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I think most writers who want to write a sequel to their story should watch Kung Fu Panda 2.

Not because of the increased action or darker tone. It has those things, but there's ONE specific thing:

It kept the spirit of the original. 

It tells a more mature story, but never forgets the story is about a goofy but competent kung fu fanboy turned Chosen One. It never forgot what made the ORIGINAL a good movie. 

Writing a good sequel isn't about writing a darker story, it isn't writing a more action packed story, it isn't about writing a more mature story: it's writing a story that's faithful to the original. That keeps what made the original so good while building off it.

And for goodness sakes, will fanfic writers PLEASE stop mistaking 'darker' for 'more mature'? I mean for goodness sakes, making your sequel darker is NOT the same thing as making it more MATURE. More mature is, as stated above, dealing with a more mature theme, which is NOT the same thing as making a darker story.

I've noticed an annoying trend in fanfiction of making the sequel Grim Dark and making things worse rather than better. 
GBOYHVerse: Tarnished Diamonds

Chapter 5

Past Uncovered

By Godzillawolf

With their desks pushed together, three seated on one side, two on the other the five fillies sat as a group. While the rest of the classroom was a buzz of activity, the only activity the enemies turned partners seemed interested in or capable of at the moment was to glare at each other and not make a sound. It was almost like watching a very intense staring contest; as if one of them would blink their eyes they would lose the game.

Neither group knew how long they'd been sitting like this. It just that it felt like about eight months since they'd gotten into this mess.


“We have ten minutes left, my little ponies,” Cheerilee warned the class, causing several groups to begin discussing how they'd meet after class, who would bring what, and a number of other odds and ends.

“Ugh...look,” Applebloom said, the filly finally breaking the silence. “Ah don't like yah, and Ah know yah don't like meh.”

“What gave you that idea, genius?” Diamond asked, feeling a little sick but not letting up the death glare.

“But mah family ain't gonna be happy is Ah get an F, so let's just get this over with, okay?” the yellow farm filly replied.

The spoiled bully gave a sigh of annoyance. “Yeah, daddy's gonna take away my allowance if I get an F.”

“And my aunt will ground me from crusading...” Scootaloo muttered, pinning her ears.

“And Rarity will make me bathe Opal...” Sweetie Belle lamented.

“And daddy will make me run laps around our estate...” Silver finished, earning her a few confused looks. “...He's a Royal Guard.”

“He is?” Sweetie Belle questioned, the Crusaders looking like they'd been told the world is flat.

“Ugh! Let's just get this over with so we can go back to ignoring each other!” Diamond Tiara interjected. “What stupid thing should we do it on?”

“The Crystal Empire coming back, let's do that!” Scootaloo suggested, the fan-filly expression she was wearing leaving little to the imagination as to why. “We can ask Rainbow Dash and the others about it! Maybe even get to go there!”

“Yeah! Good idea! We can make a model with lots of glitter!” exclaimed Sweetie Belle in excitement.

“Yah sure like glitter, don't yah?” Applebloom questioned with a chuckle.

“I'm Rarity's little sister, what would you expect?”

While the Crusaders were all bustling with excitement over the idea, Diamond Tiara was grinding her teeth in frustration at the mental image this brought to her mind. Namely spending several days with the Crusaders talking about how awesome their sisters/sister figures were, bragging constantly and enjoying every minute of it while Diamond Tiara had to grin and bare it. She could feel her jealously eating her up already. Normally she'd be thinking of every possible way to emotionally tear them down and take full control. Except then...she'd be like her...And that thought...Still, didn't mean she couldn't do something about the predicament, right?

“Well I don't think it's a good idea,” the rich filly replied, donning her most indifferent look she could manage.

The trio rolled their eyes. “Let me guess, because it's our idea?” asked Scootaloo, crossing her forelegs.

“No, think about it; it just happened. Yeah, we've got your family I guess, but how do you expect to find any books or anything? You know that Cheerilee likes varied sources. We'd be limiting ourselves too much if we did that. Plus, how exactly are Silver and I to do our share on something only you three can get anything about? You'd have to do all the work. Of course if you'd like to let Silver and I just do the bare minimum by necessity, I can oblige,” was the pink filly's reply, managing to give off an aura of confidence in what she was saying.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders looked to one another with a blink. “That's...actually a good point...” Scootaloo begrudgingly admitted. “I have trouble finding the right books when they're easy to find...”

“Yeah, plus if the Crystal Empire is what it sounds like, Rarity's probably going to spend the next week making dresses...” Sweetie Belle replied, though also looking a little excited at the thought.

“And Applejack's gonna have a lot of work tah catch up on since she's been gone...” Applebloom  finished.

“See?” Diamond Tiara finished with an aura of pride. “So...”

Diamond tried to think of big important events in Equestrian history...but kept hitting a particular snag. She didn't remember many of them. At least not many of them that the Crusaders wouldn't know more about or knew somepony involved in it. “...Isn't there some huge story about Heart's and Hooves Day?”

The pink filly fought the urge to gag. Lovey-dovey stuff rarely appealed to any foal, but it was also the one holiday she knew for sure the Crusaders didn't have some big 'my sisters did something super impressive' on that day. Unless their sisters had somehow managed to travel back in time and be involved in that story, but what were the odds of that?

“Uh...about that...” muttered Applebloom, blushing.

Diamond Tiara gave an annoyed sigh. “What?”

“We kind of got banned from all the books in the library involving Hearts and Hooves Day after...well...we kind of love poisoned Big Mac and Cheerilee...” Sweetie Belle pointed out, looking like she was trying to hide behind her mane.

Diamond Tiara's response was to snap another pencil by biting it to stifle her tongue, eyes twitching like mad.

“Uh...Diamond Tiara, are yah okay?” Applebloom asked, the three Crusaders just staring at her in confusion.

“I'm fine...”

“Really? Cause you look like Rarity when she's trying not to tell me I made her mad...” Sweetie Belle said, cocking her head.

“And that's the third pencil you've bit in half today,” Scootaloo remarked, pointing to the two other snapped pencils on the floor next to the filly's chair.

Diamond took in a deep breath...then held her breath for a second so she couldn't let it out in a scream of frustration followed by insults she knew would make her feel ill. “I'm fine! Next suggestion!”

“What about Princess Luna coming back?” Scootaloo suggested. “Rainbow Dash and her friends were there too.”

'In other words, another story about your awesome sisters,' Diamond thought. “I think we both know who's got that one covered...” the pink filly replied, pointing a hoof over to Pipsqueak's group, the pinto colt already holding up a surprisingly well done drawing of Princess Luna.

“She's got a point...” Sweetie Belle replied, looking back to Pip. “He's like Princess Luna's biggest fan...”

“Biggest fan? Pipsqueak knows her!” Scootaloo replied, looking a tiny bit jealous.

Diamond's eyes went wide. “What?!”

“Yeah, at the Nightmare Night thing?” Applebloom asked. “Yah didn't see that?”

The spoiled filly smirked. “Well I was busy trick or treating in Canterlot with daddy,” she said proudly.

“How's that any different than trick or treating here?” Scootaloo asked, lifting an eyebrow.

“Oh, it's not too different, just they give out fancy, gourmet candies,” Diamond Tiara said in her 'I've got something you don't' tone.

“Because they can afford it there,” Silver Spoon continued, imitating her partner in crime's tone.

Diamond felt a small bit of gratification at the looks of jealousy this earned...

“We still got to meet a Princess,” Scootaloo reminded.

And that gratified grin was replaced with a frustrated glare. “Fine, whatever! Point is that's not working, let's figure out something else, okay?!”

“What about the royal wedding?” Sweetie Belle suggested. “Princess Cadence married Shining Armor and we got to be flower fillies, it'd be great!”

“Uh, we also got invaded by scary, love eating bug ponies,” Scootaloo pointed out, giving a shudder at the memory.

“Yeah but we get attacked by stuff all the time, how many weddings have we been to?!”

“And the Changelings aren't all scary. What about the one that's friends with Miss Matilda?” Applebloom asked, remembering the shy Changeling that occasionally stopped by the town and had to show his passport each time. “He seems nice...”

Diamond Tiara resisted the urge to slam her head as hard as she could into the desk in front of her. Instead she settled for some angry scowling. “Except I wasn't here! That's the same problem as with the Crystal Empire one!”

Scootaloo gave an annoyed sigh. “Fine then, what about Discord?”

Almost instantly the orange pegasus found varying looks of horror and anger staring back at her, causing her ears to pin back. “Oh yeah...that was really really awful...forget I said anything.”

“Good idea...”

Everypony including Scootaloo herself looked around at one another in surprise at the group jinx.

“What about Trixie, Rarity, and their beating that mean Checker Monarch?” Sweetie Belle suggested. “Rarity said it was all over the news and stuff.”

Diamond Tiara suddenly tensed up and broke out in a cold sweat. “N-No. L-Let's not...”

Scootaloo blinked, giving a confused look. Diamond's statement hadn't had her usual venom. If anything it sounded...pleading. “Why not?”

“B-Because that wasn't quite a historical event, doesn't c-count...”

Silver looked at her friend, any smugness disappearing. “...I'm with Diamond Tiara. Doesn't really count”

The Crusaders looked at each other with unsettled faces, then back to the two bullies. “...Fine...But we still need something...”

Diamond Tiara managed to steady herself...and proceeded to wrack her brain for something to suggest. She looked to Silver Spoon, who didn't seem to even be trying to think of something. No surprise, she'd hardly spoke the entire decision making process. Diamond was on her own trying to think of something that she wouldn't spend the entire time hearing them brag about and that didn't involve...HER. Something that wouldn't leave her fighting back a billion insults she knew she couldn't say without becoming like...HER. Something, anything! Something she was at least on equal footing to the bla-Applebloom and her friends!

Something clicked in her brain and galloped to her mouth before she could think.

“Let's just do it on the founding of Ponyville and be done with it!”

The entire group promptly stared at Diamond with as much disbelief as she had that it'd come out of her own mouth, which she had the urge to insert her hoof into.

“Uh...Diamond, did yah just say we should do the founding of Ponyville or do Ah still have water in mah ears from bein' Cutie Mark Crusader Synchronized Swimmers yesterday?” Applebloom asked, tilting her head and giving the side of it a few taps.

The spoiled filly's eyes batted back and fourth between the four shell shocked ponies looking at her. She had spoke without thinking, even beautiful, smart young mares like her could make mistakes from time to time. The question was which was worse? To admit her idea was stupid and give her ego a bruising or to grin and bare it working on something she didn't exactly have a pleasant history with?

“Simple. Your family was part of it; my family was part of it. It's probably the one thing that a low-” the spoiled filly's prepared insult about their difference in social class died rather quickly in her throat when her stomach seized up. “That we actually have in common. So why shouldn't we?”

“Because last time it came up you blew up on Granny Smith in class...” Scootaloo pointed out.

“And had to wear a bunny suit and jump over watering cans...” Sweetie Belle continued.

Diamond Tiara was glad she had pink fur to hide the rather vibrant blush stirring beneath it. “Well this situation is already unbearable, so it's not like it can possibly make this any worse, can it?”

The rich foal found herself instinctively knocking on the desk for some reason.

The CMC promptly got into a huddle.

“Well she's got a point...” Scootaloo admitted.

“...Yeah...Ah just think Diamond's acting a bit weird...” Applebloom admitted, giving a concerned look. “She hasn't insulted us once the whole time...”

“Probably because Cheerilee's watching...” the orange filly replied. “Probably doesn't want to end up in the bunny suit again.”

