"Hey Crit, there are ponies yelling for you outside." a cyan pegasus called out, towering over his roommate’s bed. The pegasus stallion sported a purple vest, with small, vertical black lines on its sides, with neat folds on the end of the neck. His mane and tail were a dark blue and sickly green, styled in a very unkempt and short fashion – just how he liked it. On his chin rested a small, slightly curved dark blue goatee. He was also wearing a pair of red sunglasses. His flank treasures a comedic and a tragic mask with speed lines as the background.
A grunt sounded outside the room. "Hyperactive, how many times have I told you to leave me alone whilst I sleep?" replied the tired pony on the bed, with a book in his hooves – glasses on his muzzle and a beret adorning his head - his disdained tone fought hand and hand with his black and grey coat. Crit shuffled out of his bed, and trotted to the bathroom to get ready, while Hyperactive calmly walked over to the window. He saw the excited faces of the ponies outside, anticipating the critic, but only getting his hyperactive brother.
"I guess he'll be out soon." He redundantly announced to the crowd . Sighing in disappointment, they dispersed into different directions, going back to what they were doing before. Hyperactive turned to his brother. "Okay, they're gone now, bro.” He walked off the window and out of his brother’s bedroom. “I got to leave. Want to meet up later?"
"Ugh, I don't know.” Crit replied with a subtle grunt. After a moment of thought he turned his attention back to Hyper. “How does 2:30 sound?" Hyper just shrugged, not really interested in what time he was ready, and flew off. Crit peeked out through the door, and gave a sigh of relief.
Seeing as his brother was out of the house he starting focusing on himself. Looking into his reflection, he sighed yet again, this time in slight frustration. His grey coat, and black and grey mane and tail were looking awfully dirty and disheveled. He decided that he needed to shave his black goatee, so he took off his black beret and glasses. His entire coat was left with bed hair and some dirt spots here and there. Critical hopped into the shower, and immediately started to wash his body.
After the quick shower, he used his magic to pick up a towel from the stand, wrapping it around his waist. Exiting the tub, he dried drying himself, being careful as to not accidently bump into his glasses. After doing so, he picked up his glasses and beret and put them on their respective places.
Then, he looked at the mirror.
"Dang, Over Critical, you sure are looking fine today!" Critical liked to talk to himself - a LOT. So much that it became almost like a habit – a bad habit. Exiting the bathroom, Crit soon found himself sitting on top of his bed. His kempt room didn't really need much more tidying, so he went over to his television. He started to look over a bunch of movies, Eventually, this bored the clean-freak, so his need for interest lead him to the door. Turning around, he saw pictures of him and Hyper as colts smiling, laughing, and just being colts. This memorial piece of art brought a tear into Crit's eyes.
He lowered the picture to pick up the next - it was a picture of him and the fashionista from across the streets. Ah, he and Rarity appreciated each other's company, very much, to the point where they started dating.
He could still remember the day. As a matter of fact, he started to feel lonely due to that photo. Over Critical magically opened his door, and began trotting to the Carousel Boutique.
There, he knocked on the door, to be greeted by Rarity's little sister.
Upon seeing that it was her big sister’s spouse she happily grinned. "Hi Critical!" the little filly’s voice squeaked out, making Over Critical mentally d’aw from the sheer cuteness.
Critical’s smile matched hers. "Hi Sweetie Belle, is Rarity home?"
"Yeah, she is. Do you want to come in!?"
"Gladly." Stepping aside, Sweetie Belle let Critical inside the boutique. He proceeded into the building, and walked around the boutique. He saw Rarity, on the center of the room, making a dress, as usual. Once Rarity acknowledged his presence, she bounced over to him. She embraced him with a welcoming smile that enlightened the whole room.
"Oh good, Critical, you’re here!"
"Hi Rarity, how have you been?"
"Good, darling." For a brief moment, Rarity and Critical beamed into each other's eyes. Sweetie Belle snickered, but she soon snapped the two back to reality.
"So, uh, what have you been doing?" Critical asked, trying to change the subject.
