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Discord: Last time, on Total Magic Pony Island: chaos reigned supreme, which boosted the ratings big-time! Ah, what joy! First, Twilight attempted to enter the afterlife when she pushed herself and Trixie off a cliff. Thankfully, both girls survived; do you KNOW what would happen if we lost those two unicorns this early in the season? It would spell doom for my show! Anyway, later on, the arrogant Rainbow Dash got an unexpected wakeup call when Mare Do Well appeared. Ooh, how perfect; now we’ve got a mystery on our hands! Mysteries are highly enjoyable, you see. Later on, Head Chef Pinkie Pie sang a pop song while leading her team to victory during the cooking challenge. Is it just me, or does the Magical Misfits really excel at food challenges? Well, whatever. Everything that COULD go wrong did for the Ruffians, and after Applejack delivered a beating to Dash for ruining everything, it was revealed that Zecora cursed the team by bringing back a wooden doll from Dusk Island. Despite heavy protest from Silver Spoon and an uneasy heart from Applejack, the Ruffians promptly voted Zecora out at the ceremony. Oh, and did I mention that the Magical Misfits got to enjoy a dinner under the stars? Now, the once-powerful Ruffians are looking shell-shocked while the Misfits look like a well-oiled machine. Has the balance of power shifted? Find out next, right here, on Total…Magic…Pony Island!
*the opening theme song showing all 20 contestants plays a moment later before the episode*
“Why? Why did it have to be her? It’s not fair,” Silver Spoon sniffled, staring out over the calm waters of the ocean surrounding Camp Paradox as she sat alone on the beach, “First my fellow schoolmate Sweetie Belle is voted out…and then my best friend Diamond Tiara…and now the only one who believed in me, Zecora, is gone. I’m…I’m all alone…and it hurts.”
After the painful elimination of Zecora, despite the zebra’s kind words to the little filly, Silver Spoon still broke down after the Boat of Losers chugged away from the island. She had immediately run away from her team and had gone down to the beach to gather her thoughts. It was nearly midnight, with a full moon lingering overhead in a starless sky, but Silver Spoon didn’t care. She felt like she was all by herself on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere. She couldn’t go see Cheerilee and Scootaloo; it would just give her team another reason to want to vote her off next. She didn’t really want to talk to her team after what they did. This left the filly herself as the only one she could speak to.
“What do I do now?” she whispered, staring down into her reflection in the water as she pawed at it with her hooves, “Zecora told me to follow my heart and try to follow the right path. But…what IS the right path? How do I know what’s right and what’s wrong? Does it really make a difference? Who’s gonna care after this game? When we get back home…I’ll just go back to following Diamond Tiara around and…and…” She couldn’t complete her sentence; her reflection in the waves was making her too depressed to do so.
“Hey…you’re gonna freeze if you sit back by the ocean for too long at night,” a voice spoke softly from behind Silver Spoon’s back, “It’s past midnight, Silver Spoon; come back to the cabin with the team.” The little filly perked up a little at hearing someone actually care for her, and when she turned around, she discovered Spike standing there with his hands on his hips. He was looking at Silver Spoon in a way that a father would look at his hurt daughter.
“Since when do YOU care about me?” Silver Spoon frowned, turning around to face down the little dragon, “You certainly weren’t thinking about me when you voted out Zecora!”
“Silver Spoon, we HAD to do that,” Spike sighed, rubbing the back of his head uneasily, “She cursed us, so it was basically her fault that we lost!”
“No, it was Rainbow Dash’s fault that we lost,” Silver Spoon argued, “Zecora wasn’t the one who went into the kitchen and destroyed all the food. Zecora wasn’t the one talking down to everypony and making us all upset. Zecora wasn’t the one standing around watching while everypony else was cooking. Shall I continue, Spike?”
“Ugh…okay, okay, Silver Spoon, you made your point,” Spike groaned, succumbing to the filly’s anger, “You’re worse than Twilight, I swear. But, look, Zecora is gone…what’s done is done. What do you want us to do about it?”
Silver Spoon looked at Spike for a long time, staring into his eyes and letting him take her feelings into consideration, before she turned back around and stared out over the ocean again. Minutes passed and the only audible noise was the soft crashing of the blackened waves surrounding the island. The Royal Ruffians’ only filly member left pawed at the ground with a hoof, digging a little hole and watching as the tide rolled in and filled the sandy hole all the way to the top with the chilly water.
“I don’t want you to do anything,” Silver Spoon whispered, staring down at the watery hole and watching as the sand slowly began absorbing the liquid, “All I want is for you and the rest of my team to know my feelings, that’s all.” With that said, Silver Spoon slowly got up off her haunches, turned back towards Spike, and began trotting back towards the camp. She walked right past the silent dragon without saying another word.
Spike: *shivering a little bit* There’s nothing scarier than an angry female…no matter what the age. Silver Spoon is hurt, I can tell…she lost her best friend, a fellow classmate, and now the only one who tried caring for her. *he sighs a little bit* Poor filly…this feels so wrong, but…it’s just a game, right?
Spike eventually followed Silver Spoon back to the Royal Ruffians’ cabin, making sure to tiptoe along so he didn’t wake up any of the campers. The Magical Misfits had finished their dinner reward a few hours before and had gone to bed themselves, leaving Spike and Silver Spoon as the only campers that were awake, or so it seemed. Neither Royal Ruffian realized that Discord was watching them closely from his cloud hammock in the sky that was overhanging the camp.
“Hmm…dissension among the Royal Ruffians?” the draconequus mused, twiddling his claws and stroking his beard with a wicked grin, “Ooh, dissension is my middle name! What better way to promote ratings than to exploit team disunity for laughs? Ha, this is gonna be good!” Cackling madly into the night, Discord vanished in a puff of smoke as he prepared the next day’s challenge.
Pinkie: *having sleepwalked to the confessional, she faces the camera while still asleep, looking very relaxed and adorable* Ooh…smile at the ghostly…giggle at the cupcakes…is that a muffin? What’s the fourth wall? Professional wrestling is fake and Twilight is cute when she’s mad. Yay for Fluttershy.
The night passed with Luna’s moon lingering in the sky with Discord’s rockets and Princess Celestia having another uneasy rest. Not being able to perform her sun-raising duties every morning was slowly driving her crazy. Something she had been doing her entire life, for many centuries, and having it swiped from her hooves just so she could participate in a game really hurt her. While she kept her own feelings hidden from her team, it was clear that every day that she continued to remain in the game, the worse she got. Luna, of course, loved to tease her sister about this whenever she had the chance, since the lunar princess honestly did not miss her duties. After missing 1,000 years of doing them, she had gotten used to relaxing during the evenings.
After Spike and Silver Spoon got back to the Royal Ruffians’ cabin, Camp Paradox was given its usual rest during the evenings. Discord and Nightmare Moon were off gallivanting and doing random things around camp to make sure each day was prepared accordingly for their campers. Rarity had zonked out almost instantly after being bored to death by Pinkie’s random stories. Cheerilee had put Scootaloo to bed and then went to sleep herself moments later. Pinkie, always having too much sugar in her body, had continued her unusual sleepwalking night patrol. Twilight and Trixie had talked each other’s ears off with their own stories of adventure and magic, and both mares had eventually gone to sleep feeling rather content, despite Trixie being annoyed with Twilight teasing her about her fabricated tall tales.
In the Royal Ruffians’ cabin, things weren’t so peaceful. Naturally, Silver Spoon was still hurt after the past elimination ceremony, and ended up tossing and turning the whole night. Spike was feeling guilty about the entire situation, and he was plagued by nightmares whenever he ended up zoning out. Celestia was whimpering in her sleep, and would wake up now and then and take a glance out the window with a forlorn expression on her saddened face. Luna was possibly the only Ruffian actually having a good rest. Rainbow Dash barely got any rest, since her mind was constantly wondering who was playing Mare Do Well this time around, and how she wouldn’t rest until she found out. Fluttershy kept squeaking and twitching in her sleep for unknown reasons. Applejack stayed awake most of the night, laying on her backside and staring up at the ceiling with anxious eyes and a flustered heart.
Applejack: Ah just don’t know anymore. We had it all goin’ for us; we could do no wrong. We had team unity, passion, fightin’ spirit, and the momentum to carry us all far into this game. But, now…ah don’t know…after that elimination ceremony last night…ah reckon this team’s in trouble. Call it a hunch.
Morning came with Princess Celestia moaning and pacing back and forth in front of her cabin window. As always, the miniature princess was the first pony up, since she was used to being up early to perform her royal duty. Watching the sun rise into the sky using Discord’s rockets caused her heart to churn in pain inside of her chest; she really desired nothing more than to return to her castle and continue doing what she knew best. However, her subjects always came first, and she would not abandon them. Until she was voted out, she knew she had no choice but to remain in the game.
“We have GOT to stop meeting like this, sis,” Luna yawned, opening her eyes and giving a weak grin as she looked over at her restless big sister, “You know, if you wish to go home so badly, you could just ask this team to vote you out next time we lose.”
“No…no, that would be a cowardly move,” Celestia sighed, gently sitting down and hanging her head, forcing herself to look away from the shimmering sun, “Asking to be voted out is the same as quitting. No matter how much it hurts to see my royal duty performed for me, I will continue to suck it up and play this out for as long as fate wishes it. When it’s my time, it’s my time. Until then, I will remain.”
“You’re such a drama queen,” Luna teased, doing her morning stretches and fluttering her wings in joy, “You should be happy that you get a vacation, Tia. You are way too serious.”
“Shush, Lunacy,” Celestia grumbled, turning and stomping past her embarrassed sister.
“Very well, Trollestia,” Luna countered, casting a glare after her sister as the white princess stormed out of the cabin.
“Yo…what’s with all the racket?” Rainbow Dash asked, opening her eyes and instantly sitting bolt upright in bed, “Wait, was SHE seen again?!?!”
“Was WHO seen again?” Applejack questioned, sitting up in bed and raising an eyebrow as she glanced over at Dash, “Just what are ya’ll hidin’, Dash?”