Diamond Tiara looked to Silver. “Do you have a problem with this?”

The silver filly merely shook her head, shooting down any hopes of a way out of this. “Not if you don't, Diamond.”

Diamond couldn't help feeling like Silver looked a bit happier than expected. Then again, her cohort had applauded Granny Smith. The pink filly had never questioned it, considering she was much too busy being punished, a very alien experience for the foal. Perhaps she merely misinterpreted Diamond's feelings on that tidbit of her family's history being presented and expected the lead bully was pleased with it? Yes, that was probably it. Why else would her best friend applaud the enemy's grandmother?

The Crusaders finally turned back to their reluctant teammates. “Alright, sounds good tah us,” Applebloom announced, her two friends nodding. “We can go see Granny Smith aft-”

“Oh no you don't!” Diamond Tiara interjected, the rich filly then putting a hoof on her chest proudly. “The class already heard that part of the story! I think it's only fair we start with my family's side of it! It's only fair, right?”

Silver Spoon naturally nodded. “She's right you know. It is only fair.”

The yellow farm filly gave a glare back. “...Do yah even know yer family's half of it?”

Diamond froze, blinking. She knew her family was wealthy, she knew her Great Grandpa Stinking Rich had created the family business and sold Zap Apple Jam to start with, and that'd lead to Ponyville's founding...

“ you're not the only one with a grandparent who was there!”

Applebloom gave a sincerely baffled blink. “Wait, yer granny is still around?”

“My grandfather is, yes,” Diamond Tiara replied with a high and mighty smirk. “He's only a bit younger than your grandmother, so he's bound to know a thing or two.”

“Does he live with yah?”

“No, he lives in his own estate near White Tail Woods, I can have my servants take us to visit,” the spoiled foal replied, now riding a high of self gratification. Sure it felt a tiny bit empty compared to insults, but it was an improvement over feeling sick to her stomach and terrified of becoming like a certain sociopathic unicorn.

Applebloom looked to her friends. “If he's one of the Riches, Granny Smith probably knows 'em, so shouldn't be a problem for meh.”

“Rarity shouldn't have a problem with it...” was Sweetie Belle's response.

“I'll have to ask my aunt, but it should be okay...unless he has a pet giant squid or something...” Scootaloo finished.

Diamond Tiara blinked. “Giant squid?”

“Yeah we ran into one trying to be Cutie Mark Crusader Scuba-Divers and got chased by one living in a lake, and apparently my aunt's got some really weird fear of them...” the orange filly explained, looking just as confused by that as the rest of the group. “I don't think I want to know.”

The pink filly's eye began twitching. “I...see...well there aren't any giant squid on my grandpa's estate...he has a pool though. A really big one.”

“Then I should be fine...”

“Good, I'll have daddy send him a letter...”

“How's it gonna beat us there?” Applebloom questioned. She never been to White Tail Woods before

“Daddy pays for express delivery, that's how. It's a perk of being rich.”

“I thought you just got express delivery by giving Miss Derpy a free muffin...” Sweetie Belle said, putting a hoof to her chin.

Diamond Tiara once again felt that odd urge to slam her head into the desk. This time she obeyed it.


Diamond Tiara gave a sigh of annoyance, sitting in the seat of her family's personal carriage, as they had been for some time. On most occasions she'd be all too happy to relish getting to flaunt that her family was wealthy enough to afford a personal carriage, with its luxurious seats, imported carpets, and the diamond door knobs she'd managed to convince her daddy to buy just because they went with her tiara.

But most of the time said flaunting did not involve being in an enclosed space for extended periods of time with THEM while trying not to become HER.

“Why are we taking a pony drawn carriage anyway?” Scootaloo asked, stealing a peak out the window at the landscapes passing by.

The spoiled filly rolled her eyes. “Because it's faster than walking, and shows how rich I am.”

“Yeah, duh!” Silver Spoon chimed in, smirking to her cohort.

“But if ponies are pulling it, how can it be faster?” Sweetie Belle questioned, peaking over Diamond to the window that could be used to speak with the stallions pulling the carriage if the passengers desired it.

“I don't know, I'm not a carriage pony.” The pink filly gave a prideful look. “And besides, you should feel privileged that I'm letting you ride in mine. You're the only ponies in our entire class who have ever gotten to ride in it other than Silver Spoon.”

“Yeah, you should be thanking us,” Silver Spoon followed up, giving a smirk.

“Thanks fer givin' us a lift Ah guess...” Applebloom said begrudgingly. “But it's kinda boring.”

Diamond Tiara gave an incensed look while Silver's jaw just dropped a little. “Boring?! You're in MY carriage, how can that possibly be boring?”

“Well there's nothin' tah do,” the farm filly replied. Scootaloo seemed especially anxious.

“I kinda like it's pretty...” Sweetie Belle admitted, looking at the diamonds. “I think Rarity would like it...”

“Well at least one of you has good taste, bl-” Diamond stopped herself as her stomach seized up again. Honestly she was lucky she hadn't had to tell her attendants to stop, given the practically rapid fire parade of things she could be insulting and picking apart but couldn't dare say. Perhaps having her father get first class train tickets would have been a better idea after all. At least she'd been able to convincingly lie to Shiny Star that the ginger ale was a precaution just in case any of their 'guests' turned out to be prone to getting carriage sick. She'd drunk half a bottle.

“Just hold it together, Diamond. Remember why you're doing this...” she whispered to herself. She turned to the glass, briefly seeing the image of a certain blue unicorn superimposed over her own and giving a shudder.

Silver Spoon seemed to notice her annoyance, but didn't say anything. She just looked plain confused.

The spoiled pink filly leaned over. “We've got to put up with these bl-los-three until we're done with the project. And as much as I sincerely hate to admit it, the more we insult them the harder that's going to be. So let's just cool it until then, okay?” she whispered. “It's not like we have to be nice to them or anything.”

The gray filly blinked in confusion, but nodded obediently. “Alright, Diamond...”

Diamond Tiara cocked her head in a bit of confusion. Silver Spoon's face...well, wasn't blank. It was more like one time this actress had to fill in for another at a play she'd attended and was trying to get into the new character. Not that she blamed Silver Spoon, being anything but a bully to the trio felt so odd, of course she was having the same trouble as the spoiled pink foal.

“Ugh...fine, the doorknobs are pretty...I guess...but why did it have to be so small?” Scootaloo questioned, fidgeting a bit.

“Because it's a private carriage, duh!” the spoiled pink pony replied, giving another roll of her eyes. At this rate she was wondering when they'd roll out of her head if she kept rolling them like this.

“Well sorry most of us don't have those...” Scootaloo muttered, giving an annoyed look.

“Yes, you should be.”

Scootaloo took her turn to roll her eyes. “Can we play I Spy or something? Otherwise we're just going to sit here glaring at each other the entire time...and my eyes still hurt from doing that in class.”

Diamond raised an eyebrow. “I Spy?”

“Yeah, you know, look out the window and say 'I spy with my little eye, something...' and then the other ponies try to figure out what it was?” Sweetie Belle asked, giving a blink. “You've never heard of I Spy?”

“Of course we have, remember Diamond?” Silver Spoon asked. “Before your know.”

Diamond Tiara blinked, thinking back. “Oh...yeah...when we were in Manehatten. It's just been a really long time's all...You three bla-three can play if you want.”

At that, the trio turned to the window and looked out.

“Alright, I spy with my little!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed.

“Grass?” Applebloom guessed.


Diamond noted Silver looked slightly disappointed. Had she wanted to play with those three? No way. Silver Spoon didn't even know why picking on the trio was off limits. Then why would the other bully look disappointed?

“Leaves?” guessed Scootaloo, pointing to a tree they were passing.

“Got it!” Sweetie Belle replied. “Alright, your turn.”

“Alright...I spy with my little eye, something yellow.”

Diamond gave an annoyed growl at the sight of her archenemies having fun in her carriage.. It was hard enough to watch either of them separately, but together it was near unbearable. She prepared to say something.

“Good job, you really are a lot like I was when I was a kid. Keep up the good work. Some day you might be just like me."

The spoiled filly gave a frightened shudder. She needed a distraction, now.

She looked to the other window, seeing the landscape passing by, then back to the Crusaders playing their game.

“Daisies?” asked Applebloom.

“Dang it, you got it,” Scootaloo replied. “Your turn.”

“Come on, Silver Spoon, let's play,” Diamond Tiara told her cohort. “I mean obviously not with them, but there's more than one window, isn't there?”

Silver Spoon cocked her head, but then nodded with a smile. “Sure! You go first Diamond!”

The pink filly was taken back by the smile. It was the same one her friend had had back when they were on the seesaw and at the sleepover. She shook off her surprise and looked out the opposing window, eyes searching the environment, a few houses with animals, trees, and such passing by as they did so. “I spy with my little eye...something white.”

Silver Spoon put a hoof to her chin. “Hmm...the clouds?”

“Nope, try again.”

The gray filly looked over their surroundings carefully. “Hmm...that house?” she asked, pointing to a white house nestled in the country.

“Nope, try again,” Diamond Tiara replied, giving a confident smirk.

The silver filly pointed her hoof at a white dog with a fancy looking collar running around in one of the yards. “Hmm, that dog?”

“You got it,” the pink filly replied, oddly feeling less incensed than she expected to. Then again, Silver Spoon knew her, why couldn't she guess what Diamond Tiara was thinking? “Your turn.”

Diamond Tiara kept her eyes on the passing scenery as the carriage continued onward and Silver Spoon's eyes scanned their surroundings. “I spy with my little”

“Me?” Diamond Tiara guessed instantly.

“No...” Silver Spoon replied, giving a rather confused look.


“Oh...just, not used to saying no to you asking me something...”

Diamond Tiara wasn't certain why, but that sentence made her have cold chills. To distract herself, her eyes went back to scanning their surroundings.

Her eyes fell on a row of trees with vibrant pink leaves. She didn't know the name, but they were quite the pretty sight. “Those trees?”

Silver Spoon gave a nod. “You got it! Good job Diamond!”

Diamond Tiara gave smile. “Of course it was. And remember those trees. I think I'll ask daddy if we can get some, they'd look great on our estate.”

“Okay, Diamond.”

“I spy with my little eye,” said Sweetie Belle, apparently now her turn. “Something gray.”

“Derpy?” Scootaloo asked.


Diamond Tiara blinked in confusion. “Wait, what?”

The filly trotted across the carriage and looked out, seeing a certain wall-eyed Pegasus flying back the way they came, a mail bag at her side. She looked to them and waved, the Crusaders waving back.

“Huh, guess you did get express delivery...” Sweetie Belle remarked.


“Whoa...” was the collective response of the Cutie Mark Crusaders as they stared up at the very sizable estate the carriage was approaching. It wasn't as big as Canterlot Castle's grounds, but it certainly a bigger chunk of real-estate than anypony in Ponyville owned, and it even had a fairly respectable sized lake on the grounds, in addition to the big pool next to the mansion.

The mansion in the center of it was suitably massive; Applebloom was fairly certain her house and the barn next to it would fit inside it. The décor was 'old styled' as Rarity would say, with marble pillars and brick siding, countless windows covering the entire place.

“Your grandpa lives here?!” Applebloom asked, eyes wide.

Diamond Tiara chuckled. “Yes, he does. He ran Rich's Barnyard Bargains before daddy and built it to be his 'retirement home' for the family. Like a Rich would settle for the same retirement homes as normal ponies. Note that after he built this, daddy and I are still  rich.”

“He stays here alone? Ain't that dangerous?” Applebloom asked, remembering how often Granny Smith ended up throwing her hip out.