"I've been making you a new hat. It is absolutely divine!" Critical could see a glimmer in her eyes as she said that. She used her magic to give him a large hat with a purple plume. Critical stared at the hat with the stink eye, then he stared back at the snowflake unicorn in front of him. She was batting her eyes, expecting the grey stallion to accept it. The adorableness reached down to his heart, enough to make him take off his hat and put on hers.
"So, Rarity, what's wrong with my hat?" Over Critical knew what this was all about, but he still needed to know what is her problem with his hat, that he loved.
"The ridges are so bland, the color is so dull, and the shape is so unoriginal! I had to make desperate measures, darling!" stated the posh pony.
"But THAT is why I love it!" blurted Critical. He embraced the unicorn, quickly swiping his hat without her noticing, and dashed out the door, without even, saying goodbye.
Quickly, without knowing where he was going, he galloped across town, in which he stopped in front of a theatrical studio. His curiosity got the better of him, so he stepped inside the building.
Right off the bat, Over Critical noticed his brother, who was shouting at another pony for something that he couldn’t understand. Critical got a seat and watched the show. Once the director called cut, he went up there and told Hyper to leave. Disappointingly, Hyperactive fled the stage, and other actors went up and did the same scene. Critical got up and left before Hyper noticed. Over Critical started off to his house, but he needed to get some supplies. He went over to some vendors for food. He trotted to Twilight Sparkle's tree for a book. After leaving Twilight's, walking down Ponyville, and getting to his house, he put in a movie to review. Over Critical is known for doing this, and todays topic was HighLandPony: The Source. After a few long hours, the movie bored the unicorn. At the same time, Crit's stomach bellowed out a clap of thunder. Over Critical turned around and saw that is was 2:25. Remembering that he was going to hang with Hyper, Critical left the house and went out for some food. Hyper was already there, and he greeted him with an idiotic laugh.
"So, Crit, how is your love, dude?" He burst out laughing. Critical grimaced by what he said. He HATED when his brother asked about his love life.
"Hi Hyper." Crit silently wished death upon him, before ordering a cupcake. They quietly ate their treats, not speaking to one another, since they both like it that way, when the pink pleasurable princess of pony parties came up to them.
"HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII PEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Pinkie yelled out, causing everypony, with the exception of Hyper, to cover their ears.
"HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII PPPPPPPPPPPPPPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKKKKIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE, what do ya want?!"
"IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII DDDDDDDDDDOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNN'TTTTTTT NNNNNNEEEEEEEEDDDDDDD AAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNYYYTTTTTTTHHHHHHHIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG! HEY, I JUST CALLED YOU PER!" Pinkie Pie's obnoxious yelling broke the glass windows and other assortments in the nearby area, infuriating lots of ponies near them. Hyper, noticing his glasses were broken, pulled out his other shades, and put them on.
"Can you two be quiet for a moment?" spoke the responsible pony.
"Quiet?" Pinkie's puzzlement made Critical quite worried - she didn’t know what it meant, although it was familiar to her.
"You know, not loud." Crit stated the last two words slowly. Pinkie nodded, but, secretly, she still didn’t understand. Then, Rarity entered Sugarcube Corner. Pinkie waved at Rarity towards the rest of the group.
“Oh hello, dear,” Crit stood up, acknowledged the unicorn and motioned her to a seat. Hyperactive also stood, but instead of acknowledging her, he bowed to the mare that his brother loved so much.
“I’d love to stay and chat, but I got to get back to my audition…” Hyper stopped in his tracks as he thought back to his audition. “Hey, Pinkie, in the play, there is a town crier that yells out everything that’s happened or is happening. I figured you could play that part. All you have to do is ring a bell and yell news. The guy who auditioned is okay, but it’s the role you were born to play. So, want to come and have some fun?” Pinkie jumped wildly at the idea, and run off to tell the Cakes.