“I’m not hiding anything! I…just had a bad dream…yeah, I’m gonna go get some breakfast,” Dash said quickly, hurrying out of the cabin after Celestia and Luna.
“Um…is it just me, or…does there seem to be a lot of tension on this team?” Fluttershy gulped, nervously brushing her mane after waking up a moment after Dash, “Applejack…are we gonna be okay?”
“We’ll be fine, Fluttershy,” Applejack reassured her yellow Pegasus friend, giving her a warm smile, “Ya’ll don’t worry ‘bout nothin’. Everythin’ will be just fine, trust me.”
“Oh…okay, Applejack…I trust you,” Fluttershy squeaked, returning the farmer pony’s smile with a weak one of her own as she headed out the cabin door as well. Spike and Silver Spoon were the last ones to wake up, leaving them alone in the cabin with Applejack.
“Hey, you two, we got a big day ahead of us,” Applejack said, trotting over and smiling at Spike and the school filly, “Did ya both have a good rest?”
“No…and why do YOU care?” Silver Spoon growled, casting an angry glare at the hayseed pony as she jumped off her bed, “Obviously, if we lose today, I’m the next one to go. Don’t bother being nice to me; there’s no point.” The filly adjusted her glasses, and with an exaggerated flip of her gray mane, she exited the cabin in a huff.
“Please don’t be mad at her, AJ,” Spike sighed, groggily rubbing his eyes, “She’s just hurting, that’s all. She IS still young, after all…well, so am I, but…something tells me that she’s had a rough life filled with high expectations. Friends and family probably weren’t a part of that.”
“Yeah…ah hear ya…” Applejack nodded, “We got rid of her classmate, her rude best friend, and the only one on our team who helped her push forward…dang it, this is really making us look like villains.”
“If we lose…do you think we could possibly save her?” Spike asked, scratching his head, “I mean…I want to win, of course…but, IF we lose…can we let her stay for at least one more day?”
Applejack dipped her head in thought at this, very hesitant to answer Spike’s question. She didn’t know what to say. In her heart, she knew that, if they did indeed lose again, Silver Spoon was clearly the next on the chopping block. If it wasn’t her, Applejack had two of her best friends in Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, she had Twilight’s #1 assistant in Spike, and she had the two princesses of Equestria. Applejack would REALLY have to be crazy to dare vote off anyone who WASN’T Silver Spoon. She couldn’t betray her best friends or the princesses of the world just to save a hurting filly that she barely knew, could she? This was just a game, and surely Silver Spoon wouldn’t take it personally.
“…we’ll see, Spike…we’ll see,” Applejack said, trotting over and opening the cabin door. She gave the dragon a little nod, and even though he looked nervous at Applejack’s cryptic words, he walked past her and out into the campgrounds.
Applejack: Who can tell ya what’s right and wrong? Shoot, ah know that ah can’t; ah’m just a little mare who works on an apple farm. What the hay do ah know about what’s really right and what’s really wrong? All we can do is follow what our hearts say…votin’ out Silver Spoon is the right choice…right?
“EEK! SOMEPONY, WAKE UP!” Rarity shrieked, cowering in the corner of her bed, “HURRY, GET UP! THIS IS HORRIBLE!”
“Ugh, Rarity!” Twilight moaned, sitting up and rubbing her forehead, “What could possibly be so important that you had to wake us up with your excessive screaming? Did you have the nightmare about losing all your hair again?”
“No, even worse!” Rarity cried, pointing a shaky hoof at the floor of the cabin, “LOOK! Just LOOK at this atrocity! Can you believe this? What FIEND would do such a thing?”
“Either shut up right now, or you shall face Trixie’s rage!” Trixie snapped, burying her face into her pillow and refusing to even lift her head.
Taking a look over the side of her bed, Twilight cast her eyes over to Rarity’s bed and eyed the wooden floor of the cabin. The sides of Rarity’s bedspread and blanket were caked with dry mud, and there were muddy hoof-prints leading from the cabin door to the white unicorn’s bed. The hoof-prints ended there, but clearly they didn’t come from Rarity. Curious as to how this could’ve happened, Twilight leaped out of her bed to examine the mud more closely.
“Interesting…very interesting,” the purple unicorn mused, “Who did this? These weren’t here last night. So, that means that somepony entered our cabin during our sleep and…vanished? The hoof-prints just seem to vanish at Rarity’s bed. Rarity, are you sure that you…”
“Twilight, do NOT even go there,” Rarity snapped, “For one, I do NOT sleepwalk. For two, even if I DID sleepwalk, I would STILL have the dignity to not trounce around willy-nilly in piles of mud. For three, those hoof-prints clearly do not belong to me.”
“Alright, alright, I get the picture!” Twilight sighed, reaching up and gently patting her unicorn friend on her left hind leg to calm her down, “Just take it easy, Rarity. Now, come down from there and…”
“NO! I cannot risk stepping in that dry mud!” Rarity interrupted, turning her nose up and crossing her forelegs stubbornly, “I demand that you clean it up and remove these bed sheets and blankets before I get down on the floor.”
“Rarity, you’re being unreasonable,” Twilight grumbled, “Besides, we’ve been through quite a few challenges already that involved getting somewhat dirty, you know…can’t you just go and take a shower in the latrines?”
“Clean…it…UP!” Rarity snarled, giving Twilight a dark expression that made the purple unicorn know that she wasn’t joking around. Almost immediately after that, Twilight gulped and gave her friend a quick nod. She quickly removed Rarity’s bed sheet and blanket, forcing the unicorn to sit on the mattress. Twilight then exited the cabin to get some rags to clean up the mess and toss the bedding items into the camp washing machine.
Twilight: Ugh, Rarity can be a real nag sometimes, I’m telling you. *speaking in a squeaky, mock voice, pretending to be Rarity* Ooh, Twilight, clean this! Eek, oh no, mud! I will NOT walk in that! Ugh, how HORRIBLE! I will not sully my beautiful body in such an undignified manner! *she hacks loudly*
“Ah, what a nice sleep!” Pinkie exclaimed, leaping out of bed and stretching her forelegs into the air, “Hey, Rarity, I totally had a dream that you were screaming and bossing Twilight around! It was so weird because it felt SO real, and I could’ve sworn that it was what woke me up just now, but that totally cannot be true, because I don’t see Twilight anywhere in here and…”
“Pinkie, please,” Rarity interrupted her, “I am dealing with a dirty catastrophe at the moment and your nonsensical playfulness isn’t helping. As you can see, some hooligan had the gull to sneak into our cabin in the middle of the night, track mud all over the floor, AND get streaks of dirt all over my bed sheets and blanket! Do you even know how traumatizing it is to wake up in such filth?”
“Now you know how Trixie feels when she wakes up and sees all of YOU each morning,” Trixie smirked, poking her head up from her bed at long last.
“Oh dear, what’s all the commotion about?” Cheerilee asked, stepping out of her own bed a moment later and immediately seeing Rarity giving Trixie a look of death, “Um…could you please fill me in?”
“Yeah, and while you’re at it, fill me in, too!” Scootaloo piped up, leaping out of her bed with her usual morning energy, “What’s all the hubbub about? Are we getting robbed? Did Discord pull something on us? Did Rainbow Dash finally come to confess her love to…a certain somepony?” She blushed at the last part, but by this point, most of the cabin had learned to not take her too seriously when she spoke about the cyan Pegasus named Rainbow Dash.
“Rarity had a very dirty nightmare that involved hooligans sneaking around and putting mud on her!” Pinkie explained, giving a big smile. Almost immediately following Pinkie’s inaccurate assessment of Rarity’s issues, Trixie began laughing her head off, Rarity’s face turned dark red, Cheerilee widened her eyes in complete shock, and Scootaloo immediately thought of Dash and had her tongue hanging out.
Rarity: Note to self: do not tell Pinkie Pie your problems so early in the morning, since you risk giving yourself a severe migraine. Not only that, but you also risk destroying your reputation. *she sighed and shook her head* I am going to have a serious talk with that pony once this is all done.
Scootaloo: *dreamily* Dash could sneak around and cover me in dirt all she wanted…yeah, we’d totally get dirty and muddy together…and then we’d have to take a bath together…which I would hate, since I don’t like baths…but, I would also love it, since Dash would be there… *she sighs in pure bliss*
“Pinkie, dear, that is NOT what my issue is,” Rarity said calmly, pointing a hoof onto the floor, “THAT is my problem. Somepony snuck into our cabin in the middle of the night and tracked mud on the floor. Twilight is being helpful and going to clean it up for me.”
“How lovely; it seems you know how slavery works,” Trixie complimented, “If Trixie recalls, that little dragon has a thing for you as well. Tell Trixie, dear Rarity…do you enjoy making slaves out of Twilight and her pet dragon?”
“Silence, Trixie, or you’ll find out what I DO enjoy,” Rarity said coldly, casting her fellow unicorn a glare.
“Ooh, a mystery!” Pinkie gasped, bouncing around the dry hoof-prints and examining them closely, “This is a job for Detective Pinkie Pie! With my knowledge of mystery books and catching Gummy stealing my cupcakes over a billion times, I promise to solve the mystery of the muddy-hoofed pony before the end of camp! Yes sir, Detective Pinkie is on the case!” She pulled a curious checkered hat out of nowhere and placed it on her head, then put on some dorky transparent glasses, and finally put a chocolate pipe in her mouth that began to blow out cotton candy bubbles. The pink pony then pulled out a magnifying glass and began to further examine the muddy hoof-prints.
“Er…Pinkie…this isn’t really necessary,” Rarity said, giving a groan of annoyance, “As uncivil and rude as it is, there’s no reason to go to such lengths just to…”
“Shh! Detective Pinkie is sleuthing!” Pinkie whispered, shushing Rarity and giving her a stern look through her magnifying glass, “In fact, at this moment, EVERYPONY is a suspect! YOU, TRIXIE, WHERE WERE YOU LAST NIGHT?”