“Of course not, he's got his servants,” the spoiled filly replied, as if that should be as obvious a fact as ponies needing air. “And someday this place will be all mine. Cool huh?”

The trio just nodded as the carriage pulled up to the mansion and disembarked. The chauffeurs kept their heads high, though did give Diamond an indignant look as the spoiled rotten filly simply continued on without a word in their direction, merely basking in the glory of being the center of attention while Shiny Star got off of the roof top seat were she'd spent the journey sitting in.

Sweetie Belle looked over to the carriage pulling stallions. “Thanks for the ride!”

The two stallions blinked as if being thanked by the filly they'd transported was an utterly alien concept to them. They then gave a small, appreciative smile. “You're welcome...”

Applebloom looked back to the carriage. “...Yer pa and ma didn't want tah come along?”

Diamond Tiara stopped in her tracks, Applebloom having to stop to avoid running into her hindquarters. “They wanted to...but Daddy was busy with work and momma...isn't cleared to travel yet.”

“Cleared tah travel? What does-”

“Momma was sick, she's better now, but her doctors think it's best she stay home and rest for awhile, okay?!” Diamond snapped, looking back at Applebloom with a look that made the farm filly's blood run cold.

“...Alright...” Applebloom replied simply. Scootaloo gave an almost...jealous look while Sweetie's was strangely sympathetic.

“Good...” Diamond replied, Silver putting a hoof on her shoulder. “Let's just get this over with...”

As they reached the door, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon simply sat there, waiting, much to the Crusader's confusion.

“We gonna knock or what?” Scootaloo asked, raising and eyebrow.

Diamond Tiara looked to Shiny Star. The maid gave an annoyed sigh and knocked on the door.

The spoiled filly then blinked at the looks this netted her from the Crusaders. “What?”

“Really?” Applebloom questioned, raising an eyebrow.

“She's my maid, it's what my daddy pays her for,” Diamond Tiara retorted with a smug smile. “Jealous?”

The farm filly rolled her eyes, but was prevented from doing anything more when the door opened to reveal an Earth Pony stallion in a black suit and bowtie. He had white fur, a small gray mustache, and a balding white mane, his Cutie Mark concealed by his suit. “Hello, Miss Rich, young madams. Mr. Rich is has been expecting you.”

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon merely trotted in. “Thanks sir,” Applebloom said before following.

The butler looked to Shiny Star. “Same bundle of joy as always I see?”

The maid sighed. “Yes, Alfred. But Mrs. Tiara is better now.”

“Yes, I heard. That is wonderful to hear.”


The five foals stepped up to a large door leading into a living room. Partially to Diamond's annoyance, the CMC seemed quite determined to stick close to her. Understandable, considering that she knew her way around from the previous times she'd been here and they didn't and the mansion's massive size made the potential of getting lost rather high. On one hoof, the spoiled pink filly enjoyed being in her element and in charge...on the other, being so close to her archenemies while trying desperately not to snap and insult them was a very sizable task.

“Grandpa Dusty, it's me Diamond!” Diamond Tiara called.

“Wait, yer grandpa's named Dusty?” Applebloom asked, cocking her head.

“Yes, so what?,” was Diamond's retort.

“Well...kinda expected...” the farm filly started awkwardly.

The door opened to reveal an elderly stallion with a grandfatherly smile. His fur was a slightly darker brown than his son Filthy Rich's, his mane gray with age. His Cutie Mark was a simple dollar sign, and the only clothing he wore was the glasses on his face. “Hello, Tarnished Rich, good to see you again.”

Diamond Tiara's smugness instantly dissolved into a look of pure humiliation.

“Tarnished Rich?” Applebloom asked, she and the other Crusaders all getting a look of confusion while Silver Spoon merely gave look of upset.

“Grandpa! I told you, I'm Diamond Tiara now!” Diamond Tiara argued as her ears pinned back.

“Not to me, young lady,” Dusty snapped, giving a stern glare. “Especially since you have a habit of forgetting why you have that name in the first place...but glad to see you again all the same.” The elderly stallion then looked to the other foals. “Hello, Silver Spoon. And my, little Applebloom you've gotten big. Come on in, bring your friends.”

As Dusty Rich retreated into the living room, Diamond was busy trying to find some way to hide behind her mane, and failing due to it's short length.

“Tarnished Rich?” Scootaloo questioned again.

“It's my birth name, alright?!” Diamond Tiara snapped. “It's some stupid tradition where everypony in my family has to have a name to 'remind us of our roots' or something like that. You know? Like Stinking, Dusty, Filthy?”

The foal admitted she didn't have the worst luck of her family. That would be her Aunt Spoiled Rich, who by marriage ended up with the unfortunate name Spoiled Rotten.

“I changed it when I got my Cutie Mark,” the humiliated filly continued, her pink fur no longer able to conceal her incredibly bright blush. “It's one of the perks of not being a blank flank!”

Diamond Tiara gave a look of smug superiority and relish in the words she just spoke...until she nearly doubled over from her stomach deciding to remind her of why she wasn't saying those two words anymore and felt cold.

Shuddering, the filly composed herself. “...Anyway, Grandpa Dusty just doesn't want to admit that I earned the right to change my name.”

Sweetie Belle cocked her head. “Wait, I don't remember ever hearing you go by that name...”

Diamond snarled, just wanting this miserable moment over with. She knew the trio of fillies was laughing at her on the inside. “If you were named Tarnished Rich, would YOU flaunt it? I just went by my last name until I got my Cutie Mark, just like daddy does...”

“...I changed mine too,” Silver Spoon spoke up. “My birth name is Silver Mirror. We just like our new names better. Maybe once you blank flanks earn your marks you can choose better ones too.”

The gray filly looked to her friend, expecting that to see a smug, confident grin to match her own, only for her discomfort to seem to worsen.

“...Yeah...come on, let's get this over with...” Diamond Tiara finished, walking into the living room with a miserable expression and ears flat against her head.

This was supposed to be her element and not five minutes in her grandpa humiliates her. A bad start meant it couldn't get any worse, right?
GBOYHverse: Tarnished Diamonds Chapter 5
When last we left Diamond Tiara, she witnessed Checker Monarch, a pony she idolized, be revealed as a monster. But something else also happened to the young foal that day...she saw a glimpse of what her future could be. And she didn't like what she saw.

Can the CMC's nemesis change her future? Or is she doomed to follow in the hoofsteps of the sociopathic Checker Monarch?

Sequel to Getting Back On Your Hooves and begins next chronologically!

Also, note, this chapter takes place BEFORE Perfect Companions.

If you're wondering WHY this took so long, it involved a lot of commissions and personal turmoil in my life I don't want to get into right now. But I do hope you enjoy this!

Trope Page:…

Previous Chapter:

Thanks to :iconalexwarlorn: for help, :iconbirthright1979: for editing!

Thanks to :iconslitherpon: for art trading me the page image which can be found !
Minecraft Built: Denliner (Download in Description by Kendell2
Minecraft Built: Denliner (Download in Description
After a LOT of work, I give to you the Denliner from Kamen Rider Den-O! Recreated 1:1 scale (or rather 1:1 Scale as far as the show was concerned most of the time) !

Included are all the cars seen or mentioned as part of the main Denliner in the show! Including the iconic dining car!

Download here:…

This thing is freaking enormous and took a long time...especially without world edit.

Hope you guys like it! Enjoy! 
Commission: Tales from the Dark Side of the Mirror:
I (Don't) Care
By Kendell2
Commissioned by and idea by Grimwolf001

Ugh...I can't believe Pinkamena replaced all our food again. She never thinks things through at all. Oh well, nothing I can do about it I guess. Might as well just eat it, except the spinach. Huh? Oh, Angel just grabbed that. Let him have it.

Huh, Rainbow Crash isn't on the roof. She better not get in trouble again, I'm running out of ways to charm people into leaving her alone.

Who am I? Let me guess, know somepony who wants to ask me out? What? I know I have a pretty face, why not use it? It makes life so much easier. Well if you don't want a date, what do you want? Just to hear about me? Your waste of time.

I'm Fluttershy. What? You want to know more? Ugh, fine, I don't have anything better to do anyway.

I'm an animal expert. Yes, I know Canterlot doesn't have a lot of animals, why do you think I moved here? It'd be too much work anywhere else.

Lazy? I'm not lazy. That's Applejack. I just don't think it'd be worth the effort. Why should I bother doing anything when you don't get anything back? If ponies give me what I want when I look and talk at them right, what's the point in trying to do anything else? It's worked for me so far.

Anyway, guess it's my turn to check the mail. How do we get our mail when we have wanted posters? Simple: we all have fake names. Even Applejack, or 'Blackjack' as she probably wishes everypony called her. Never anything but junk mail and letters from AJ's grandma who somehow tracks down every single alias ever made. I wonder how long it'll take to her to realize she's wasting her time. Applejack hates her, simple as that. It'd be better for her to just give up and move on. If she wants a pampered little flower, I'd be happy to oblige, not that she ever asks. I never understood why Applejack would rather be a two-bit crook instead of living in the lap of luxury.

Yep, just like I thought junk mail, junk mail, letters from Granny Smith. Oh, some science magazine of Twilight's. Don't care. Ugh, no, “The City of Canterlot,” I don't care about some bear in Canterlot Park. Not sure why you care either, shouldn't you be dealing with the two evil Princesses trying to kill us all every day? That's why you've been ignoring us. Besides, I've got enough stuff to last me for now...

I'll just throw this somewhere. What else did we get? Well, here's the newspaper-Hey!

Little Miss Science snatched it right out of the mailbox. I just glare at her.

“Sorry, Fluttershy, I need to check the science sections,” Twilight replied.

“Whatever....” I muttered and headed back into the house. It's the house's paper anyway. Worst that could happen would be Pinkamena cutting out any of the comics she thought were too fun or promoted bad habits or whatever. I was just going to look at the sells section and see if there was anything worth the effort to sweet talk the bits to buy out of some stallion or one of the others. It rarely was.

Twilight snagged my tail with her telekinesis. You know for a girl so focused on science and stuff, she sure does like to use her magic.

“What That...Fluttershy! House-meeting! Now!”
House meetings were typical dull. Most of the time Pinkamena spent half of them going on about health. Twilight tried to impress us with some science experiment. Applejack would tell us what half-baked scheme she had cooked up. Rainbow Crash either saying how she messed up or what she had planned to mess up that day. Rarity and I just set in the back. I like the marshmallow, she knows what she wants and doesn't care what anypony else thinks. Just like me. I just prefer getting attention with a pretty face rather than a tacky Hearth's Warming sweater. And she makes a great distraction and loves being one.

Rainbow Crash sticks next to me like glue as always. Wait...

“Rainbow, what happened to your eye?”

“Oh...I got someponies mad at me...” she replied, covering her black eye. “I deserved it.”

“Do I need to do some talking to get them off your flank?”

“Nah, somepony took care of it...thanks, though.”

Well, that saves me some trouble. Why cover for her? So we don't have somepony coming to the club house to beat up Rainbow Crash. That's all. Anyway, better see what's going on.

“'Evil Princesses Turn Over a New Leaf?!'” Applejack yelled, looking the newspaper.

Yeah, just what I thought, something pointless...Wait what? What?!

Seriously, what the Tartarus?! You already heard about the Princesses and King Sombra?! And you didn't bucking think to tell us that earlier?! UGH! Are we the last ponies to find out the Princesses supposedly turned good and Sombra's a bad guy now?! You'd think it'd be pretty hard to miss that! Especially when there was apparently some big battle or something!

