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Pinkie, Rarity, and I were watching Fluttershy get pwnzored by other ponies cutting her in line. I started forward to intervene, but Rarity held me back.
“This is something she needs to do on her own.” I was proud of her for being able to get a complete sentence strung together without looking like she was lusting after my neck. Rarity’s control over her vampirism had visibly gotten worse recently.
“Can’t I at least bust some heads?”
“No. Now Fluttershy, pay attention. I’m going to teach you how to get what you want.” Rarity went over to a nerdy pony and began talking him up. Manipulative bitch.
I was just turning away when I realized that the pony had a robot cutie mark. As he walked away, I fell in step with him.
“What’s your name?”
“Oh, um, I’m Gizmo.”
“That’s a real interesting cutie mark you got there.”
“Look Mr. Valiant, I don’t want any trouble.” He seemed to be edging away from me.
“Just tell me about the robots.”
“Well, uh, I just got my cutie mark. I don’t know what it means yet.”
“It means that I’m going to offer you the Bill Gates deal.”
“You can either accept my buyout offer, or I’ll crush you with overwhelming sales competition.”
“Uh, I, um…okay?”
I gave him ten bits. “Pleasure doing business with you. Now in accordance with the contract, you are required to turn over to me any technology that you possess or will produce in the future.”
“Wait, that doesn’t sound fair!”
“Well, tell your lawyers to talk to my lawyers…oh wait, you probably don’t have any.”
I left him standing there, feeling rather smug about my hostile takeover. Truthfully, I didn’t have lawyers either, but he didn’t know that.
I saw that Pinkie and Fluttershy were still with Rarity, but I decided to go to the library instead of back to the market.
“Did you hear?” Twilight asked me. “An assertiveness seminar is coming to town.”
“Why do I care?”
She thought for a moment. “Yes, I suppose you don’t need any help with that. Maybe you’re a little too assertive.”
“We all have our problems. Hey, is that the newest book of the Daring Do series?” I settled down to read it.
Later in the day after I finished the book, I went over to Sugarcube Corner to get a snack. It was rather crowded. Rarity and Pinkie were hanging around the serving counter. Pinkie appeared to be somewhat ill.
I heard a screech of painful rebuttal and the crowd parted to let Fluttershy come skipping to the head of the line.
“Did you just do that?” I asked her.
She smiled. “Yes! Iron Will taught me how to be assertive.”
It seemed like too much of a good thing to me, especially when Fluttershy knocked over a mare on her way out.
“What in the world happened to her?” I asked.
“She may have overdone it a bit,” said Rarity. “I’m going to go talk to her.” She went out after Fluttershy.
I turned to Pinkie. “You don’t look well. Did something happen to you?”
“Oh, it’s nothing.” She didn’t appear to want to meet my gaze.
Strange, but whatever. “Well, if you say so.” I left. I thought I would go see Mr. Iron Will.
Well, he turned out to be about the ugliest son of a buck I’d ever laid eyes on.
“You lookin’ at something?” he asked.
“As much as Iron Will would like to hang around and have you admire him, there is a debt to collect from a little pony named Fluttershy.”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Well, Iron Will doesn’t have all day. If you want to talk, you’ve got to walk.” He lumbered away and I followed him.
Iron Will didn’t seem to be able to coordinate his thoughts and his legs at the same time, so conversing with him didn’t do much good. He also walked fast. I figured I’d just have to wait until we got to Fluttershy’s place.
Out route took us past Sweet Apple Acres. I saw Big Macintosh out bucking trees. Usually, his sister would be with him.
“Where’s Applejack today?” I called.
“Not feelin’ well. Rarity was here earlier to see her.”
“Well, I suppose that sucks to be her. Tell her to get well soon.”
Wow, it seemed like several ponies lately had come down with something. I’d have to make sure I didn’t catch whatever it was.
Pinkie and Rarity were already at Fluttershy’s house when Iron Will and I got there.
“Iron Will is here to collect Iron Will's fee,” he announced.
“And maybe learn how to use first-person pronouns,” I added.
He glared at me and then knocked on Fluttershy’s door. “Your payment is overdue, Fluttershy!”
Pinkie and Rarity tried to distract him, but eventually Fluttershy opened the door.
“I’m not paying,” she said.
“What the hell!” I said. “He did you a service and should be justly compensated!”
“Shut up, Valiant.”
In a more calm tone of voice, the yellow pegasus explained that Iron Will’s assertiveness training deal was “one hundred percent satisfaction guaranteed, or you pay nothing,” and she wasn’t satisfied.
“Oh, well then, I suppose you might as well exploit that loophole,” I said. “Good for you.”
“No means no, Mr. Iron Will.”
“Huh, Iron Will will have to remember that catchphrase for his next seminar.” He walked away, muttering to himself.
“You're amazing, Fluttershy!” said Pinkie. “You totally stood up to that monster!”
“Actually,” said Fluttershy, “I was the one acting like a monster.”
“Yeah,” I added. “Just what kind of drugs did they give you to get your personality to do a one-eighty like that?”
“Valiant, if you ever insinuate that I’m on drugs again, I’m going to hurt you.” She glared at me.
Well, Flutterbitch was back. I walked off towards Ponyville humming an Elton John song. It reminded me of the time when one of my ex girlfriends dumped me for listening to classic rock. She was a bitch, too.
Back at the library, Twilight was reorganizing the stacks.
“Can I bounce a few ideas off of you?” I asked.
“What did you have in mind?”
“Well, love is hard to find, right?”
“Just because you have so many exes, Valiant, you shouldn’t make that assumption for everyone.”
“Well, there have to be at least a few out there with the same problem as me. What if I were to manufacture mechanical lovers?”
“You mean…” Twilight looked around to check if Spike was out of earshot. “…sex bots?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think you were capable of building anything without weapons.”
“Well, I could use that in the marketing. How does ‘Built for love and equipped to take it by force’ sound?”
Twilight sighed. “You may not be crazy, Valiant, but there’s still something wrong with you.”
“Yeah, maybe it’s not such a great idea.”
I glanced out the window, noticing some approaching ponies. “Hey, your five friends are on their way here. Is it lunch time? They look hungry.”
Also, who wants to read The Adventures of Cyborg Braeburn? I think I can get 7000-10,000 words out of it.