“Trixie was at the reward dinner that her team earned from winning the challenge…the same one that YOU were at, you intolerable foal!” Trixie snapped, shoving Pinkie aside and angrily stomping towards the door, “Trixie doesn’t have to put up with such nonsense. She is going to get some dinner, and then she’s going to…” At that moment, the door to the cabin slammed open and squashed Trixie to the cabin wall behind it. Twilight stepped through a moment later, carrying a bucket of water and some rags on her back.
“I’m back! Don’t worry, Rarity, I’ll have that mess cleaned up in a…what’s going on here?” Twilight asked, seeing Pinkie’s outfit and giving a little sigh, “Oh, don’t tell me…”
“Ah-ha, returning to the scene of the crime!” Pinkie laughed, shoving her magnifying glass into Twilight’s face, “You’re walking on thin ice, Twilight! Where were YOU last night?”
“…Pinkie, I went out of the cabin to get some cleaning supplies, like Rarity asked me to!” Twilight snapped, shoving the magnifying glass away, “And I was at the reward dinner last night…the same one that YOU were at.”
“Hmm…Trixie said the same thing…suspicious!” Pinkie whispered, very slowly circling her purple friend and giving her looks of mistrust, “You’d best watch your back, Twilight…Detective Pinkie believes that your alibi checks out for now, but do not get cocky! This mystery is far from over!” She gave an insane little laugh, then bounced out of the cabin to gather more clues and harass other campers.
“Um…what…was that all about?” Twilight asked, blinking in confusion as she glanced down at the dirty hoof-prints and then back at the open door.
“Oh, just Pinkie being Pinkie, my dear,” Rarity sniffed, “Now, if you don’t mind, please start cleaning so that I might get down off this mattress. I am quite famished and I do wish to get some breakfast soon.”
“And Trixie plans on strangling a certain purple unicorn,” Trixie snarled, twitching in pain as she unpeeled herself from the cabin wall from behind the front door. While Cheerilee and Scootaloo went to assist the flat and angry Trixie, Twilight began scrubbing away the muddy hoof-prints with her bucket of warm and soapy water while Rarity watched idly from her bed.
Cheerilee: This experience has been rather…unique for me. I have taught some lovely students at the schoolhouse, but nothing compared to what I’ve dealt with on the Magical Misfits. To be perfectly honest, I kinda like it. It’s chaotic, but…it’s nice to get to know these other ponies! *she gives a smile*
Pinkie: *she yanks the toilet seat off the toilet and glares at it with her glasses* Ah-ha! The pony with the muddy hooves sat on this seat! I can smell it! This is evidence! *she puts the toilet seat in a large plastic bag, then glares at the camera* More evidence! *she steals the camera a second later*
All the remaining campers eventually wound up in the mess hall for their usual black-colored breakfast provided by Nightmare Moon. Rainbow Dash kept looking around furtively for any signs of Mare Do Well, Applejack and Spike kept glancing at Silver Spoon with worried expressions, the aforementioned filly looked glum and ready to go back to bed, and Celestia’s mane looked a mess from all her stress. Luna was giving her sister strokes on the back to try and calm her down, and Fluttershy looked very scared at the sight of her team. The Royal Ruffians looked nothing like the powerful and confident team that started off the season so strong.
“Is it just me, or does Dash’s team look a bit…different?” Twilight asked, sitting with her team and eying her opposing campers curiously, “Don’t you think they seem tired and stressed?”
“Humph, at this dump, Trixie is surprised that you ALL haven’t gone crazy,” Trixie responded, adding some salt to her scrambled black eggs, “Ugh…no amount of condiments can make THIS slop taste good. Trixie is sure that she is gonna lose 20 pounds before this game is over.”
“Poor Rainbow Dash…she looks on-edge for some reason…think she could use a backrub?” Scootaloo asked, eagerly rubbing her hooves together, “Apple Bloom said that I have magical hooves that are perfect for working out those kinks that you just cannot reach yourself, not to mention having a nice touch that is sure to soothe away your stress.”
“Are you sure that Apple Bloom said that and not Aloe and Lotus?” Rarity questioned, raising an eyebrow suspiciously at the little filly, “As I recall, you lost a bet with Apple Bloom and had to spend a week at the spa to learn how to be more elegant and creative with your hooves.”
“Hey! I totally remember Apple Bloom telling me that!” Scootaloo squeaked, her face heating up as she looked for a way out of her embarrassing predicament, “She’s the one who complimented my hooves, I swear! It totally was not Aloe and Lotus…and if they say otherwise, they are lying.”
“Lying? Who’s a liar? Somepony is lying? Suspicious!” Pinkie growled, poking her head up from under the table and glaring right at Scootaloo, “Let me see your hooves! Detective Pinkie has you in her sight!” Scootaloo gasped and quickly leaped off her seat and began racing away from the insane Pinkie, who eagerly chased after her for no reason other than to continue her game of detective.
Twilight: *sighing and rubbing the temples on her head* That may be Pinkie being Pinkie, but does she HAVE to do this NOW? On this island? With Discord and Nightmare Moon present? During a game for a million bits? Ugh…well, as long as it doesn’t make us lose another challenge.
“Hello, my eager little campers!” Discord announced, popping up in the mess hall while snacking on a jelly donut, “Mmm…grape jelly is the best, don’t you think?”
“Ooh, ooh, I LOVE grape!” Pinkie gushed, letting Scootaloo go after capturing the scared filly and bouncing up to bribe the draconequus, “Can I pretty please with sugar on top have a bite? Just a little bitty one?”
“Hmm…nope!” Discord grinned, snapping his fingers and making another donut appear in his other hand, “But, you can have this wax glazed donut instead, okay?” He dropped the fake food item into Pinkie’s outstretched hoof and began laughing his head off when Pinkie began to devour it, freaking out the rest of the mess hall and wondering where the pink pony got her pit of a stomach.
“Pinkie, dear…that’s WAX,” Rarity pointed out, looking sick, “You seriously cannot find that tasty.” Her point was made mute when Pinkie swallowed the entire fake donut a moment later and let out a loud belch of delight. She licked her lips, then smiled and gave Rarity a big hug.
“Are you kidding? Detective Pinkie just LOVES donuts, no matter what they’re made of!” the pony exclaimed, “And, that was incredibly delicious! It was juicy and thick and went down so nice. Ooh, Discord, can I please have another?”
“Sorry, my little glutton, but we have to get going with today’s challenge,” Discord said, giving Pinkie a pat on the head and gently pushing the pony towards her team, “Now, please get your squishy booty over to the Misfits so that I can explain what the lowdown is for the day, alright?”
“Okie-dokie-lokie, artichokey!” Pinkie giggled, bouncing back over to her team’s table and retaking her seat, “Detective Pinkie is ready to get it on!”
“We must all feel so lucky,” Discord mused, sarcastically shaking his head as he crossed his arms, “Okay, so here’s how the challenge for today is gonna work. To exploit…um, I mean…to BUILD your team unity and friendship, we’re gonna run a series of blind trust challenges. Every camper on each team will be used at LEAST once, and the team to win the most out of five blind trust challenges will win immunity and be safe from the vote tonight. The first trust challenge will begin right after you finish breakfast, so hurry up!”
Trixie: This is unacceptable. Forcing Trixie to rely on her teammates to help build friendship? What nonsense! Say goodbye to a win for the Magical Misfits today; there is no shot for victory with this pathetic excuse for a team. Especially not with that prissy white unicorn, that perverted filly, and…Pinkie.
Silver Spoon: *sarcastically* Oh, totally fun…we get to do friendship challenges today. This so cannot be happening to me…Discord is doing this on purpose! *she glances down, remains silence for a moment, then sniffs and shakes her head* Diamond Tiara…despite everything you did…I really miss you.
“Okay, the first blind trust challenge will be preparing a potentially deadly meal using poisonous mushrooms as the base of the entrée,” Discord explained, randomly floating around the mess hall as Nightmare Moon pulled out a table with an assortment of food laid out upon it, “One teammate will have to carefully prepare the dish using only their intelligence to try and remove the poison from the mushrooms, since it IS possible. The mushrooms are actually rather scrumptious when the poison is taken away from it. The other teammate will be the one to actually taste the food. If both teams have their eaters turn out fine, it’ll be a tie. If one gets sick or goes into a coma, the other team wins.”
“Discord…that sounds horrifying!” Twilight gasped, “How could you even THINK of doing such a thing? Not everypony here can cook, you know! And I highly doubt that any of us know about removing poisons from a mushroom…well, besides me of course.”
“Which is precisely why YOU’RE not going up for your team in this one,” Discord smirked, wagging his finger at Twilight, “That would WAY too easy. Let’s see…from the Magical Misfits, we’ll have Scootaloo and Rarity. From the Royal Ruffians, we’ll have Spike and Silver Spoon. Pick your cookers and your eaters very carefully; it could be a life or death outcome!”
“DISCORD!” Celestia snarled, trotting over and slapping the host on his thigh, since it was as high as she could reach. In response, the tiny princess promptly got another bucket of water dumped onto her head and was quickly sent packing back to her scared team.
“Um…Scootaloo…I don’t really…have experience in this,” Rarity gulped, looking down at the deadly mushrooms on the table and trembling in fear, “PLEASE tell me that Cheerilee has taught you fillies culinary arts.”
“Er…sure?” Scootaloo grinned, giving Rarity a fake reassuring smile. Rarity, in turn, put her hoof to her forehead and collapsed onto the floor.
“Great…Spike, which one do you want to be?” Silver Spoon grumbled, clearly not thrilled about being paired with the dragon, “It doesn’t matter either way.”
“What’s that supposed to mean? Of course it matters!” Spike snapped, giving the filly a gentle pat on the back, “Look…I trust you, alright? You go ahead and prepare the food. I know you can do it.”
Silver Spoon gave Spike a shocked look at this, and peered at him closely, as though expecting him to laugh and admit he was lying a moment later. Spike never did; he just continued to smile as he sat down at the table and prepared for Silver Spoon’s dish. Scootaloo tried to poke Rarity’s limp body, but the fashion body was old cold. When Discord ordered both fillies to get to work, they knew that they had no choice. They just hoped that their dish wouldn’t kill their teammate.