Apparently Lord Scorpan is back to rotting in Tartarus, due to another huge fight we never bucking heard of! When did we suddenly live under a bucking rock?! Oh, and Rainbow Crash caused some wild storm, but that actually makes sense.

Ugh, great, just great, now the two biggest threats in the entire world are gone. The guard will have time to pay attention to little nuisances like us. Or the Princesses are still plotting to kill us all and just pretending to be good. Probably both, and now I can't use those forged letters I made with King Sombra's signature anymore.

Pinkamena being Pinkamena decides it'd be a good idea to go to a party were both of them are going to be and tell them how evil cake is. I didn't hesitate to tell her how brilliant an idea she had.

“Hey, genius, you do realize if they are still “evil,” they're probably going to kill you for questioning them, right? Kind of hard to be healthy when you're dead you know.”

Mean? No, I'm honest, there's a difference.

She just ignored me and went to get her stupid pamphlets. Though I admit, I'm tempted to go try some cake, haven't had anything sweet in years...Twilight just left to go get ready.

“Um...everypony...” Rarity interrupted, looking a bit confused for some reason. “Rainbow Crash was right...there is a picture of us fighting the Princesses...”


Seriously, missing some big battle at the Princesses' Castle is one thing, but how did we miss the six of us saving the world?! Twilight, what did you do?!

“Did Twilight try to clone us again?” Rainbow Crash asked. Yes, the egghead had made an attempt to clone us. It worked about as well as a lot of her experiments.

“I do not believe so...” Rarity said, all four of us checking ourselves over to see if we were missing anything. When you live with Twilight, you tend to keep an eye on your body.

“Oh! Here it is! It says they're from that other world the Elements came from!” said Rainbow Crash.

Huh, look at that, she's right.

“Applejack, did Pinkamena throw out the cider again?” I asked AJ.


“You sure we didn't drink it all?”

“I wish, dear...I mean...Ah sure wish! It'd explain a lot...”

“Are you dreaming?” Rainbow suggested.

“OW!” Applejack punched me in the front leg.

“Ouch!” she yelled as I hit her in the front leg at the same time. What?

“Well, we ain't sleepin'...”

“ I sleeping?”

No, we didn't punch Rainbow Crash. That'd be like kicking a sad puppy. Besides, she gets abused enough in her nightmares that it wouldn't matter.

“Ow!” so she just bit herself... “No, I'm awake...”

“Well Ah don't know about you, but Ah think the alternate versions of us part is just a buncha horseapples,” Applejack interjected with a chuckle. “Ah mean seriously, meh as a good girl? As if! Not even in another world!”

I gave a chuckle myself. “Yeah, I mean me doing something for another world? As if!”

“...I don't think being that me would be that bad...” Rainbow muttered.

Okay, to be fair, anything's an improvement for her.

Rarity looked at herself. “...Well, I'd certainly get attention...”

Before this unbelievably weird conversation could continue, there was a knock on the door. Wait, who would knock on our door?

Oh, it's Starlight Glimmer. Wait, what?!

Starlight Glimmer is standing at our door. Why is she standing at our bucking door?!

Applejack put on that tough girl act she liked doing. “Ah can't believe it! Starlight Glimmer came to capture meh!”

Of course the knucklehead would want to get arrested, she always did.

Starlight blinked. “Oh! No, don't be silly you haven't done anything wrong that I know of...”

“What? Well...Ah stole an apple.”

“...From where?”

“The Apple Family's store!” I hope she's not as proud of that as she's trying to convince us she is.

“...Technically it's from you family store, so I don't think that counts.”


“And besides, stealing an apple isn't exactly arrest worthy. At worst you'd get a fine.”

Okay, if she's not here to arrest Applejack (big shocker) why is she here?!

“Hi, Starlight!” called Rainbow, flying over. Of course.

“Rainbow Crash, you brought Starlight Glimmer here?!” I asked. “Why?!”

“Don't blame her,” Starlight replied. “She's under protective custody.”

“...Let me guess, that wild storm?” I asked.

“Yeah...” Rainbow replied, looking down. “Some ponies got mad at me and Starlight saved me...and kind of offered to help me a bit...”

“Ah,” I muttered. “You know you're a moron, right?”

Rainbow Crash whimpered but come on! Even Applejack knows better than to lead somepony right to our clubhouse! She could've told her to meet her something else, but no! She just had to be honest! There's being like a whipped puppy, and then there's just doing something dumb!

Starlight Glimmer cleared her throat, reminding us we weren't alone. “I already knew where Rainbow Crash lived already; Miss Gilda told me.”

Looks like the bird can't keep from squawking after all.

“...So you're not here to arrest us all?” Applejack asked again.

“No...unless you do something stupid,” Starlight replied, giving us a glare. Don't tempt fate.

“Then Applejack should just go to her room,” I said bluntly. It was true, knowing her she was probably going to try to attack her wanting to get arrested. Where's Rarity? I need somepony else who's sane! Oh, right, she probably went to change her outfit to something more shocking with an important pony around.

Starlight looked at me, and her eyes glowed weird. “Hmm...An animal expert, correct?”

“Yes...You have a spell that let's you know that?”

“Yes, I do.”

“...That's creepy,” I muttered.

“You know, if you're as rude and confrontational with animals as you are with your friends here, you'd probably be a lot better at your talent if you tried being kind. Most Animals respond better to a mixture of kindness and aggression, not just one or the other. That may earn you respect from them, but that's all you'll have. While it is a needed skill to get animals to see you as their alpha, not all animals respond well to it.”

I snarled. “Oh and what do YOU know about MY talent?!” I scoffed, rolling my eyes, then remembered something; I was talking to somepony who could tie me into a pony pretzel with her mind if she felt like it. Open mouth, insert hoof.

“Tell me, Miss...Fluttershy, correct? Have you ever tried that rude behavior on an animal who's default response to aggression is to use a defensive mechanism? Like a skunk for example?”

Applejack practically falls on her back laughing. NO MY FACE ISN'T RED!

“Oh yeah, she did! Remember Fluttershy?!”

“I...well...” No, I'm not hiding behind my mane!

There was a skunk under the club house, I tried to get it out of there in exchange for Twilight buying me a game I wanted it, it sprayed me because I apparently offended it somehow. That's all there is to it. It just ended up causing me a lot of grief until Pinkamena gave up the tomatoes to clean me off. And Applejack just doesn't like to let that die.

“Those good looks of yours didn't do yah much good when ponies were too busy coverin' their noses tah look to it, huh?!” The stupid two-bit crook said, putting a hoof over her nose.


Rainbow Crash put a hoof on my shoulder. “I didn't laugh at you, Fluttershy...”

“And I'm assuming you tried just to order it into leaving?” our stupid interloper asked. “Skunks tend to respond to aggression by becoming defensive. Compassion would've done you much better dealing with something that isn't afraid of bears.”

“Well, I've got to go get a bear out of the central park, I don't have time to listen to this,” I replied, showing the letter and leaving. I could care less if Applejack got herself arrested! Let her! At least now this stupid pointless job actually serves the purpose of giving me an excuse to get the buck out of there!

Rainbow Crash? Let Starlight Glimmer try if she wants to.

Ugh, she just didn't get me, you know. I know I could be a better animal expert, I just don't think it's worth it. I mean I only do half the jobs I get, so why do I need to be that much effort into it? Just enough to get paid is all I need to do. Normally, if a stallion hires me, I charm them a bit.

Why is there a bear even there for me? Simple, running from the evil Princesses, of course, duh. Why else would a wild animal go into one of the most populated places in Equestria? Ugh, and there's another way this stupid mess with them is going to make my life harder. Like it needed to be.

What do I mean? Well for starters my hometown got destroyed, is that hard enough for you? I guess you want to know more? Fine, whatever!

You know about Spitfire, right? Thought so. Well before she was all of Equestria's problem, she was ours. Mine, Rainbow's, and Gilda's. If you've seen Rainbow Crash, you can guess what that was like. Rainbow was her favorite victim, but she targeted me and Gilda too. Why do you think I hang out with Rainbow in the first place? Birds of a feather stick together.

I was the lucky one, though. Spitfire only targeted ponies who flew well, and I only passed flight school thanks to a teacher deciding to have a bit of pity on me. Oh, I still got picked on for that, just not by Spitfire, just the jocks who were afraid of her. Gilda didn't know when to shut her beak and was lucky she didn't get it broken. Don't know why she kept trying. Never did any good. Never made her stop, so why keep trying? At least she finally wised up and stopped calling Rainbow by her real name around Spitfire. Huh? Oh, you thought Rainbow Crash was her actual name? I'd laugh if it were funny. I'd tell you her real one, but trust me, you'd be doing her more harm than good calling her it.

Did I do a thing?...No way. Don't look at me like that! What good would it have done exactly? You think she'd have backed down just because it was two on one?...That one more pony would've meant anything?...That somehow Rainbow Crash wouldn't be the wreck she is if I'd just done something?...As'd just have gotten me on Spitfire's hate list too.

Anyway, during the mess that was growing up, I did find something out one thing. When you've got a pretty face, colts tend to be a lot more generous and helpful. And thankfully for me, I've got quite the pretty one. Sure, they only cared about my looks, but that was better than being 'just' a weak flier. And if Spitfire could get away with the horseapples she pulled, why should I care who I got to help me out? All I needed to do was make sure too not do to good so Spitfire didn't feel I was challenging her territory, easy enough to do. Worked like a charm and I was doing pretty well for myself there, and barely had to lift a hoof. Of course then Spitfire went nuts and helped Celestia blow up Cloudsdale and all of that went bye-bye. Had to start all over from scratch. Decided never to build up anything too big just in case things gets annihilated again. Just never saw the point in it.

That's as close to a “backstory” as I have. Are you satisfied now? We're here anyway.

“Hello, you must be Miss Fluttershy?” asked...wait, what?! And I know I'm saying that a lot but today seems dedicated to being crazy! Sir Discord was waiting for me! You know, a guy who got knighted by King Sombra himself?!

First Starlight Glimmer, now Sir Discord, what's next, Captain Goodguy?! What? No! He's not Sir Discord! Sir Discord wears glasses, Goodguy doesn't; and what knucklehead takes off the thing they need to see to fight crime?! He couldn't see! Besides, why would somepony like Captain Goodguy pretend to be a regular guy without superpowers? I know I wouldn't.

“Um, Miss Fluttershy?”

“'re the one who sent the letter?”

He nodded, giving a smile. “Why yes, you see as I said, there's this bear causing trouble in Central Park. The darn thing just doesn't want to go,” he explained, sipping a glass of chocolate milk. “We need to get them out so the Centaurs can start revitalizing the trees. And Miss Gilda speaks of you all the time, so I decided to call you in.”

Gilda...suggested me? Ugh, what's the bird want? Back to my currently weird life, Discord offered me a glass of chocolate milk. I took it, free milk, never turn down anything free.

“Huh, this is sweet for once...”

“Yes, Captain Goodguy took the opportunity to start using his powers for the restoration of sweets. He has quite the sweet tooth you know.”

“Can't say I argue with that...” Darn it, now I'm going to have to find a way to hide sweets I get so Pinkamena doesn't throw them out. “So...what's in it for me exactly.”

“Well, the standard commission price and I was thinking perhaps I treat you for dinner if you do a good job.”

“Dinner? Not that I'm complaining, but why?” Then again, maybe he just thinks I'm pretty. I toss my mane just to be on the safe side.

“Just felt like a nice thing to do. I am calling you all the way out here after all. And you do remind me of somepony I know.”