They allowed her and told her to break a hoof. With that, Pinkie and Hyper bounced away, leaving Rarity and Critcal alone in their table. They sat and talked for a while and then planned the wedding out some more. Their wedding was only a month away from today, and Rarity was so happy... and so was Critical. He joked about finally being out of the house and away from Hyper. Rarity giggled cutely, and agreed at how much different the two were. As they ate and chatted, thunder clapped outside of the candy shop.
“Wait, didn't the pegasi say that it was supposed to be dry today?” Rarity pondered perceptibly.
"Maybe the pegasi forgot?" was the only thing that Critical could come up with.
Critical paid for the food, like a gentlestallion that he was, and stayed behind with Rarity. Outside, there were a dark red cloud overhead and around it were the white clouds that showed up earlier. They both watched as the pegasi tried to fix it. Critical and Rarity galloped to the theatrical studio, and they saw Hyper and Pinkie standing outside, talking to Rainbow Dash.
“Rainbow Dash, what is happening?” Rarity asked frantically towards the confused pegasus.
“I don’t know, we can’t break the clouds. We keep trying and trying, but they bounce us back.” Rainbow was just as worried as any other pony. Rainbow started to think about the cotton candy clouds from when Discord was there, but none of them were pink… and it wasn’t raining chocolate.
“Yo bro, what the hell is that?” Hyper pointed his hoof at a glowing circle in the sky, which scared Critcal. The circle descended from the heavens and around the two brothers, scaring them even more. Once they were inside the ring, it rose. At that point, Princess Celestia, from Canterlot, came down to Ponyville. She gasped as if she had seen a ghost.
“Get away from that circle you two, or something-.” Her warning fell on deaf ears as everything around them turned black, expect for the blood red circle on their hooves.
“Hyperactive and Over Critical hold a certain bond.” A mysterious voice, unseen by the two, spoke to them while they were in the circle. “You two will fight for the prize.” The brothers were now petrified and confused by the power of the circle as it grew brighter. “Now become one with each other and form the bound that will win your battles.” The voice continued, and then once it said its last words, the brothers were moved deeper into the circle. They were now lost in a field of psyche. Hyper, then, felt a surge of power, and so did Over Critical. They were both lifted into the air, and then they were thrown out of the circle.
“What the hell… what just happened?” Hyperactive moaned in pain, and started shuffling to get out of the invisible grip. On the other end, Critical was too busy adding two and two together to hear his brother.
“You two have been chosen… I’m sorry, I was too late.” Celestia looked downtrodden at this. She apologized to the brothers for a reason that the two stallions couldn’t figure out.
“Chosen, for what?” Critical finally queried. He needed answers for everything that has happened.
“The war… the winner receives their wish… but to be chosen, a bond must be presented to them.” Celestia said.
“Wait, a bond? Would brotherhood count?” Hyper looked at Celestia, who just nodded. The brothers looked towards each other and started to ask more questions.
“Is there anything else we need to know?” Critical looked towards Celestia, who only nodded slightly.
“Luna and I compete in the end this year, and before she was corrupted, we competed then too.” Celestia hinted that all she knows is what happens and not why. “The other contestants haven’t been decided, but you two still need to avoid others unless you know you can trust them. Also, look for the mark on your bodies. When you do, hide that mark to mask your identity immediately, because others will have different marks, and if they see yours, they will attack, no matter what.” From what Celestia said, Critical inferred that the symbol on his back and on Hyper’s is the mark of the competition. While thinking, Critical noticed his brother swaying and looking ill.
“Are you oka-" Before Critical could finish his sentence he began to feel ill. They both fell into a pit of unconsciousness, scaring everypony on the spot.
“Critical!?” Rarity screamed to her fiancée, using her magic to catch him in mid-air.
“Hyper!?” Pinkie caught him before he hit the ground.
“The surge must have exhausted them. All of you don’t need to worry though; they will be better in the morning.” The Princess then departed the scene in a flash of light, leaving the girls carrying the two unconscious brothers to their home, and then going their separate ways. Even in their state, the brothers thought that all of this would blow over quickly, but they were sorely mistaken.