Scootaloo: Okay…maybe Miss Cheerilee HASN’T given us a culinary arts class yet…BUT, I know that I can do this! Yeah, I messed up with the dessert in our last challenge, but I totally had this. I just had to remain cool and remind myself how awesome I am; be as confident as Rainbow Dash!
Silver Spoon: Diamond and I sometimes baked sweets together…when we were alone and having slumber parties…so, I suppose I have a bit of knowledge when it comes to cooking. I just hope that my dish doesn’t kill Spike…that would surely get me voted off, and would disappoint Zecora for sure.
Each filly got 30 minutes to prepare their dish in the kitchen of their previous challenge the night before. Scootaloo was making a mushroom salad while Silver Spoon was creating mushroom soup. Scootaloo was very nervous and really had no idea how to remove the poison properly from the mushrooms, so she took a wild guess and just chopped them up into itty bitty pieces and separated each pile. Hopefully, her illogical solutions were the correct way to go about this. Silver Spoon found a separation machine in her team’s side of the kitchen, used to separate the juices from foods. When she stuck the mushrooms into it, she watched as one side of the funnel at the bottom was filled with a murky green liquid and the other side got chopped mushrooms. She hoped that all the poison was drained.
“Alright, my little fillies, please present your dish to your teammate and we’ll commence the tasting!” Discord announced after the half-hour was up and Scootaloo and Silver Spoon trotted out of their respective kitchens with their dish balanced perfectly on their backs. Scootaloo set her mushroom salad in front of a scared Rarity, and Silver Spoon set her mushroom soup in front of Spike.
“Scootaloo…PLEASE tell me…that all the poison is drained,” Rarity shivered, poking at her plate of salad with the same horrified eyes, “I CANNOT be poisoned; do you know what it would do to my physique?”
“Uh…the poison is all drained?” Scootaloo said meekly, which didn’t seem to help Rarity’s fear at all.
“This looks great, Silver Spoon!” Spike smiled, hovering his nose over the steaming bowl of soup and taking a deep inhale, “Mmm…it smells heavenly! Sure, there’s probably no gems in there, but this still looks great! I just know you did a good job.”
“Why are you being so nice to me?” Silver Spoon asked, extremely curious, “I could’ve easily failed and you could be in for a lot of pain in a second. Besides, I thought you hated me and Diamond Tiara.”
“Enough chatter! Begin the tasting!” Discord said, poking the back of Spike and Rarity’s heads.
“Okay, okay,” Spike grumbled, slapping Discord’s hand away and slowly gripping the spoon hanging out the side of the soup bowl, “Here goes nothing.” Swishing the spoon around inside the bowl, Spike watched the reddish soup rotate in a circular motion. Bits of mushrooms, herbs, and other veggies compiled the rest of the dish. When Spike slowly lifted a spoonful of the stew out of the broth, he could almost taste the added spices as the heat raised the aroma to his nose. His mouth began to water as he quickly shoved the spoon right into his mouth and swallowed almost everything on it immediately.
The mess hall stayed silent as everyone waited to see if Spike would be alright, or if he would be pushing up daises anytime soon. The dragon clenched his eyes shut and braced himself, but the moment he swallowed down the warm and tasty soup, he knew that there was no way that it was poisoned. Silver Spoon was nervously watching nearby, and when Spike opened his eyes and gave the filly a thumbs-up for approval, she smiled and adjusted her glasses in the way she usually did when relieved.
“I told ya that you could do it,” Spike said, giving Silver Spoon a big hug, “I never doubted you for a minute, Silver Spoon.” Silver Spoon could only blink in shock at this, not knowing what to do. She wanted to hug Spike back and tell him thank you, but she felt so awkward doing so. This was so new for her, since only Zecora had shown any interest in her up to this point.
Spike: Twilight taught me that when you show a little love and compassion, your confidence will soar and you’ll feel like you can do anything. *he smiles sheepishly* I’ll admit I was SLIGHTLY nervous about possibly being poisoned, but…as you can tell, Silver Spoon isn’t as useless as this team thinks.
“Save the mushy, gushy stuff for later, please,” Discord pleaded, “Now, it’s Rarity’s turn.”
“Well, if that little drama queen can whip something up just fine, then there’s no doubt in my mind that Scootaloo can do the same!” Rarity smiled, all of her fear suddenly vanished as she dug her fork into her salad and got a big forkful of lettuce and diced mushrooms, “Bottoms up, everypony!” The pretty white unicorn stuffed the morsel of salad into her mouth, chewed twice, and swallowed.
The affect was immediate. Almost instantly upon having the food vanish down her gullet, Rarity’s eyes shot open and she dropped the fork. Her chest began to heave in and out. Her face began changing from red, to orange, to yellow, to green, to blue, and then to purple. She opened her mouth and shrieked as she clutched her throat. The rest of the mess hall watched in horror as the fashion pony soon turned into a zombie pony when her entire body changed to an ugly bluish green tint and her face stayed purple. She collapsed a moment later and twitched on the floor.
“Ooh…looks like Scootaloo failed to come through in the clutch…well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!” Discord snickered, “Looks like the first blind trust challenge goes to Spike and Silver Spoon and the Royal Ruffians!”
“DISCORD, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!” Twilight screamed, rushing up and looking at one of her best friends apparently dead and zombified, “IS SHE SERIOUSLY…SERIOUSLY…NO, THIS CAN’T BE!”
“Do not worry! Spike is here!” Spike called out, quickly rushing over to his downed princess and instantly beginning to give her CPR. The dragon didn’t care at all what color Rarity was or how terrible she looked; there was nothing that he wouldn’t do for her. He was even resisting actually giving her some full-out kisses while he pressed on her chest and tried to bring her back to life. Oddly enough, Rarity had stayed breathing the entire time she had collapsed.
“Oh, stop your whining,” Discord sighed, rolling his eyes, “Those mushrooms weren’t REALLY made of poison; do you really think I would do something like that? They were simply filled with a special type of non-poisonous toxin that will turn you into a zombie for an hour. Pretty cool, don’t you think?”
“W-w-w-wait, what?!?!” Spike shrieked, looking down at his beloved Rarity and turning pale, “M-m-my precious Rarity is now a z-z-z-zombie?!?!” Almost as if on cue, Rarity slowly opened her eyes and stared up at Spike with a dead expression. Her once beautiful blue eyes were now a dull gray, and she was giving Spike a rather hungry look.
“Brains…Rarity craves…brains…” Rarity moaned, speaking in a listless and spooky voice, “Rarity…must have brains…to decorate…and make fashionable.”
“RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!” Pinkie screamed, pulling out her detective’s hat and putting it on her head, “ZOMBIE RARITY IS GONNA MAKE OUR BRAINS ALL PRETTY-LIKE! THE HORROR OF IT ALL!”
Along with Discord, the entire mess hall quickly emptied out, with Pinkie hurryingly pulling out some planks of wood and some hammer and nails to seal zombie Rarity inside of the building until she turned back to normal. Spike was clearly traumatized and had to be consoled by Fluttershy, while Rainbow Dash and Trixie were both nearly having heart attacks from laughing so hard. Scootaloo looked very guilty, Cheerilee looked very nervous, and Twilight looked absolutely dumbfounded on the sudden turn of events. Not only were they now down a teammate, but they were also behind in the challenge.
Rainbow Dash: BWAHAHAHAHAHA! RARITY IS A ZOMBIE! SCOOTS ACTUALLY TURNED HER OWN TEAMMATE, PRIMA DONNA RARITY NO LESS, INTO A ZOMBIE! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! WOW, WHAT AN EPIC FAIL! *she grins and wipes a tear from her eye* But…mad props to the squirt; that was AWESOME!
Rarity: *drooling as her zombified form stared blankly into the camera* Urg…must have…brains! Rarity…demands brains…right now! So many brains…so little time…they must be…beautified!
“Okay, with the Misfits down a member and down a challenge, let’s see if they can step it up!” Discord said, leading the two teams into the forest, “Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous stallion that could use a bow and arrow to nail an apple on any head in the universe, and from any distance?”
“But of course,” Twilight spoke up immediately, “That would be Stallion Tell, a truly amazing archer with a love for apples and archery. One of myth, I believe.”
“Apples, eh? Sounds like mah type of guy,” Applejack chuckled, not noticing the slight glare she received from Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash: Oh, come on! What does AJ see in a guy who can shoot arrows at apples that sit atop ponies’ heads? LAME! If AJ should like anypony, it should clearly be a Pegasus who can fly as fast as a billion arrows whooshing through the sky! Kinda like me! *she blinks a bit* Wait…why did I say that?
“Very good, my cute little egghead,” Discord smirked, speaking in a mock babyish tone as he pet an annoyed Twilight on the head, “Indeed, Stallion Tell was an archer who shot arrows at ponies’ head. Kinda a weird hobby, but what can ya do? Anyway, we’re gonna relate that tale into our second blind trust challenge.” He walked over to Spike for a demonstration, setting an arrow on his head, pointed forward, before floating backwards and holding up a slingshot. He then put on a blindfold and pulled out a juicy red apple.
“Uh…Discord…I don’t think this is how it was done,” Twilight said, but was ignored as Discord blindly fired his apple with his slingshot. Unfortunately, his aim was well off, and he ended up nailing Spike in the crotch instead of the head with the apple.
“GAH! NOT…THERE!” Spike squeaked, collapsing in pain as he clutched his groin, “THAT…HURTS!”
“Aww, nuts!” Discord whined, lifting his blindfold to see that he missed his intended target, “Stupid blindfold…stupid apple…bah, stupid everything! Oh well. For this, we’ll have Scootaloo try to redeem herself with Cheerilee, while both princesses try their hooves at this for the Ruffians.”
Cheerilee: Of course, I wouldn’t think of trying to hurt Scootaloo…so, I bravely chose to be the target. Besides, the younger you are, the more adept you are at playing games…right? I’m sure that’s right. *she taps her chin and puts on a frown as she thinks about it* Um…or was it the other way around?