Sir Discord is paying for my dinner? Not arguing with that. Especially when the best I expected out of this was an excuse to get away from the house for awhile.

“Sounds fine to me. My roommate just threw out all our good food because it was 'unhealthy.'”

“Fair enough, now if you excuse me, I've got a party to go to, I'll meet you here shortly, okay, my good mare?”

“Sure, I think I can wait...” Not like I have anything better to do.

“Good, I will see you then.” He then got on a weird mini scooter thing and headed off. Weirdo. But he's a famous weirdo.

Well, I guess this whole thing wasn't a total loss. Shouldn't have to do anything for a few weeks and can get a good meal that isn't just health food. And I know just how to run out the clock.


“And now I'm going to have to jump through so many more hoops not funny! You know what I mean?”

The bear gave a growl and nod, laying at the side of the tree he'd been in since I got here. The tree was the same as every one in the surrounding area, dead, but Mr. Bear didn't care.

Why did I become an animal expert? Simple! Because they'll listen. When I need to complain about something without getting snarky one-liners or anything like that thrown in my face, I can rely on animals for that. They don't care how I live my life; they don't try to change me. And they don't insult me. They just listen.

“Um, Miss Fluttershy.”

Mr. Bear roared at the Centaur that interrupted us. Good bear! “What?”

Huh, you know he's surprisingly calm for a guy having a bear growling at him. Then again, Centaur, I guess.

“We need to begin the mana restoration. Please do your duty.”


Besides, it's almost time for Sir Discord to come back.

“Okay, Mr. Bear, the ponies, and centaurs, are trying to get you out of here, so it'd be for the best if you just leave.”

He roars at me, predictable. “Hey! Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just doing my job. They, on the other hoof, will shoot you with some tranquilizer darts if you don't get out of here. And that wouldn't be good for anyone, now would it?”

The gives a growl at me.

“I know, it's not fair, but well, you can't stay here if you don't want a tranquilizer in the butt, and you don't want that, right?”

That got rid of him. He's not a happy camper, but eh, they just paid me to get him out of the park, he's not my problem anymore.

Guess I'll just sit and wait for Sir Discord...Oh, the centaurs? They started doing this one weird thing where they more or less throw up mana into the ground. Like literally, they open their mouths and magic comes out.

Huh? Wait, the ground! I...I...I'm a pegasus, but... I don't need Earth Pony magic to see that it's coming back to life. It's changing from that dull brown it's been since Luna back-stabbed us for her sister. Grass started growing, a little pink posey sprouting up right in front of me. I got a flower for the kitchen (assuming Rainbow hasn't broken it by now) as payment for something before, and it was very expensive the way things were...this...

“Miss Fluttershy?”

I jumped about a foot into the air when Discord decided  to yell in my ear. “Geeze! Don't sneak up on somepony like that!”

“Sorry, I apparently have a habit of surprising ponies,” he replied, trotting up next to me and taking pictures of the centaurs with his camera. “Beautiful, isn't it?”

I scoffed. “I guess...Just caught me off guard that's all, and I just like flowers...”

Oh, you try not staring at the green ground after a three year drought!


“They just seem pretty.”

Yeah yeah, I like flowers, sue me. They're pretty like me, and they're like animals; I can complain all I like to them, and they won't complain or get mad, but you know they're listening. Oh? Don't you know? Plants grow better when you talk to them. Duh.

“Ah, I see. Well, that's as good a reason as any,” Sir Discord replied, taking a few more pictures. “Not everything needs an explanation, after all sometimes the most fun things are the ones that make no sense.”

I rolled my eyes. “Sure, I guess. So can we go? I got rid of the bear.”

“Certainly, come along.”


We went to a nice restaurant, well nice is relative. Nice in the Tartarushole the Princesses made the world is 'slightly bigger portions and mildly tastier food.' What? You think the nobles were any better off than the rest of us? Even the ponies in their ivory towers can't do much when there's no rain at all. For most of the meal, I just set eating and didn't talk.

“So, Miss Fluttershy, I hope you're enjoying yourself,” Discord asked.

“Eh, it's okay,” I replied, and that's what it was, not great or awful. “Wait, you're dipping french fries in ice cream?”

He swallowed one of the dang things whole. “Yes, one of my personal favorites.”

“...That's gross.”

“Don't knock it till you try it, salty and sweet are an excellent, try one?”

“Ugh, do I have to?”

“It's some of the sugary ice cream that Captain Goodguy has generously donated.”


Can't be any worse than half the 'healthy' stuff Pinkamena tries to force feed us. I'll just eat it quick and get it over with....hmm... “Huh...they're okay...can I have another one?”

He gave a smirk and handed me another one. “ hang out with Rainbow Crash, correct?”


“Gilda talks about her a lot...she seems to be a little bitter at you for some reason.”

I scoffed. “Surprise surprise.” Gilda ended up being a guard, risking her life every day for ponies who don't even know hers, I'd be bitter that somepony else was getting by on looks and smarts too. “Guess the Temperance stuff is just horseapples.”

“Now I wouldn't say that. Sure, she has her limits...but if she wasn't a temperate griffon, would you have heard that from me first?”

“...Maybe...You never know.”

“...But she also says she is grateful to you for one other thing.”


“She's grateful you've never abandoned Rainbow Crash...why exactly is that?”

“...That's none of your business.”

He shrugged. “I'm just a curious sort, comes with the territory,” he replied, tapping that fancy camera of his. “From what she tells me, you don't do much if you don't feel it's worth it. Something your interactions with me supports. So, the question of the day is: what do you get out of staying a true friend to a mare like her?”

“...She's just a pony I know, and that's it.”

“Your friend?”

“...So what if she is?”

He gave a smirk that made me think I'd just somehow lost a chess match I didn't know I was playing. “So what indeed...huh?”

There was a loud roar outside. We turned to see Mr. Bear growling at a garbage pony trying to shoo him off from the trash bin he was sleeping on. Then going kind of berserk and throwing the guy across the street. Sir Discord got up and looked about ready to run out to do something, I just set and kept eating.

He blinked and looked back to me. “...Isn't that the bear you were supposed to get rid of?”

“ said get him out of the park, and I got him out of the park...for the record, I did not tell him to do that.”

See, that's why I don't try to be worse. If I did stuff like this on purpose, I'd be on the most wanted list like that one eco-terrorist hippy. What? You think I can't do that? Hehe...remember what I said about doing well enough to get by but never enough to attract unwanted attention? Applejack wants to be a big tough bad guy; I don't.

“...Are you going to do something about him?”

Mr. Bear just threw a car or something.

“...Eh, I did my job already, let somepony else handle him.”

“...Well,” he muttered, tapping his chin. “If you can get him to stop-”

We heard a crash as Mr. Bear smashed a window.

“-doing that, I'll pay somepony for some renovations to your little clubhouse.”

“...The clubhouse?”

He nodded. “If I give you the money, I know it'd never be used for that.”


“But think about it. Not only do you get a nicer place to live, but your friends will also be grateful, and I'm sure Rainbow Crash will appreciate it.”

...Hmm...continue living in a run down cottage with a leaky roof, or get renovations? And maybe Rainbow Crash proof it a little bit...Can't say the guy doesn't know how to make it good.

“Fine, I'll do it.”

Why'd I trust him? King Sombra didn't knight just anypony. Besides, even with the weird questions, I wasn't about to pass up free stuff. All I had to do was get Mr. Bear to go somewhere else.

“Good, I also need to find a phone booth...because reasons.”

Okay, just trot up to Mr. Bear and talk him down. Wow, seeing him trip over a carrot dog cart reminded me of how terrible an angry bear is. I think the carrot dog cart's on fire now, eh, not my problem.

“Hey, Mr. Bear,” I said, just looking up at him. “Look! I know you're clopped off, but think you can cool it off alread-AH!”

He just tried to swipe my head off!

“Hey! Don't shoot the messenger! It's me!”

Okay, Mr. Bear tells me he's just angry, has no where to go, blah, blah, blah. Okay. So how do I get him out of here without making him madder? Well...we do live outside of the city limits...sorta.

“I think I know somewhere you can crash.”

No! I'm not inviting a bear to live in our house! But there is a cave nearby. And it's not like I'm going to keep him there! If Equestria's getting restored, he'll get to go home soon enough! Besides, he can take care of himself.

I mean, seriously! Do you know how much it'd cost to FEED a bear? More than I'm willing to pay! Let him find his own food!

“So do we have a deal?”

Mr. Bear nods and politely heads to wait for me to leave.

Okay, there, done. That was easy-Oh, right standing next to a burning carrot dog cart and next to several dry trees...well, this was a bad idea.

Oh, horseapples! Flaming tree falling at my head!...Wait, what?

I looked up to see a draconquus in red spandex standing over me and holding up the burning entire tree with an oven mitt. Okay, called it, I have now met Captain Goodguy. I'm not complaining, though. I like being alive, and not on fire.

“Are you alright, citizen?”

I nodded. I just got saved by Captain Goodguy, and even I'm not going to snark at that.

“Alright, let's do something about this fire, shall we?!” he announced, throwing that flaming tree aside and reaching into his utility belt, producing...pack of mints? “Hmm, was going for fire retardant foam, but this will do.”

He ate the whole pack in one bite, took in a deep breath and blew, his breath turning blue and freezing the trees to put out the fire...and also making everything smell like peppermint.

“Stay here, Miss, I'll only be...oh, a few minutes.”

He wasn't kidding either; it only took him a few minutes to fix up the damage from a bear rampage. Though the town did end up with some clashing colors I'm pretty sure Rarity would approve.

For some reason, Equestria's greatest superhero wants to talk to me. I'm about to be arrested aren't I?

“Hello, Miss Fluttershy, I've heard a lot about you from Starlight and Sir Discord, care to talk for a little bit?”


“Okay, wait, wait, wait!” I exclaimed. “First Starlight Glimmer, then Sir Discord, and now you, is today 'National Mane Six Are Important' day or something?!”

Seriously, why?! I almost died, forgive me if I'm a little bucking hysterical right now!

He snaps his fingers, and we're on a roof. And he's upside down for some reason.

Oh, wait, I'm upside down.

“Why am I upside down?!”

He rubs his head. “Sorry, comes with the territory. My PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS...”  Yikes! He just grew like three times his size and fireworks are going off! Is that a plaid sun in his claw?! “...have a little bit of a mind of their own...”

Now he's back to normal, and a glowing purple plaid version of him is waving at me before disappearing into him. Seriously, did I drink all of Applejack's hard cider while I was sleeping before Pinkamena could get to it?!

“So sometimes random things like that happen...”

I grunted and just got back on my hooves. “Whatever. Still doesn't explain why every big hero and their mother is coming to visit us today!”

“Well, this IS the first time in three years the lot of us all have any free time and been in the same place at the same time,” Goodguy explained. “And we're all trying to help everypony, we've just been so busy protecting the world from the evil of the Princesses, so now that they are reformed, we have time to catch up. Perhaps it's less random chance and more the world deciding you're overdue some assistance. Maybe recent events have caused a new fate to open up for you lot. But as for me and Sir Discord, we felt you needed a little help getting ready for what awaits remind us of somepony we once knew...”

Why can't I shake the feeling he knew more than he was saying?

I scoffed, crossing my forelegs. “Huh, well you're wasting your time...”

“Oh, and why is that?”

“Simple, we're not paying you back. We don't want to, and we couldn't even if we wanted to. There's nothing in it for you, so isn't that the definition of a waste of time?”

And now he's laughing.

“Why are you laughing?!”

