um, thanks? Oh, and you can call me Deadpool . . . Twilight Sparkle, right? You wouldn't happen to suck blood and sparkle in sunlight, would you? Because that would be stupid, am I right?"
(It's nice to meet something that doesn't want to eat us. Maybe we should hold off on stuffing/enslaving them for our amusement? For now, anyway).
"I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean, but I do believe Rarity here has something for you. Right, Rarity?"
"Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Twilight said you might like shiny things."
"Twilight is a very smart, um, lady? You're girls, right?" Deadpool shrugs, "I love shiny things. Sometimes a little too much. I could stare at the sun FOR HOURS."
"Fabulous! Applejack, if you would," Applejack grunted in displeasure, but now wasn't the time to argue so she did as she was told. She tosses the bag of gems at Deadpool, which he catches. He whistles as he examines them.
"These . . . are the real deal, alright. Possibly the realest deal I have ever seen in my life. And let me tell you, I have seen some pretty real rocks in my time, but this ice is so real it's making my hands cold, if you know what I mean," and his hands are indeed shaking, though he doubts it is cold or excitement.
(I've been feeling weaker and weaker, and it's not because I've been fighting. Something about this place is eating at my body. I can tell 'cuz I'm starting to think clearly, and that never happens unless my healing factor is failing. Wait, didn't that . . . pony, didn't she say she cast a spell on me)?
They hear the roar of the dragon, and remember the impending doom Rainbow Dash, who is still unconscious, warned them of. Deadpool was so distracted he had forgotten the thing entirely.
"Oh, my! The dragon! I had nearly forgotten all about it!" exclaimed Rarity, "But we can't leave Rainbow Dash! What do we do?"
(We have a single grenade left. It'll at least slow it down if we time it right- might even kill it).
"You guys get back- I'll handle Godzilla."
"There isn't any time. I can at least distract it," then he notices how worried she is and said, with a twinkle in his eye (his eye shield had fallen out after he received a nasty blow to the face) and smirk on his lips, "Don't worry, I'll be fine. I face uglier things then that when I look in the mirror. I ain't dying today."
(By that I mean I probably won't be dying today).
"Alright. Pinkie Pie, get Rainbow Dash. We're retreating," and so they do, leaving Deadpool alone to face the dragon. Just the way he wants it.
He takes his frag grenade and pulls the pin, keeping a firm grip on it so it won't explode in his hands.
"How do think he's going to stop a dragon that big, Twi?" asks Spike when they are a safe distance away.
"I'm not sure, but I get the feeling he has a plan."
"But . . . didn't he kill those other things that attacked him?"
Twilight stops in her tracks. She hadn't thought of that.
He could see the dragon on the horizon, towering above the trees and coming fast for its size. He readies his throw like a pitcher, focusing the last of his strength and will into this one action. If the thing was too far, the grenade would explode before reaching the target. Too close, and it would hit the scales. Either way, he might not know much about dragons, but from what he had heard their scales were nearly invincible. He wasn't sure if that was true, but nevertheless his best bet was to aim for the mouth- for the inside.
(Missing is not an option, sport. Time to channel my inner Bullseye)!
The dragon is just about in place. Now if only it would roar . . .
"RAAAWR!" and the grenade flew easily from Deadpool's hands. It explodes in her mouth before she (the dragon) has time to gulp it down. All that can be heard from the outside is a faint 'puff' but its eyes roll into the back of its head and it sways like a skyscraper before plummeting to the ground. It felt like the continent itself was shacking when it finally hit the ground.
"Phew, I'm glad it didn't fall on me. Oh, hello guys! See what I did? Awesome, right? I told you I had everything under control."
The gang had figured out Deadpool's plan, but they were too late to stop him. Twilight was the only one who could vocalize her feelings.
"Do you know what you've done?"
"Do. You. Know. What. You've. DONE!"
"Killed a dragon, saved all our lives," Deadpool wheezed, "and I've "DONE" awesome shit like that all day. Show some gratitude!"
"Why was that dragon chasing you in the first place?"
". . . because *cough* I look *wheeze* tasty?"
"Dragons only eat gems, not meat. Try again," her glare is starting to get on his nerves. All the other ponies and the zebra are glaring at him or in shock. The baby dragon is crying.
(I'm . . . starting to feel bad. I hate feeling bad. Why are they looking at me like I'm guilty or something? I saved them! They should be grateful! Or at least indifferent. I'd settle for that right about now).
"Well, MAYBE I came near her nest. And POSSIBLY when I slide and fell in the nest, I MIGHT have broken an egg. Or two. Or three. I didn't really have time to count, but hey, you know what they say about omelets, right guys? Guys?"
Even Twilight is at a loss for words. Thank Celestia Fluttershy isn't here for this!