Luna: Oh, fun! Of course, I immediately volunteered to be the archer…or, apple-launcher. *she puts on an evil, mischievous little smirk* When am I gonna get the chance to hurl apples at my sister ever again? Do not think I’m not gonna TRY and win, but… *she giggles* …ooh, this is gonna be fun!
“Okay, we’ve got a blindfolded Scootaloo aiming for the arrow on Cheerilee’s head, while a blind Luna aims for her sister Celestia’s arrow,” Discord explained, snapping his fingers and having his cloud hammock appear, “So, let’s get this blind Stallion Tell shoot-off going. Begin!” The spirit of disharmony relaxed back in his hammock as both blind ponies tried their best at the strange challenge.
Cheerilee and Celestia both stood a few feet apart with arrows on their heads, while a blindfolded Scootaloo and Luna faced them with 20 feet away. Both ponies were sitting on their haunches while awkwardly holding wooden slingshots in their front hooves. Beside them sat a barrel of fresh apples, so fresh that they were still as hard as rocks. When Discord told them to start, Luna immediately found her barrel and loaded an apple into her slingshot. It took Scootaloo a moment to blindly grope around for her barrel, and by the time she managed to get her first apple, Luna had already fired off two of the red fruits. Unfortunately, both of them struck Celestia right in the face and missed the arrow.
“OW! OUCH! A bit higher, sister!” Celestia called out, twitching in pain as she wiped a few pieces of apple off her face. Scootaloo’s first apple completely missed hitting Cheerilee at all.
“Aim a bit more left, Scootaloo!” Cheerilee called out, “And slightly higher! Just stay calm and focus; we believe in you!”
“Everypony except Rarity, that is,” Trixie snickered from the sidelines. Luna grabbed three more apples in her hoofs and fired them all off at once, but once more all three missed the arrow on her sister’s head and smacked her in the face yet again.
“OW! OW! OW! SISTER, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!” Celestia screeched, rubbing her sore eye and glaring angrily over at her blind sister, “You’re blind, not stupid! Did you even hear what I told you?”
“Do not worry, dear sister, I got this!” Luna called back, loading apple after apple and continuing to miss badly each and every time. Since Celestia kept yelping in pain and soon ended up clenching her eyes shut to try and levy the pain, she failed to notice the big grin on Luna’s face.
“Ouch…a bit higher, dear!” Cheerilee cried out, wincing a bit as Scootaloo hit her in the forehead, “You’re almost there! Just raise your left foreleg up an inch…yes, that’s it!” Scootaloo stuck out her tongue and fired one more apple and successfully ended up striking the arrow off her teacher’s head thanks to a perfect shot.
“It looks like we have a winner!” Discord laughed, floating over and patting Scootaloo on the back, “Nice bounce-back, kid. Now, it seems that the Misfits and Ruffians are all tied…huh?” The draconequus noticed that Luna hadn’t stopped firing apples at her sister, despite what Discord just said.
“OW! OUCH! OW! SISTER, STOP! IT’S OVER! OUCH!” Celestia shrieked, having already knocked the arrow off her head as she attempted to defend herself against the barrage of fruit, “SISTER, YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS! OUCH!” Two apples had already gotten stuck to her horn, but Luna didn’t stop until her entire barrel was empty.
“Hmm? Oh, sorry, sis!” Luna smirked, pulling off her blindfold and giggling a bit, “I was…how do you say…locked into the moment. I couldn’t hear your cries of pain. Did we lose? Oh…well, better luck next time, right?”
“This…will not go…unpunished…” Celestia moaned, wobbling back and forth in severe pain as Discords were dancing in front of her eyes, “Ugh…even when woozy…I get tortured…I deserve better.” She collapsed a moment later, and Nightmare Moon had to trot over to retrieve the downed princess and take her to the infirmary.
Scootaloo: I had that in the bag the whole time. Oh, and Rainbow Dash was watching too, right? So, she saw me do that, right? Sweet! *she flexes her invisible muscles and tries to puff out her chest*
Applejack: What a waste of good apples…what a tragedy. Ah reckon ah’ll never see another horrifyin’ day for apples in mah entire life. *she takes off her hat and holds it to her heart* How sad.
“Okay, so now the score is tied with one win for each team,” Discord announced at the location of the next challenge, “Who’s gonna take the edge into the fourth challenge? Well, we’re gonna find out right now! In this challenge, your blindfolded teammate will be on a small platform 30 feet off the ground, overhanging a pool of jellyfish. The non-blindfolded teammate will swing back and forth from a trapeze, and will have to tell their blindfolded teammate when to jump. If the timing is good and the trust is there, the blindfolded teammate will be safely caught. If not…well, let me just say that jellyfish stings REALLY hurt.”
“Aww, but jellyfish are so squishy and cute,” Fluttershy purred, “They’re not so bad…um, that is, if you’re very, very careful with them.”
“Well, my dear, since you like them so much, YOU can do the challenge with Spike!” Discord grinned, “And for the Misfits, let’s go with Trixie and Pinkie.”
“Yay! Trixie, can I PLEASE swing from the trap-thingy?” Pinkie begged, grabbing Trixie and giving her a crushing hug, “Please, please, please, please, please, please, please?”
“GAH! Let…Trixie…go…and you can do…whatever…you want!” Trixie gasped, trying to push the earth pony away from her.
Fluttershy: *trembling in fear* Um…I don’t…really want to do this. I don’t want to swing back and forth from a trapeze…or jump blindfolded off a platform…it’s too scary… *she cuddles up into a ball*
Trixie: Ugh, of all the lousy pairings, Trixie has to be paired with that dimwitted Pinkie Pie! Curse that Discord for ruining Trixie’s day even more than it already was! *she growls in irritation*
Fluttershy was eventually convinced to be the blindfolded camper on the platform when Spike gave her a hug and reassured her that he would catch her. Trixie was the blindfolded camper for the Misfits, mostly due to Pinkie’s begging and fear of getting another squishy hug by her. Since they lost the last challenge, the Royal Ruffians got to go first on the trapeze. Fluttershy nervously used her wings to fly up to the platform, where Discord scared her by popping up behind her and blindfolding her all in one motion. The draconequus then teleported Spike onto the overhanging trapeze that lay overhead the pool of swarming jellyfish.
“Okay, Spike, start swinging,” Discord commanded, “Call for Fluttershy to jump whenever you want. Oh, and Fluttershy? No using your wings to slow your descent, or you’re disqualified. And remember, if Spike misses you, you get to go for a dip with over two dozen jellyfish just ANXIOUS to give you some very, very, very painful and stingy hugs.”
“Um…the hugs part…d-d-doesn’t sound so bad,” Fluttershy whimpered from her platform. But, from her shaking, it was clear the little Pegasus was very scared. Spike was gonna have to work for this. Getting the rope in motion, Spike hung upside down from his feet and began to swing back and forth. Staring down into the pool of jellyfish, he gulped and shivered when he imagined how painful it would be to land in there. It would be like falling into a pool of electricity.
“Okay! Fluttershy, I’m gonna count to three!” Spike called out, hanging onto the trapeze with his feet tightly as he looked up at the trembling Pegasus, “As soon as I shout ‘three’, you jump, okay?” When he got a weak nod from Fluttershy, the little dragon began to time the swinging of the rope. “Okay…one, two…THREE!” He held out his arms and looked up, but Fluttershy remained frozen on the platform.
“No surprise there,” Rainbow Dash muttered from the ground, “That silly Fluttershy is scared of her own shadow…Spike is REALLY gonna need a miracle here.”
“Ugh, Fluttershy!” Spike groaned, his timing thrown off as he continued to swing back and forth, “You NEED to trust me! Look, Fluttershy, I’m your friend, okay? Remember when I trusted Silver Spoon and believed in her? Well, I believe in you, too! Just jump off and reach out with your forelegs; I promise that I will catch you. If not, then we’ll drop together into the pool to play with the jellyfish; you won’t have to be alone, alright?” This time, he received a somewhat more affirmative nod from Fluttershy, and the dragon tried again. “Okay...again…one, two…THREE! JUMP, FLUTTERSHY!”
With a very loud squeak of fear, Fluttershy leaped off the platform just as Spike reached out with his arms on the trapeze’s rotation towards the yellow Pegasus. The timing was perfect, as Spike managed to grasp Fluttershy’s hooves with his clawed hands and he didn’t let go. Fluttershy’s blindfold flew off as she stared up at Spike in shock and terror, but was greeted by the dragon’s happy grin of approval, not to mention the sound of her cheering teammates below. They had successfully completed their part of this trust challenge, not to mention the team’s second overall, both thanks to Spike.
“Told ya that you could trust me,” Spike smirked, winking down at the Pegasus he was holding. In response, Fluttershy blushed slightly and simply gave a little giggle.
“Nice work, Spike,” Discord commented, clapping nonchalantly from the sidelines, “Your second successful trust challenge. Now, can Trixie and Pinkie duplicate that? Let’s find out!”
Spike was brought down from his trapeze, now snuggling up with the affectionate Fluttershy, while Pinkie and Trixie took their places. Trixie demanded that she blindfold herself, going so far as to slap Discord when he attempted to sneak up on her like he had Fluttershy. Pinkie had somehow gotten up onto the trapeze all by herself and was already swinging back and forth wildly and having a ball. She was waving down to the jellyfish and squealing in joy as she swung even faster. This didn’t really sit well with the azure unicorn sitting up blindfolded on the platform.
“Well, girls, it’s your turn!” Discord yawned, “Whenever you’re ready, Pinkie.”
“Okie-dokie!” Pinkie smiled, glancing up at Trixie as she continued to wildly swing from her trapeze, “Hey, Trixie! Jump off! Let’s swing together!”
“WHEN does Trixie jump off?” Trixie called down, “You have to tell her WHEN!”
“Oh, right…tee-hee, of course!” Pinkie laughed, “Okay, when I shout ‘JUMP’, that’s when you jump!” She failed to notice the little nod that Trixie gave. “Now, let’s test it first, to make sure you hear me. JUMP!” Unfortunately, when Pinkie shouted out “JUMP”, her trapeze was far across the other side of the pool. Trixie was confused, but when Pinkie shouted out the go-ahead word, she took a flying leap off the platform. She kept falling when Pinkie was nowhere near her.