“Oh, well dear, let me remind you of who I am,” he announced, doing this one superhero pose and clearing his throat. Why is he in black and white now? “I'm faster than a speeding crossbow bolt!”

He jumped to one side of the roof and fired a crossbow, the outran it so he could catch it.

“More powerful than a locomotive!”

And now he's standing on train tracks with a train coming at him. He catches it, and sumo throws it over himself, causing it to turn into butterflies.

Huh? Where'd he go now?

“I can leap tall buildings in a single bound!”

And he jumps straight up over me from street level and lands on the rooftop. “I'm CAPTAIN GOODGUY!” He was in some pose with his hands on his sides and chest puffed out. Where is that music coming from?

“...Yes, I'm aware of that...why are you in black and white?”

“I have absolutely no idea; that is rather weird...huh... but that's beside the point. The point is, my dear, for somepony as powerful as I am, what exactly could I expect in return for anything I do?”  


“Money?” he took out a lump of coal and squeezed it...turning it into lead and then again, turning it into a gold statue of Celestia mooning him. “Not an issue. Power? I still have my PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS! Land? Have my own pocket dimension where I keep my Fortress of Goodness. Self-gratification? Well, I do enjoy that, but my mere existence would get that. So tell me, my dear, what's in it for me?”

“Uh... Well... You're just... You're... You're wrong then... You shouldn't be doing this...”

I admit, part of my problem finding a witty retort might be the fact he just saved my life. If I told him that he was a moron for helping me...I would be saying I should be dead...and I like living.

“You have no idea how many times Celestia told me that very thing,” Goodguy replied, giving an annoying chuckle. “But let me first ask you this before I explain mine, my dear. Your little group was bullied by that villain Spitfire, right?”

I narrowed my eyes. “And how do you know that?”

“Gilda's friend, remember?”


“So here's my question: what would have happened if Gilda had done nothing to help Rainbow?”

I rolled my eyes. “Simple, she wouldn't have gotten bullied by Spitfire, simple as that.”

“Ah ah! I didn't ask what would happen to her. I meant what would've happened to Rainbow Crash? If she had no one. If she had to endure all of that torment by her lonesome with no one to help ease her suffering?”


I just stood there, we just stood there, no words, just silence for a few minutes.

“Heroes are made when you make a choice, Fluttershy,” Goodguy said. “You both made one, didn't you?”


“We need to do something, Shy.”

“But Spitfire will turn on us...She'll be so mad...”

“But if we don't do anything, she's going to keep hurting Rainbow Dash.”


“Do you care about her or not?” Gilda held out a talon. “She needs us.”

I slowly reach out my hoof to take it.

“Come on, Rainbow CRASH, if you can't even fly two feet without crash and burning how do you expect to be a great flier?” yelled Spitfire, Rainbow on the ground crying. She tried to get up and fly again, but Spitfire snagged her tail, sending her head over hooves into a cloud. “Hehe, well you got a few more feet that time.” Spitfire then looked over at us and gave a glare that made my heart skip a beat.

I pull my hoof back. Gilda looks so disappointed in me. Rainbow Dash looks so hurt.


Why...why am I trembling?

Goodguy trotted over and leaned against an air vent next to me. He...he looks sad. Captain Goodguy looks sad. He's...he's looked serious before, but never sad.

“Let me tell you a story, Fluttershy...years ago, a great evil was let loose from beneath the northern ice. As the world suffered their wrath, a great and powerful Spirit of Chaos saw this. He had incredible power, he could've done much...but instead he did nothing. He thought much as you did. Told himself 'Why should I get involved? It's not going to affect me?'...Now you see, that Spirit of Chaos had one friend. She was a little purple Earth Pony. Who saw him and his creations as beautiful, and cared about him. Who meant the world to him.”

...Why does his voice sound so hurt?

“ remember that evil force? The one he could've done something about it, but he refused to do anything because it didn't involve him?...It turned out it did, very much so. For that little Earth Pony?...She...Let's just say that the proud Spirit of Chaos found out the hard way the price of inaction. A price he wished he'd never had to pay...a price if he'd just done something, he'd never have had to pay...The moral of the story? Never pass up a chance to do good, because good deeds can only benefit somepony...but if you do nothing, one day it will come back to bite somepony. Maybe you, maybe somepony you care about, maybe somepony you've never met...but somepony will reap what you've sown.”

I feel like my head's spinning... I... Rainbow... I...

He lowers his head and then looks at me. “But we all have a lot more choices than one, and a hero can be made at every one. What choices are you going to make?”

“... I'll think about it.”

“That's all I ask...Want to go get ice cream? My treat?”


“...Want to take one home for Rainbow Crash?”

“...Sure...I guess...”

“Good. Now come! To the Goodguy-mobile!”
Commission: I Care
The Reflections Arc in IDW took place in a Mirror World were everypony's personality traits are reversed. But we only touched the surface of everything that it had to offer.

Fluttershy doesn't care what you think of her...or anyone else. All she cares about is number one...that's what she said, so it must be true, right?

The second of a series of commissions by :icongrimwolf001: ! His description for was basically Fluttershy being that person who doesn't care about anything she doesn't NEED to care for. 

Please note: this is intended to have a bit of depth to it. Try to read into things more than what's on the surface, and is intended to have a bit of… to it, so please pay attention, some things spoken of here will come into play in other character's stories.

Applejack's Story:
Pinkie Pie's Story:
Rainbow Crash's Story:

My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro!

Idea by :icongrimwolf001: !

Preview Pic thanks to :iconandrewtodaro:

EDIT: Bug fixes thanks to :iconalexwarlorn: !
Commission: MLP: Marionettes
Chapter 1: Eyes Over My Shoulder
By Kendell2
Commission by Alexwarlorn

“Thank you! Thank you!” called the azure unicorn, standing atop a stage with applause from the crowd, purple cape and hat billowing. She bowed as her grand finale fireworks finally died down, the majestic rainbow waterfalls that gave Rainbow Falls its name flowing down behind her stage reflecting the light to improve the spectacle.

The cheers, the crowds. The claps (and clops, depending on the species in question). It made her feel like she was alive. Like there was electricity running through her. And any who knew Trixie knew she enjoyed every moment of it.

The showmare took one final bow. “Thank you for coming to see Trixie the Magnificent! Do have a safe trip home!”

The mare went backstage and pushed a button, causing the stage to cleanly fold up into her carriage. It'd taken her quite a long time to get enough bits to restore it to how it was before, but she would certainly never claim it wasn't worth it to have her life back.

The unicorn paused for a moment, thinking back on that statement. What had her life been like back then? Doing the same show over and over again more or less. Telling the Ursa Major story, waiting for naysayers to make a fuss, then challenging them to a rigged contest then tripping them up on their own special talents. Repeat on loop. She blinked at the realization she couldn't even remember how she came up with that silly Ursa story anymore.

Trixie gave a chuckle. “...My, uncreative one, wasn't I? Hehe...At least now I have an actual exciting tale to tell. And a newspaper to prove it.”

The mare gave proud smile as she put a hoof to a framed newspaper clipping, the picture of herself, Applejack, Applebloom, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Babs Seed, along with the notorious thief Rough Diamond being loaded into a police cart.

“And the crowd simply adored it today. Another fantastic show Trixie, time to reward yourself with a nice, cold hay smoothie.”

The unicorn rarely found herself sweating, but she did heat up quite a bit from her performances and needed something to cool off after wards. Given it involved a large number of fireworks, it was little surprise.

“Ugh, am I really out?” she lamented, looking at her now empty cabinet that was normally stocked with various refreshments. “Well Trixie has been on her biggest tour yet, she supposes it's only natural she needs to restock.”

Trotting out, Trixie put up an 'Away' sign on the door to her cart and headed out...but nearly ran into an orange mare with a slightly darker orange mane and carrot Cutie Mark. When it clicked in her mind just who it was, her face contorted in a snarl. “You!”

Carrot Top blinked in confusion. “Um...yes?”

“Are you here to vandalize Trixie's cart and laugh at her again?!”

Orange Earth Pony blinked, taking a step back from the angry unicorn. “Um...I did that?”

“You don't even remember?!” Trixie focused and summoned an illusion of her second cart with a crudely spray painted Ursa on the side, the mare being laughed at by the same orange mare in front of her, as well as two others. While without her power being boosted by the Alicorn Amulet, the illusion wasn't quite as stable or smooth, but it got her point across. “Now do you remember?!”

The orange mare coked her head, looking at the image with perplexed eyes. “I don't...are you certain it was me?”

“Who else could it be?!”

“Maybe a look alike?”

Trixie rolled her eyes. “Oh really? Why should Trixie believe that?”

Carrot Top pointed nearby. Trixie followed her hoof to see two identical brown stallions with brown manes and hour glass cutie marks talking. The only difference was one was a Pegasus and the other an Earth Pony.

“Oh come on, tell me how it happens!” the Earth Pony asked.

“Sorry, spoilers,” replied the Pegasus with an amused expression.

“Ooookaaay...Trixie sees your point...just, well, that incident was part of the reason know...”

Carrot Top nodded slowly at the guilt in the unicorn's face. “At least you had a good reason, the other two tyrannical despots that tried to take us over were just psychopathic brutes...besides we've had to get used to a reformed Discord being a regular sight in Ponyville and the former Nightmare Moon visiting our dreams every night...I was mainly just going to compliment the show. You've gotten a lot better.”

Trixie gave a bow. “Trixie thanks you!...Wait, don't you live in Ponyville?”

“My sister Noi wanted to see Rainbow Falls again and she had today off, she loved your show though.”

Trixie gave a sincere smile. “Well, Trixie the Magnificent shall be stopping in Ponyville next, she shall see you then!”

As Trixie trotted off, she paused to give a confused look back. “I swear it was her...but she couldn't have forgotten a meeting with Trixie! Trixie's Trixie! She's rather hard to forget!”
The azure unicorn continued to trot towards the local grocery store...until music and the sound of cheering hit her ears. “Huh? Trixie didn't know any other performances were happening tonight...”

Standing on atop a nearby platform were two near identical light yellow unicorn stallions, each wearing a white and blue striped shirt with a big black bow tie. Their manes and tails were white and red and they both wore a straw hat, but one's Cutie Mark was a three-thirds of an apple with his twin's being the remaining slice, the former also having a mustache.

Just step right up and test it out
You'll be satisfied we have no doubt
Can we hear everyone now shout it out?
The Peelcore Eight Thousand!
” the twin brothers finished singing, several boxes standing behind him in a pyramid. The name of their device was on a plaque above them in big bold letters, and each were holding a strange crank powered device in their green telekinesis. Each of them stabbed an apple onto the end and cranked it rapidly, causing the apple to be peeled in perfectly and the core removed with most of the actual fruit untouched.

Trixie jumped back as the crowd swarmed the stage and bought up the strange devices...then gears started turning in her head. She recalled something Applejack had warned her about once and gave a glare to the two as the crowd dispersed with their purchased wares.

“Hey, you two!”

The brothers blinked, turning to the mare. “Hello there miss!” said the mustached stallion.

“Heard about our one of a kind, simple and easy, no mess Peelcore Eight Thousand?” the other brother asked.

“Trixie heard about you two constallions from a friend of hers,” Trixie said, feeling a bit proud of herself for catching them. Not that it was difficult when they were shouting their names loudly.

The twins looked at one another, then gave a chuckle. “We were constallions, but not any more,” Flam replied.