"Hey! Stop! Don't look at me like that, it was an accident! *cough* *wheeze*" He unsheathes his katana from his back. They are nicked and dirty, but still very threatening. Unfortunately, his arms don't have the strength to lift them anymore and the extra weight makes him slump to the ground. Looking up at Twilight, he manages to say one last thing, "You don't *cough* have the right to judge me! I was *wheeze* saving you all!"
"No, you were just saving yourself!" and then drove her hoof into his face, knocking him out.
"Oooah," Rainbow Dash groans, finally waking up. The rest of the crew fills her in.
"So you're telling me that that thing," she points to the barely breathing Deadpool, "Killed that dragon all by himself? It's like ten times his size. That's pretty aweso- I mean, it's awful. Horrible even. So what do we do now?"
"First things first," says Twilight Sparkle, trying to regain her composure by keeping busy, "Rarity, take what you can carry, because we're dumping all your stuff. We need as much space as possible. Pinkie Pie and I will take this . . . murderer to Celestia. She'll know what to do. Zecora, Applejack, and Rarity- you'll follow Rainbow Dash to the eggs. She should be able to find them. Save as many as possible. We're also going to give you most of the provisions. Spike, you better go with them; I know how you're probably feeling right now."
Spike nodded numbly.
"Pinkie Pie and I should be able to handle taking him to the Princess. Any questions?" there were none.
This whole affair had become a major disappointment. This freak probably didn't even understand what he did wrong- it was obscene! But the Princess would surely know what to do. After all, she always did.
On the dark side of the moon, where in stone he slept, a certain Draconequus was beginning to awake from his stony slumber. The very presence of a being such as Deadpool was enough to stir the God of Dissonance, but after all that fighting? It is not the fighting, however, or even simple chaos that is chipping away at his granite prison- a foe of Discord even older than Celestia has made a move. Even the dreaded 'harmony' is preferable to what it brings. For where Chaos is the birth of all life and the cause of all change, good and bad, the only end Order desires is the death of everything . . . the perfect peace and order.
Queen Chrysalis sits in her throne room, deep within her hive. Through one of her changeling drones, cleverly disguised as one of the "Mane 6" – hah, they didn't even notice one of their own was missing! - she had seen everything Deadpool had done since he had arrived in Everfree Forest. She likes what she sees. This is someone she can understand- ruthless and motivated by his own self-interest! Any kindness he had in his heart was probably just snuffed out by those ingrates. Deception might not even be necessary- with compensation, perhaps he would do her biding willingly!
Deep in a secret base underneath Swahilia, a bright red Alicorn schemes and monologues like a mad man. Yes, a mad "man", for he is a rare male of his species. As such, he was even taller than Celestia herself and his build is slightly more sturdy. An atom- or rather, a dot surrounded by a circle- is his cutie mark.
"Oh, how mother shall pay for crushing my dreams! 'Your gadgets are too dangerous, Red Sun. They could destroy the world! Maybe you could think of something safer?'" he says, mocking his mother's voice, "COWARDICE! Fear is what's holding our civilization back! Well, Red Sun is gone, mother. Soon, the sun and moon shall rise only when CRIMSON ATOM wills it to be so! Mwahahaha!"
And now for Deadpool's bio:
Deadpool, of Marvel Comics
Real Name: Wade Wilson
Height: 6"2 (varies by artist), or about 2 meters.
Weight: 220 pounds, or about a hundred kilograms.
Hair: None, formerly Blonde
Appearance: Deadpool wears a red and black costume similar to Spider-Man's red and blue one, but without the webbing (there are other differences, but you'll have to look and compare for yourself) and his eye shields (the things super heroes wear to make their eyes look pupil-less) cover JUST his eyes. Around his eyes there are thick, black circles. He traditionally wears two katana (sometimes machetes) on his back. He is skilled in their use.
Powers: Deadpool's main power is regeneration- he can heal from nearly any wound. Superhuman strength (when compared to someone in his own weight class), agility, and senses are all byproducts of his healing factor. His only real weakness is, and this is important, magic. Oh, and the fact that he's nuts and has a poor sense of judgment.
Skills: Deadpool has a wide variety of skills, and while he is the best at no single martial art he is a jack-of-all-trades. In other words, he makes up for his lack of specialization with diversity. He is also skilled at espionage, infiltration, is multi-lingual, and is pretty much an all-around mercenary.
As for his personality and his past . . . that will be touched on in the story.
*Props to anyone who catches the reference.
**Why, yes, I did pull that name out of my ass. Thank you for noticing. My ass is magical like that, so don't hate. Also, it's never mentioned where she's from and I didn't want to say 'Africa'. It just didn't feel right- not that I have a problem with Africa, mind you.