“YOU STUPID PONY!” Trixie shrieked as she plummeted blindly towards the pool of jellyfish, “TRIXIE WILL DESTROY YOU FOR THIS! YOU WILL SUFFER MOST…” The unicorn then splashed down into the pool and instantly began to shriek in pain as the jellyfish swarmed over her. The aquatic creatures instantly began to latch onto the pretty unicorn and started to zap her with their painful limbs, each one sending more and more shocks of pain jolting through Trixie’s body.
“Aww, you totally messed that up!” Pinkie scolded, crossing her forelegs and huffing as she glared down at the screaming unicorn in the pool, “I said that was a TEST! Now you’re being hugged by the jellies.”
“Ouch…THAT looks painful!” Discord laughed, “How deliciously delightful! Nice one, Pinkie. But, this round goes to the Ruffians. Nightmare Moon, I think you have another patient.” While the Ruffians cheered and the Magical Misfits winced as they watched their teammate struggle against the jellyfish, Nightmare Moon trotted out again. She used her magic to pull Trixie from the pool, then continued to use her magic while yanking all the jellyfish off her body.
“Trixie…is gonna…destroy that pony…” Trixie twitched, moaning and collapsing a moment later.
Spike: Yeah, it feels good being the reason your team is up 2-1. I mean, how can you not trust this face? *he makes a cute and over-exaggerated face at the camera* The ladies just can’t resist the Spike. This cutie of a dragon is loved by all, admired by females, and males wish to be him! Ah, it feels good.
Pinkie: I think Trixie is mad at me. Do you think she’s mad at me? I totally think she’s mad at me. I’ve kinda picked up on her mannerisms. When she wants to strangle you, her left eye twitches. When she wants to destroy you, her right eye twitches. When both eyes twitch…ooh, scary stuff there!
“Trust challenge #4 also has to do with rope, but it’s even harder than the last one,” Discord continued, leading the team over to another area of the camping grounds that he had set up with an insane trust challenge, “One teammate will be blindfolded and have to walk across a 20-yard tightrope, once again 30 feet in the air and over a large 20-yard pool of jellyfish. The tightrope isn’t a straight line, though. It goes left, right, backwards, and it even has obstacles in the way! The non-blindfolded teammate will be on the ground and have to call out orders on which way their blindfolded teammate has to go. In other words, they have to be good at giving directions. This is gonna be good, but to make it fair, I’ll pick the two most perfect teammates to do each job. For the Ruffians…Applejack and Rainbow Dash. For the Misfits…Twilight and Trixie.”
“Trixie THOUGHT you said the PERFECT teammate!” Trixie snarled, instantly casting a dirty look at Twilight, “This is the exact opposite!”
“It’ll be okay, Trixie,” Twilight smiled, “If you like, I’ll let YOU be the caller this time, since…being blindfolded didn’t exactly go so well for you with Pinkie.”
“Humph…very well, Sparkle,” Trixie grumbled, “Trixie shall call out directions for you, but if you fall, it will be your own fault!”
“Ugh…sure, Trixie, whatever you say,” Twilight sighed, not bothering to point out the fact that, since Trixie is the caller, it would technically be HER fault if she dropped.
“Um…Dash?” Applejack muttered, poking her distracted friend, “Ya’ll seem to really have somethin’ on yer mind. Would you like to be caller while ah walk the tightrope?”
“Hmm? Oh, right…sure, whatever,” Dash shrugged. She had been too busy looking around the area, since she had the strange feeling that Mare Do Well was watching her. But, if that was true, how could Applejack be there? Dash was pretty sure it was her, but seeing that the farmer pony was standing right beside her, she might be wrong.
Twilight: Don’t get me wrong; I WAS concerned about being blindfolded and having Trixie call out directions for me. Trust me, I know that she was just dying to make me fall into a pool of jellyfish. But, if we lose this challenge, we lose the whole thing, and Trixie loves winning more than hurting her team.
Applejack: Yeah, ah know that Dash is way more nimble than ah am and she’s not so hot with givin’ directions, but by lookin’ in her eyes recently, she looks so lost and dazed…somethin’ is really eatin’ at her mind, so havin’ her walkin’ blindfolded along a tightrope wasn’t a good idea.
“Okay, Twilight is now on the platform with her blindfold on and Trixie is ready to direct her!” Discord announced, “On your mark…get set…GO!”
“Sparkle, walk forward ten paces…be careful now!” Trixie called out, glaring up at the tightrope and quickly mapping out the best route, “Good…okay, now turn to your right and now go another five paces. Easy, easy…that’s it…good…okay, keep going…now, stop! Turn to your left…yes, that’s it…six paces forward…now, take another right. You are halfway there, Sparkle!”
Twilight nervously kept trotting along the tightrope, obeying Trixie’s directions as best as she could. Deep down, she had a slight fear of heights, and being blindfolded wasn’t helping matters. The fact that she was a pony and had to very awkwardly move her hooves along the rope was also a handicap. She was sweating so badly that she felt that she would slip off at any moment. But, Trixie’s harsh voice kept her locked in and kept her moving. Trixie didn’t want to lose; she wasn’t going to purposely foul Twilight up, when clearly it would make her be voted off next. Both unicorns knew what was at stake.
“Now, take two more small paces forward…now, step over the plank that is on top of the rope and you are home free!” Trixie continued to call out, “Easy, Sparkle, easy…yes! Now, go left and just keep going forward until you reach the platform! Yes…yes…YES!” The unicorn grinned when she saw her rival successfully reach the other side of the tightrope obstacle course.
“Twilight and Trixie successfully score for their team!” Discord called out, “Very impressive. Good balance on your part, Twilight, and great direction-giving, Trixie.”
“Did you expect anything less?” Trixie smirked, watching as a giddy Twilight was teleported down to the ground by Discord, “Well done, Twilight Sparkle. You followed Trixie’s directions perfectly. You would make a good student.”
“Why do you think I’m the student of Princess Celestia?” Twilight said proudly, giving Trixie a little hug, “Thanks for not purposely making me fall…deep down, I know you wanted to.” Trixie was shocked by the sudden display of affection, either from the joy of winning or perhaps something else, but she gently pushed the purple mare away and just gave her a little smirk.
“Indeed, Trixie considered it…but, she would much rather win than watch you get stung to death by those nasty little monsters,” Trixie explained, glaring at the pool of jellyfish, “Since Trixie herself went through it, she would not wish it on anypony else.”
“Well…still, thank you,” Twilight whispered, continuing to smile at the other unicorn. The two looked at each other for a long time, ignoring Applejack getting up onto the platform and being blindfolded.
Trixie: Sometimes, Twilight Sparkle will give Trixie these weird looks that really vex her. What do you suppose goes on inside of the empty head of hers? *she scratches her chin curiously* Do you suppose she’s trying to get Trixie to let her guard down? Humph, like that would work…stupid Sparkle.
“Okay, it’s our turn? Cool, time to rock this!” Rainbow Dash smirked, glancing up at her blindfolded teammate and instantly getting right into it, “Okay, AJ, go straight! Yeah, just keep moving forward. Okay, there’s some kinda box thing in front of you…just leap over it. Whoa! Hey, watch it, you almost fell off! Watch your balance, you silly mare! Now, go left…no, right! Geez, watch it!”
“Dash, if ya’ll can’t learn yer rights from yer lefts, yer hopeless!” Applejack snapped from up on her tightrope, nearly falling off for the third time, “Which way do ah go now?”
“Um…left! Yes, go left!” Dash squeaked, feeling somewhat flustered at Applejack getting mad at her, “Just go left and…wait, what?” The Pegasus stopped and gasped when she saw a flicker of movement far towards the forest of the camp. Poking her head out from behind one of the trees was a familiar mask and hat that instantly made Dash’s blood boil. Mare Do Well.
“Uh…Dash? Hello?” Applejack called out, now standing in the middle of the tightrope without hearing any directions, “Hey, Dash? Which way do ah go now?”
“Wait…if Applejack is up there…then, who is…?” Dash whispered, looking over towards the head poking out from behind the tree, then back up at the orange mare, “Whoa…it’s not…Applejack?”
“DASH, WHICH WAY DO AH GO?!?!” Applejack screamed, beginning to lose her balance.
“W-w-what?!?! Uh…right?” Dash said, whipping her head back and forth between Mare Do Well and Applejack, “W-w-wait, no, I meant left! LEFT!” But it was too late. Applejack had tried to take a step to the right, but there was nothing there but open air. The pony instantly yelped as she plummeted from the tightrope and splashed down into the large pool of jellyfish a moment later. Applejack then learned just what Trixie had gone through, only double. When the guilty Rainbow Dash looked back to where Mare Do Well had been, she discovered that she was gone.
Rainbow Dash: Darn it! Mare Do Well totally messed me up! She distracted me! That’s cheating! But…Applejack can’t be in two places at once…right? I was sure it was her! Discord said that he doesn’t purposely interfere with challenges, so it couldn’t be his trickery…who IS Mare Do Well this time?
“Dash…ouch! You rotten…ouch…little brat!” Applejack growled, kicking a jellyfish stuck to her tail back into the pool as she limped over to the Pegasus, “What the hay happened to you? What distracted ya? It had better be good, or else yer gonna get a heavy beatin’.”
“Um…well…you see, AJ…it’s just that…yesterday…and today…I saw Mare Do Well!” Dash blurted out, “And I REALLY thought that it was you, since it seemed like you were so mad at me recently, but I just saw her a moment ago, so…it couldn’t have been you…right?” Applejack looked at Dash for a long time, dripping wet and looking both annoyed and confused. Slowly, her confusion began turning into anger, and eventually rage.
“That tears it, Dash!” Applejack frowned, wrapping a foreleg around Dash’s neck and pulling her along, “Ah’m gonna give ya the beatin’ that ya needed a good few days ago!”