Flim nodded, then demonstrated their product again, peeling the apple perfectly fine. “Our patented Peel Core Eight Thousand is made from environmentally friendly recycled metal, with zero rust. Pick any of our ones at random, my dear. You won't find one spec of rust.”

Trixie kept her serious look and pulled one random box from the pile, opened it, and examined it incredibly closely. Not one tarnished bit of metal. She put it back and pulled another for examination, then another, and another. “But...How?!” Applejack said they'd scammed Ponyville last she heard!

“Simple, my dear, thanks to a dear friend of ours, we've gone straight,” Flam replied.

“Seen the light and made a switch,” Flim continued, both smiling conversationally.

Trixie gave a suspicious look. “Really? And when did THAT happen?”

Flam gave a nostalgic chuckle. “You see, my dear, my brother and myself had a bit of a falling out, a beautiful mare caught our eye.”

Flim gave a genuinely sad sigh. “Dreadful fight to be honest, would've been the end of the Flim Flam Brothers for sure...but then a wise mare named Granny Smith stepped in and helped us be brotherly again.”

“And after we'd done her and hers wrong twice, how could we not be moved by such kindness?” Flam continued, giving a shockingly genuine smile.

Trixie blinked. “Wait...Granny Smith, Applejack's grandmother?!”

“Indeed! You know Miss Applejack?”

Trixie gave a proud stance. “Trixie is a close friend of Applejack! Together we captured the infamous phantom thief Rough Diamond!”

“Well well then, looks like a friend of a friend, brother of mine,” was the mustached brother's reply. “We've actually buried the hatchet with the Apple Clan, mutually beneficial arrangement Miss Smith set us up with you see. We sell products that promotes the purchase of apples and apple products, and the Apple Family will help us advertise, so long as we're on the level of course.”

“And of course we get a lot more mileage out of our inventions,” the clean-faced brother continued. “Turns out you can sell a lot more of something without ponies calling the Guard on your ventures every three days or so.”

Trixie looked a bit suspicious. Was this turn merely a money grab? With a pair of, hopefully former, constallions, it was hard to tell. Trixie would know as a former hustler herself.

“Right...well, Trixie hopes you are being truthful, she has a haysmoothie to go get.”

“Alright, see you later, Miss. Do stop by if you're in the market for an apple peeler, we make the absolute best of the best!”

As the mare walked away, the brothers looked to each other. “ you think we could do something with a smoothie maker?” Flim questioned, producing some cold cider for himself and his brother, both rather hot from their song and dance.

“Hmm...would be a good deal more expensive to make than the Peelcore 3000 to make, but if we push apple smoothies as the main course, we could cash in on the deal with the apples...yes, I think that might very well work, brother of mine,” Flam replied with a smirk. There was a spark that seemed to flash between the two, a certain excitement akin to Twilight's when the prospect of something new. “Though we'll need a catchy name.”

“Oh certainly, the name is the first impression! Once we're done here, we can hit the drawing board. Been awhile since we've invented something.”

“I know, brother, I know. The last thing we invented the peeler. And before that there was our cider machine and...” Flam blinked, putting a confused hoof to his chin. “You know, brother of mine, I can't really remember anything we invented before that.”

Flim mimicked his brother's confusion. “Neither do I actually...Guess we got so sidetracked by our formally nefarious schemes it slipped my mind. How did we get started on actual scams anyway? I can't remember.”

Before the conversation could continue, the two were interrupted by the sound of hoofsteps coming towards them.
Trixie stood in the local grocery store, searching for more supplies. Markets often did have a refrigerated section, primarily utilizing crystals imbued with a freezing spell to keep stuff cold, a recent contribution from the Crystal Empire alongside memory imbued crystals. The mare had recently learned a freezing spell to keep her ice box cold (and also for various tricks), but hadn't quite learned the gem imbuing spell, but she most certainly had big plans for when she did.  

However, as she looked into the foggy surface of the glass between her and the refrigerated goods, she suddenly noticed the glass next to her reflection turn black and gray. Trixie stiffened, finding herself suddenly feeling ice cold. The mare quickly raised a hoof and began wiping the fog away, but the moment she put her hoof down, the glass was back to only her own beautiful face and nothing more.

The azure turned around quickly, but there was nothing behind her. Just one or two ponies buying things and the cashier taking bits from costumers. But no one was black or gray in color. Some white, some cream...but no black or gray.

Trixie gave an involuntary sigh of relief. But for some reason couldn't stop herself from trembling.


Trixie gave a thoughtful look, taking a sip of her smoothie while emerging from the store, both the beverage and a bag of supplies held in her telekinesis. “...Maybe Trixie should give those two the benefit of the doubt...after all, we reformed baddies have to stick together...” she muttered, quoting a surprisingly wise little brown filly from Manehatten. “Trixie supposes it wouldn't hurt to stop by their stand on her way back and have another word with them...”

The azure mare changed direction and headed back to where she'd last seen the two brothers...and blinked at what she found; their stand, with no sign of either of brother. Taking a closer look, she found the profits the two had made laying in plain sight in simple bag, instead of being concealed or hidden in any way.

Trixie trotted around back and looked all over it, the twin brothers nowhere to be found. The only thing in sight were a few panting Earth Pony joggers out for an evening run and nothing more. “...Trixie doesn't know those two all that well...but Trixie knows traveling ponies, and she knows you just don't leave your money laying around unattended.”

It was simple logic: a traveling pony of any career never knew when their next paycheck would come. Even Trixie had never been arrogant enough to keep her bits laying out when out and about. The ones she didn't have with her were safely in a safe back at her cart.

The mare put a hoof on the money bag, expecting the two stallions to come running. But even slightly picking it up did nothing. She left the bits back where she'd found them and slowly backed away. “Must have stepped away...” she said slowly, a slightly disturbed look on her face. “...But there's two of them...if they're confident their money's safe as to do that, they're more confident than Trixie, and no pony is more confident than Trixie the Magnificent!” the mare announced to herself, putting a hoof to her chest with a dramatic flourish. “...Though they may simply be more arrogant than she is...that's probably it...”

Trixie slowly turned and started back towards her cart. “Trixie will just have to stop back in the morning she supposes...”

The azure unicorn trotted onward...but now couldn't help feeling like something Like that same feeling of unease from the market just wouldn't leave. As her mind tried to figure things out, she heard the clopping of hooves. Ones that seemed almost perfectly in sync with her own, only directly behind her. Turning back quickly, she saw no pony. Rainbow Falls was a popular location, but Celestia had lowered the sun and Luna raised the moon. Trixie's eyes batted back and forth, unable to shake the feeling she was a fish with sharks circling her.

“...Trixie hopes crazy fans aren't about to try and kidnap her...again...”


The showmare finally got inside her cart. She kept looking over her shoulder, uncertain why she couldn't shake the feeling she was being watched. She swore she'd heard hoofsteps behind her the entire way back to the cart. Trixie simply latched her door before putting her newly acquired supplies in her ice box and doing a quick freeze spell to keep it chilled again.

Trixie gave a sigh, just listening to the crickets chirping outside, the only noise breaking the silence. “Come now, Trixie, it isn't like you to be startled by a few little things! This is most unbecoming of a Great and Powerful Unicorn such as yourself!”

The azure unicorn decided to take her mind off her unease and prepare for the show she was going to put on in Ponyville. Originally it was just going to be visiting the others there on the way to the next city, but Twilight had suggested she performance.

“Hmm...Trixie could do the Rough Diamond story again...but if this is her way of showing Ponyville the new Trixie, she needs to do something a bit more impressive than a simple show...after the Ursa Minor and Alicorn Amulet, a good impression is everything in show business!”

However, before the mare could continue her planning, there was a rattling at her door, as if somepony was attempting to carefully open it against the lock. Trixie tensed up, staring at it for a moment, not making a sound. Normally, Trixie would be shouting who dared disturb her....but something inside her told her she should stay quiet and not make a peep.

The rattling became an almost mechanical knock on the door.

Trixie froze up, watching the door. The knocking rang out again.  

The mare growled at herself. “Come now, Trixie. You're acting like there's Ursa at the door!” she chastised herself.

Getting to her hooves, Trixie trotted over to the cart door and undid the latch.

What she found on the other side didn't seem like much on the surface.

Two stallions standing before her. One was a light gray pegasus with a black mane, the other a dark gray unicorn with a white mane. The former's Cutie Mark was a pair of black sunglasses and the latter's a chariot wheel. Both had the same black suit with a tie, the same black sun glasses, and the same flat top mane style.

Simple enough, but...for some reason Trixie felt an instinctual dread rise up inside her. A small voice in the back of her head screaming run like these two were a pack of timberwolves.

'Just Trixie's nerves is all.'


“Hello, Miss Lulamoon,” said the dark gray Pegasus, in a monotone, methodical voice. “My name is Gearshift, this is my partner Cover Story.”

“Alright...and what can Trixie help you with?”

“Can you please look at this piece of paper, miss?” asked Cover Story, presenting a piece of paper in front of her muzzle in his dull gray telekinesis.

Trixie blinked, eyes focusing on the piece of paper. All that was written was a series of numbers in an odd shade of green. '19 8 21 20. 4 15 23 14.'

The mare felt the oddest sense she'd seen it before...but it was like a circuit refusing to complete itself. She just couldn't connect it with anything.


The two stallions looked to one another. “Just 'Yes?'”

“Yes, what is this supposed to be?” the azure unicorn questioned, narrowing her eyes. “Trixie  was practicing for a very important show, she'd prefer not to be interrupted for trivialities.”

The two stallions looked at each other in a bit of panic. Trixie couldn't help but feel a bit of pride that these two that had managed to inspire an irrational fear in her now seemed panicked...that is until she found her leg caught in Cover Story's telekinesis. “Hey! Unhand Trixie!”

Trixie felt that instinctive panic force its way back up. This time she made no attempt to force it back down.

“Don't fight. You've caused us enough trouble as is,” Gearshift said in the same emotionless tone, leaping at her. She reflexively set off a firework, but the duo's sunglasses protected them from being blinded and they remained stern and unmoving as Gearshift tackled her and held her along with his partner's telekinesis.

“We know what you can do, resistance is futile.”

The azure mare gave the duo an indignant glare. Being telekinetically and physically restrained or not, a showmare was a showmare.

Looking down below her attacker's hooves, she focused and used the ice spell on the floor, sending both slipping as their hooves lost traction.

“What?!” Cover Story exclaimed, looking down in disbelief.

“I'll have you know I went to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns! 'Futile' isn't in my vocabulary!” Trixie spat, then promptly used her own telekinesis to give them a push and landed with a grunt. Getting back to her hooves, she followed up with a wind spell, sending the two sliding along the ice she'd made and out of the door, which she promptly locked using her telekinesis.

“Ha! That's what you get for daring to try kidnapping Trixie the Magnificent!”

The showmare jumped as one or both of them tackled the door with enough force to crack it. Then gave a scream when Cover Story followed by shooting a beam of magic straight through the door. “Horseapples!”

Trixie looked around for something to defend herself, but in enclosed quarters, that was easier said than done.

The azure mare grabbed a spare wooden plank she normally used to repair her cart in her telekinesis and smacked the first foreleg she saw come through the blasted hole reaching for the latch, earning a cry of pain. While the stallion pulled his hoof back, her weapon was wrenched from her by Cover Story's own telekinesis.

Before she could grab something else, she had to duck under an electric spell fired at her from Gearshift's wings.

The mare snarled and retaliated with a magic beam that knocked both stallion's on their flanks...but also destroyed the door. 'In retrospect, that wasn't the best idea.'

She quickly followed up with another shot...but Cover Story raised a shield spell to block it and his partner nearly hit home with a lightning spell counterattack.