“W-W-W-WAIT! AJ, I’M T-T-TELLING THE TRUTH!” Dash squeaked, kicking and screaming as Applejack dragged her along, “YOU’VE GOTTA BELIEVE ME! I DON’T DESERVE THIS! NOOOOOOOOO!” Since both teams had been away from Rainbow Dash and Applejack, on the opposite side of the pool, they failed to hear what Rainbow Dash had revealed. They could only all stare in confusion as Applejack angrily dragged her teammate away for a beating.
“Hmm…well, while Applejack takes her anger out on Dash, we’re going into the last blind trust challenge all tied up,” Discord explained, “That means that whoever wins this final part of the challenge will win immunity for their team and be safe from elimination. Ooh, the pressure is on! Are you all excited?”
“Not really,” Spike grumbled, “My precious Rarity is a zombie, Dash and AJ are fighting again, and Princess Celestia is knocked out in the infirmary.”
“Let’s make this last run interesting then,” Discord smirked, “I’ll pick the most unlikely of combos to do the final challenge, and we’ll just see who comes out on top.”
Rainbow Dash: *twitching in pain after having been brutally beaten up by Applejack* Owwww, this seriously hurts…man, AJ is so rough with me…can’t she EVER cut me a break? I really did see Mare Do Well both times, really! Maybe she’s just mad that I blamed her for it…but, still…owwwww!
Applejack: *angrily* Shoot, if Dash had just spoken up earlier, this wouldn’t have happened. Plus, she blames ME for bein’ Mare Do Well? She should know better than that! Why can’t she learn to trust me? Ah would never do that to her! Ah do believe her…but, the question is…who’s behind the mask?
“Okay, this is the final blind trust challenge,” Discord said, leading both teams to a large hill, “Two members from each team will have to ride a sled all the way to the bottom of the hill to the finish line. The rider in front will be blindfolded, which means the rider behind will be responsible for once again giving directions on which way to turn the sled to avoid obstacles. And, as I said, I’ll pick the worse pairs possible, to make this as fun and chaotic as possible! So…hmm…let’s have Twilight be with Pinkie, and Luna go with Silver Spoon!”
“Oh no…” Silver Spoon whimpered, looking up at the lunar princess, “This isn’t fair at all…”
“Do not worry, my dear filly,” Luna smiled, giving the schoolgirl a pat on the head, “If you’d like, I will be the one blindfolded so that you may give directions.”
“Okay…I’m much better with that…less pressure…” Silver Spoon agreed, taking a deep breath and shaking her head. Deep down, she WASN’T a lot better with that idea. She knew that, if she and Luna lost this race, it was clear that she was going home. She and Spike may have won the first challenge, but this was for all the marbles. Lose this and you’re out seemed to be the way to think.
“Yay! I get to ride with Twilight!” Pinkie gushed, squeezing the nervous purple unicorn and nuzzling her, “Isn’t that so cool, Twilight? We get to ride down the hill together! It’ll be just like in winter, only without all the snow. Can I be the blindfolded one this time?”
“I was actually hoping you would be, Pinkie,” Twilight admitted, “I…think I’d be better at giving directions. No offense, of course.” But Pinkie wasn’t really listening to Twilight’s slight insult; she was too busy bouncing up and down and thinking about how fun it was gonna be rushing down the hill with one of her best friends snuggling up behind her back.
Silver Spoon: I was going to be riding behind our own Princess Luna…and giving her directions. And, if we lose, I’m going home. Yes…no pressure at all…absolutely no pressure. And this feeling inside of my tummy? It’s not happening…nope, so not happening… *she whimpers and rubs her stomach*
Pinkie: It’s so super-duper awesome that I get to ride with Twilight! She’s such a cool pony; I’m so glad that she’s my friend. *she shyly looks down at the floor* I really like her a lot, you know? She’s like the perfect mare that any mare would want! Ooh, but don’t tell her I said that, okay? Pinkie swear!
Discord teleported Twilight, Pinkie, Luna and Silver Spoon up to the top of the hill, where two toboggans were waiting for the four ponies. After blindfolding Pinkie and Luna, the two eager ponies sat down at the front of their toboggans. Twilight and Silver Spoon both glanced at each other, each pony clearly showing nerves that they didn’t wish to disclose to their partners. With a silent nod of good luck to each other, they took their respective seats behind their chosen blindfolded teammate.
“Tee-hee…aww, Twilight, you’re so cuddly,” Pinkie giggled, wiggling in her seat as Twilight put her hooves around the pink pony’s middle, “Don’t you worry; we’ll win this race! There’s nothing that Pinkie cannot do!”
“I love your confidence, Pinkie, and I…wait, what was that first part?” Twilight asked, giving a confused look at the blindfolded pony. Thankfully, the purple unicorn couldn’t see the faint blush on Pinkie’s face.
“Prepare yourself, young Silver Spoon!” Luna shouted, nearly going back into her loud Canterlot voice, “We are about to fly…down this hill! Try to hold on tightly and speak your directions loud and clearly!”
“Y-y-yes, P-P-Princess…” Silver Spoon whimpered, her hooves so sweaty that they were nearly slipping off the princess’ waist. Her glasses were nearly slipping down her face as well, due to her constant shaking and trembling.
“Well, good luck to you, ladies,” Discord chuckled, placing a finger from each of his clawed hands on the backs of Twilight and Silver Spoon’s heads, “Oh, and you MAY experience a bit of…turbulence…on your way down. Just a warning. Anyway, see you at the bottom!” He gave a gentle push with his two fingers and that was all it took to put the two toboggans into motion.
Luna: *speaking philosophically* Ah, being blindfolded yet again, being enveloped in the darkness that joins me every evening, having everything on the line for this game, feeling the rush of the wind as we fly down the hill on a…what was it called? Oh, right, a toboggan. Wait…now where was I?
Twilight: With Pinkie listening to my directions, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, she can be a bit flighty, pun not intended, but she’s still a dear friend and I knew that I could trust her. *meekly* At least, that’s what I thought…this WAS still Pinkie Pie…owner of a pet alligator…and a party cannon.
“PINKIE, RIGHT!” Twilight screamed, her hooves tightening around Pinkie’s middle, “LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT! RIGHT AGAIN! TREE BRANCH, DUCK!”
The unicorn was peering over Pinkie’s left shoulder the entire time, giving her directions on which way to move the toboggan. Pinkie’s front hooves were on the front of the sled, and when Twilight gave her a direction, she yanked the front of the toboggan in that direction. When she was told to duck, she quickly ducked her head. Despite her usual display of silliness, Pinkie was actually taking the fast ride down the hill very seriously. Twilight’s hooves tightening around Pinkie’s middle was also spurring the earth pony on to do her best, too; the blush on her muzzle was proof of that.
“R-RIGHT! N-NO, LEFT! Y-YES, LEFT! PRINCESS, QUICK, RIGHT! THERE’S A ROCK, JUMP IT!” Silver Spoon shouted, close to falling off the sled yet again. She was hugging Luna so tightly that she was scared the night princess was gonna get annoyed, but Luna continued to drive along without a care in the world. She was having too much fun, her mane blowing in the wind behind her and nearly blinding Silver Spoon when it got in her face.
All of a sudden, a huge explosion shot out of the ground only inches away from where Silver Spoon and Luna’s toboggan had hit. The fiery blast took out a huge chunk of the hill and sent a shower of grass, dirt and tiny boulders into the air. Before the twosome could question what happened, the same thing nearly befell Twilight and Pinkie as well. Soon, explosions were happening all through the downward trip on the massive hill, forcing even extra directions from the horrified Twilight and Silver Spoon.
“THEY’RE LANDMINES!” Twilight shrieked, glancing over at Silver Spoon and Luna, “PRINCESS! SILVER SPOON! WATCH OUT! DISCORD MUST’VE BOOBY-TRAPPED THE HILL!”
“Hee-hee…Twilight said booby…” Pinkie giggled, giving a little sigh as she felt Twilight’s hold tightening even more on her.
“DO NOT WORRY, TWILIGHT SPARKLE! YOU HAD JUST BETTER BE PREPARED TO LOSE!” Luna called back, her carefree attitude not at all dampened by the landmines, “SILVER SPOON, ARE WE ALMOST THERE?”
“Y-Y-YES…THE FINISH LINE…WE’RE ALMOST THERE!” Silver Spoon gasped, “W-W-WE’RE GONNA WIN!”
Indeed, thanks to Pinkie being forced to veer her sled away from a tree and around a large boulder, Luna and Silver Spoon had taken the lead. As long as a landmine didn’t take them out, there was no way they could lose. There was a clear shot right to the finish line where both teams were waiting, along with Discord and Nightmare Moon. Silver Spoon smiled in joy, realizing that her days in the game weren’t about to end just yet. She and Luna were gonna win and she’d get another day to stay on the island and prove her worth. They were only 10 yards away…five yards away…one yard away…and then a final landmine went off.
“Whoa! Total wipeout!” Scootaloo gasped, watching as Luna and Silver Spoon’s sled was completely destroyed and both ponies were sent hurtling through the air.
“And more like a total fail, too!” Trixie laughed, “Only mere feet away from the finish line! Oh, what a cruel mistress fate is!” She watched in joy as Pinkie and Twilight both crossed the finish line a moment later, while Luna and Silver Spoon, along with their destroyed toboggan, crashed down nearby.
“PINKIE AND TWILIGHT WIN FOR THE MAGICAL MISFITS!” Discord cheered, removing the blindfold from Pinkie and smiling at the two ponies, “Wow, what a ride! It shames me that I had to waste my precious landmines to try and take you ponies out…but, it was totally worth it. At least I got two of you.”
“P-Princess! A-are you alright?!?!” Rainbow Dash gasped, instantly racing over to check on the flaming Luna, “That was a horrible crash! Kinda cool, actually…but still horrible!” Spike was the only one who ran to check on Silver Spoon instead; everyone else on the Ruffians was concerned with the princess.