As the two stallions came at her with Cover Story's shield blocking her counterattack attempts, Trixie did a quick scan of her surroundings for anything she could use.

The showmare used her telekinesis to undo it's parking break and then a good old fashion buck to ground to send the cart, and her, careening backwards away from her attackers.

“Ah hah! May you remember this as the day you almost kidnapped the Magnificent Trixie!” celebrated Trixie...then realized something she hadn't thought of before. While this course of action solved one problem, it created another.

“...This place is on a mountain, isn't it?”

Trixie had to rush to the cart window and force it open so she could see where she was going, having to use her telekinesis to force the wheels to keep it away from the edge with a large amount of effort.

Thankfully, she'd lunched in the right direction to redirect herself down one of the paths to safely leave the mountain top, but going down a mountain path in an uncontrollable carriage was still going down a mountain path in an uncontrollable carriage.

“Trixie is beginning to regret this decision!” the mare exclaimed, barely able to keep her wheels on from going off the side of the mountain. “Okay, Trixie is not going to go flying off the side of a mountain to her doom! And neither is her home!”

Trixie threw open the front door of her cart and telekinetically hooked herself up to the harness. She leapt out and planted her hooves, putting all her strength into stopping her cart, hooves ripping up the ground. When that wasn't enough, she manifested some long handkerchiefs and tied them to any sort of anchor point she could see.

The cart slowed but didn't stop all the way, coming dangerously close to the edge of the cliff now. “No! Trixie the Magnificent is NOT losing her home again!” The azure unicorn manifested a couple metal steaks normally used to secure tents and stabbed through two new hankerchiefs and deep into the ground as deeply as possible.

Finally, the cart came to a stop about an inch from the cliff face, Trixie collapsing with a relieved sigh. Her chest and legs felt like they were on fire, but she'd had worse days. When one had to haul their cart across the entire country singlehandedly, then spend several months as a rock farmer, becoming a good bit stronger than expected of your race came with the territory and she'd never been as happy about that fact as she was now..

Trixie gave a tired chuckle. “Haha! And so Trixie the Magnificent makes a great escape!” she exclaimed, putting a hoof to her chest in triumph...then had to jump to the side to evade a lightning bolt. “Oh come on!”

Flying down at her was Gearshift, his partner riding on his back. “Just leave Trixie alone!”

“I'm afraid we can't do that, Miss Lulamoon.”

The azure mare had to jump back from a stun spell from Cover Story, the stone faced unicorn's face unreadable. She felt that unknowable fear grip her heart again. She quickly cut all the handkerchiefs and other anchors, and pulled her cart around as quickly as she could and put all of her strength into taking off. To her confusion, Cover Story took a moment to vaporize the discarded objects as they passed over them rather than instantly focusing on her.

The duo continued to rain down beams and lightning at her as the high speed chase continued, forcing her to dodge as best she could while pulling her cart. Even then, her home took several blasts, blowing pieces of wood off of it.

Snarling in rage at the sight, Trixie charged up her horn and fired several beams of various types at the duo, but Gearshift banked and swerved to dodge her beams while his partner continued to fire spells of his own back at her. Trixie didn't know much about stun spells, but she knew one shot could be the end of her escape...or cause her to trip and go flying off the edge.

The mare retaliated with a bolt of magic that exploded into a massive fireworks show in front of the two, but her face fell as they flew straight through the smoke as if she'd done nothing at all. Trixie yelped as she had to jump to narrowly dodge several lightning bolts, nearly causing her cart to tip over.

She made the attempt to form a large blanket normally used for diappearing acts in front of them to try and catch them up, but Cover Story merely blew a huge hole right in it.

“At least they're still quite a ways back...” Trixie admitted, hoping there'd be something up ahead she could duck into.

“You won't escape us,” Gearshift stated.

“Better shift into high gear, partner,” Cover Story replied, neither stallion showing the slightest hint of emotion.

Gearshift nodded, beginning to beat his wings faster and faster as if he'd switched into a different gear. His speed nearly doubled in an instant, allowing Cover Story's shots to become more accurate owing to the decreased distance.

“Trixie supposes he wouldn't be called Gearshift if he didn't have another gear...”

The mare cringed as she had to duck under a beam that blew a hole straight through her cart's roof and through the side. “LEAVE TRIXIE ALONE!”

Trixie's horn glowed as several lightning clouds formed between her and her pursuers, sending several bolts there way. Cover Story merely formed a forcefield around the duo, blocking the bolts, only lowering it to fire several of his own beams. This time one came dangerously close to striking one of the cart wheels head on.

The desperate mare's eyes darted around, looking for something, anything she could use to fight back more effectively. Her eyes fell on one of the many rainbow waterfalls coming down the mountain, causing the mare to get a smirk as she noted something up ahead on the path. Focusing, she sent a lightning bolt plowing straight through the waterfall, causing a gigantic plum of fog to billow out in all directions.

Her pursuers flew through the fog and out the other side...but stopped, noting Trixie was nowhere to be seen. Spinning around, Gearshift used his rapidly moving wings to blow away the fog...revealing nothing but blank mountain path.

“The target must have leapt off the side,” said Cover Story, the two landing and the unicorn getting off.

Gearshift finally ceased his beating wings, breathing heavily and covered in sweat, but otherwise showing zero emotion. “Or the target is now capable of cloaking spells.”

“That's the worrying thing, most of our profile on the target dictates she's not capable of freezing or wind spells. Lightning magic is the most advanced she should be able to do,” Cover Story replied, the unicorn producing a glass bottle of what looked like salt water and handing another to his partner before taking a big swallow.

“We need to get the other two back to headquarters, we can report this,” was the pegasus' reply, taking a few sips.

“No, we can't afford to lose track of the target now, she's been off our radar for months and resisted the paper. If we lose the target now, we may never find her again. At least not before she causes more trouble than she already has.”

“Alright, then I'll call base and have reinforcements pick up our primary targets. Hopefully they'll catch her if she goes to the guard...and aren't you afraid of getting smashed?” Gearshift questioned, finally showing a small bit of amusement as he took another small sip of the salt water and his partner had finished the whole bottle and

“I don't get drunk easily. Now let's go, we've got a target to catch.”


After the two had departed, the cliff side was silent and still...until Trixie's head popped out from behind what had looked like a simple cliff side that distorted like fabric as she did. She gave a smirk and pulled down the 'cliff side' to reveal it was merely a large piece of magically generated fabric, a color changing spell used to match the cliff side perfectly. Her cart set nestled into a crevice in the rock face, hidden from sight by the fabric. “The Magnificent Trixie has outdone herself with that marvelous disappearing act, if she says so herself!” she stated proudly...then her face fell, looking at her cart.

From the various beams and damage inflicted on it, the cart was naturally in rough shape, with scorch marks and holes straight through bits of it. Going inside, she found her bed had been scorched to the point of being unusable and burned, many of her supplies burned and damaged. Even her cape had a hole blown straight through it.

The mare sniffled slight at the sight. Images of an Ursa Minor's foot crashing her cart flashed before her eyes. She gave an involuntary shudder, having to fight the urge to sit down and curl up into a ball. “'ll be fine...this...I just need to get those brutes arrested and I can rebuild least it wasn't completely destroyed this time...”

After looking over the damage for a few moments with a forlorn face...Trixie finally slowly rose up and headed on, forcing herself to think. “Alright so Trixie just needs to tell the Guard...except those to expected her to do that...”

Trixie's expression dropped. Pursued by two determined and dangerous enemies, who's words implied they weren't alone, and going to the authorities would simply expose her to them. And all of this was on top of that strange feeling of existential dread that gripped her heart so tight. Like something about those two made her a filly fearing the boogiemare again.

The azure mare shook her head to clear it. “Trixie is not a coward. She will not be intimidated by these brutes!...She is a magician! Knowing what her foe expects is the greatest weapon of any magician!”

Trixie put a hoof to her chin, looking back around her cart. “...They expect Trixie to go for the guard...” the mare muttered, looking to the cracked, but still intact framed newspaper clipping. “But not a princess! Twilight will most certainly help Trixie!...That is a sentence Trixie never believed she'd say...then again so was 'get Rainbow Dash's help to be freed from being queen of the Diamond Dogs...'”  

Trixie prepared to hook herself up to her cart and take off for Ponyville...then paused, a thought entering her mind. “...They know Trixie has this cart...” she then looked up to the train tracks heading off from Rainbow Falls. “So she thinks she'll take the train...”

Giving a sad, forlorn look at her cart and taking what supplies she felt she'd need, she quickly put the fabric back in place. “...Trixie isn't going to let this mess destroy her life...not again!”
MLP: Marionettes Chapter 1 - Eyes Over My Shoulder
Trixie's life was going perfectly fine. Better than fine. She has everything she had and more...until she finds herself the target of mysterious pursuers that seem dedicated to capturing her no matter what the cost. Now Trixie must unraveling the mystery of who these strange ponies are and what they're truly after.

Can Trixie stay free? Or will her pursuers make her a marionette hanging on strings? 

Commissioned by my friend :iconalexwarlorn: 

My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro!   
  • Mood: Love
I think most writers who want to write a sequel to their story should watch Kung Fu Panda 2.

Not because of the increased action or darker tone. It has those things, but there's ONE specific thing:

It kept the spirit of the original. 

It tells a more mature story, but never forgets the story is about a goofy but competent kung fu fanboy turned Chosen One. It never forgot what made the ORIGINAL a good movie. 

Writing a good sequel isn't about writing a darker story, it isn't writing a more action packed story, it isn't about writing a more mature story: it's writing a story that's faithful to the original. That keeps what made the original so good while building off it.

And for goodness sakes, will fanfic writers PLEASE stop mistaking 'darker' for 'more mature'? I mean for goodness sakes, making your sequel darker is NOT the same thing as making it more MATURE. More mature is, as stated above, dealing with a more mature theme, which is NOT the same thing as making a darker story.

I've noticed an annoying trend in fanfiction of making the sequel Grim Dark and making things worse rather than better. 


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jmcdavid Featured By Owner 23 hours ago
By the way, have you been keeping up with Drive?

Because it seems Professor Banno is going to regain his human body, and use a copy of the Drive Driver to become the evil Kamen Rider Gold Drive, which has the same powers as a Super-Evolved Roidmude.

The suit itself appears to be a repaint of Chase's Proto-Drive suit, by the way.
Kendell2 Featured By Owner 22 hours ago
Yeah, I have and noticed that.

Sounds like Banno's a main villain now.
jmcdavid Featured By Owner 22 hours ago
Yeah. And his path upon regaining his human body is similar to the path Krim's future self follows in Surprise Future.

Mind you, the Gold Drive suit is technically a kitbash, due to having the regular Type Speed helmet.
Kendell2 Featured By Owner 22 hours ago
True, though of course since it IS a knock off of Drive, that makes sense.
(1 Reply)
foger3 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave!
Kendell2 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Grogar-the-oneser Featured By Owner 2 days ago

Monsanto, the world's most hated corporation, will stop at nothing to increase its profits, even if it means swindling struggling Indian farmers.

For generations, farmers have saved seeds from year to year -- but the company has now made that illegal.

Monsanto is sowing the seeds of debt bondage by charging outrageous annual royalties to keep using its seeds. Farmers are hopelessly saddled with crippling debt. Since Monsanto's crops were introduced, over 200,000 farmers in India have committed suicide.

Stand with India's farmers and tell Monsanto to stop charging crippling royalties on its seeds.

systemcat Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the fave :hug:!
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