“Wow…that was…how you modern-day ponies say…a blast!” Luna laughed weakly, sitting up with her ruffled mane and scarred body, “But…we lost? Dang…I guess that means…”
“That’s correct, my dear princess,” Discord interrupted, “One of you Ruffians is going home tonight. soon, both teams will have only six players left. I will see you all at the elimination ceremony. You have the rest of the day to heal up and get ready. Until then, ta-ta!” He gave a little wave and vanished a moment later, leaving Nightmare Moon behind.
“Rarity should be back to normal by now, as should Celestia,” Nightmare Moon sniffed, clearly uninterested in explaining such boring matters, “If you wish to see them, they’ll be waiting for you back in the infirmary…and I’m guessing the mess hall.” With that, she took to the air with her wings and flew back to camp.
“WE WON! WE WON! YAY!” Pinkie cheered, twirling Twilight around so quickly that the unicorn was lucky to not get sick. Soon, the entire Magical Misfits team joined in, even Trixie. This was their second win in a row, and third in their last four. They were playing great, and the six of them really felt like a team. Each pony on the Misfits had a smile on her face that was bright enough to light up a room.
Scootaloo: I totally knew that we were gonna win. The six of us are unstoppable! Just you wait and see; we won’t lose another challenge from here on out. I just hope they don’t vote out Dash…I’m gonna be so sad if they do! I would take her place if that happened…really, I would! *she blushes*
When the two teams got back to camp, they found an angry Celestia and a dizzy Rarity waiting for them. Celestia immediately began giving Luna a heavy scolding on not listening to her or obeying orders and what would become of such treason; Luna tuned most of it out. Rarity had no idea what had happened, and when she inquired about it with her team, they found it best to not get into it; all they said was that they won the challenge, which was more than enough to make Rarity happy. Everypony was not happy, however. The entire Royal Ruffians team was mostly unhappy, but none more than Silver Spoon.
“I’m…I’m going for a walk…” Silver Spoon muttered, turning away from her team before they could really ask anything. The little filly quickly moved in the direction of the beach, leaving her team behind and looking at one another with somewhat sad expressions.
“So…we’re all in agreement then?” Celestia said calmly, trying her best to maintain her composure, “As much as it feels wrong…Silver Spoon goes tonight?”
“Yup…most logical choice,” Rainbow Dash shrugged, “There’s really no other choice; I’d say that issue is a done deal. I’m going for a fly; I need to stretch out my wings…since Applejack beat them up pretty good a while back.” She cast the hayseed pony a glare, then took to the skies.
“I’m going to go watch my sun fade behind the mountains…” Celestia mumbled, trotting away towards the forest, “Come, Luna…I still have much to scold you on.”
“Yes, yes, dear sister…Trollestia,” Luna whispered, holding a hoof over her mouth as she stifled her giggle. She gave a little wink to a nearby confused Spike who happened to hear, then trotted after her sister.
“It always hurts to lose…ah know this ceremony is gonna be the worse yet,” Applejack said, giving Fluttershy a glum look, “Just doesn’t feel right, but…what can we do?”
“Well…um…I could always just vote for myself…you know, so I wouldn’t have to…vote for Silver Spoon,” Fluttershy said, but after getting a frown from Applejack, she squeaked and shook the thought from her head. Spike was left staring after Silver Spoon, his hands clenched into fists and a determined look on his face.
Spike: No way was I gonna let this happen! All the fillies in the game are gone, except for Scootaloo and Silver Spoon. We took away Silver Spoon’s best friend and then her NEW best friend. Yeah, I voted for Zecora, but…well, it’s time to make a stand. I won’t let Silver Spoon be voted out!
“Hey, Applejack? Fluttershy? Can I speak with you two?” Spike said firmly, looking at the earth pony and Pegasus and putting his hands on his hips.
“Sure, Spike…what about?” Applejack asked. The dragon walked over and pulled the two girls close to him, then began to whisper something to the two of them. The more he talked, the wider their eyes got, and the more stunned looks they began to give Spike. When the dragon was done talking, he just gave them a nod and then turned to go and see Silver Spoon.
Fluttershy: *trembling and whimpering* I…I couldn’t…I couldn’t do THAT…it wouldn’t be right…I would get in such big trouble…I could get my home taken away! Or…or I could lose all my animals. Or even worse…I could lose my friends! But…but…it’s just a game…right? That’s…all it is…correct?
Applejack: Shoot, that Spike is one shrewd little dragon! Ah never knew he had such devious thoughts inside of his head. He does bring up a good point…but, is it truly fer the best? Ah have a big decision to make tonight…one that will show what type of pony ah really am. *she dips her head low*
Spike found Silver Spoon sitting on the beach, almost in the same place that Twilight and Trixie had sat in a few nights before. The filly was tossing pebbles into the sea and idly digging another hole in the sand. This was gonna be her last time sitting on this beach. It was true that they had only been there a little over a week, and it was also true that she didn’t need the money, due to her rich inheritance. But, all the same, she still felt really sad. To Silver Spoon, it felt like she was just being singled out because of her age and size, and it hurt. All she wanted was one more day in the game; one act of generosity.
“Hey…how you doing?” Spike asked, casually sitting down beside Silver Spoon.
“You again? Let me guess…it’s me, right?” Silver Spoon asked, poking at her glasses and crossing her hind legs into a pretzel. When she saw Spike give a sad little nod, the filly just sighed and shook her head. “Yeah, I figured as much. I guess this is just my fate, being a filly and all. I guess that I just started too late, too…once a bully, always a bully. I was stupid for thinking I could change.”
“That’s not true, Silver Spoon,” Spike frowned, inching closer to the filly and gently placing a clawed hand on her back, “You HAVE changed, for the better! It’s beautiful, too. I really like how nice you’ve become. You’ve let me see a new you…a side I never knew. Well, I really didn’t know you BEFORE we came into this game anyway, but…as of this moment, I’m really glad that I DO know you, Silver Spoon.”
“Well…thanks, I suppose,” Silver Spoon muttered, glancing sideways at Spike and giving a frown, “But, why are you even bothering? You know it’s gonna be me tonight…you knew ever since Zecora’s name was read off and she left on the Boat of Losers. The entire team knew it. Why do you care about making friends with me now? Where does it get you?”
Spike stared into Silver Spoon’s eyes, looking past her glasses and locking onto her violet pupils. Silver Spoon was one of the few ponies he’s seen that wears glasses. Behind the specs, he finally saw just how beautiful her eyes were; she had the same color eyes as Twilight and Trixie. Being this close to her, Spike could really see how ALL of Silver Spoon was beautiful. She wasn’t a bully. She wasn’t just some random pony who no one cared about. HE cared about her, but what he couldn’t explain was WHY. It was something that he COULDN’T explain.
“It gets me nowhere, okay?” Spike stated matter-of-factly, moving so close that he finally draped his right arm around the filly, “I know that it doesn’t. Even if you DO go tonight, I wanted you to know that…I like you, and you’re not alone in this game.”
The words struck Silver Spoon right to the heart. Hearing those three simple words, “I like you”, made her catch her breath and feel her heart pound. Did he mean THAT kind of “like”? No, he couldn’t. She wasn’t stupid; she saw how Spike was always after Rarity and always willing to please her. Sure, maybe he WAS more her age than Rarity’s, but so what? But…hearing him say that she wasn’t alone in the game…it made her heart flutter even worse. Was he mocking her? And why was his arm draped around her back? What WAS this?
“…what…are you trying…to say?” Silver Spoon whispered, slowly looking straight forward at Spike and getting a good look at his own chartreuse green eyes. She suddenly felt very nervous, and she couldn’t understand why. She had never felt this way before, and she didn’t really like new feelings that she couldn’t understand.
“What I’m trying to say is…vote with me tonight…and I promise that you will not go home,” Spike said honestly, using his other arm to pull Silver Spoon into a full-body hug, “If my promise is broken…then I’ll do whatever I can to pay for it. But, Silver Spoon, I give you my word that you will NOT go home tonight. I won’t allow it.”
Silver Spoon couldn’t find her words; they were locked inside of her throat and refused to come out. Her heart was beating even faster as she was pulled into the reptile’s arms. Despite being covered with scales and a tough hide, Spike was…unusually very warm. Behind held by a boy was another unusual thing that had never happened to Silver Spoon before in her life. Her parents had raised her to be proper and regal, but never really gave her much love. Diamond Tiara never actually ever hugged her, either. Cheerilee gave her a hug now and then, though. But, this was the first time a boy had ever held her. It felt…good. It was a new feeling…but she liked it.
“…Spike…” she whispered, and she closed her eyes. She didn’t care about the promise. All she cared about was having somebody to hold her. Somebody to tell her she wasn’t alone. Somebody to tell her she wasn’t just a bully and that she was more. Somebody…to love her.
Spike: The cards are in place. I’ve done all I can. It’s up to Applejack and Fluttershy now. Please, girls, do the right thing…please, I’m begging you. *he fiddles with his tail in a shy way* I don’t want to be a liar…but, more than that…I want to show the love that Twilight has shown ME my entire life.
The bonfire’s flames lapped at the sky as the Royal Ruffians trudged into the ceremony area. Discord was waiting, reading a book involving something with the use of cupcakes, but when he saw the team make their way into the wooden bleachers, he tossed the book into the fire and gave a wide grin. He enjoyed seeing confusion and uneasy looks on the faces of the campers; it usually meant for a more interesting elimination ceremony. Plus, the viewers always did love the suspense.
“Welcome, Royal Ruffians, to your fourth elimination ceremony,” Discord announced, “After tonight, both you and your rival team will have even numbers again at six players each. We saw highs and we saw lows during the trust challenges today. We learned what trust IS…and what it is NOT. How will that affect the voting tonight? Ooh, I cannot wait to see! Shall we get right into it? Applejack, as always, you get to start first.”
Celestia: *showing the camera that she voted for Silver Spoon* It really does hurt to vote off my subjects and teammates each time, but…this IS just a game, after all. *she puts the ballot in the box*
Luna: *showing the camera that she voted for Silver Spoon* Please forgive me, my dear filly. You were a fun rider, but…it is for the best of the team. Nothing personal. *she puts the ballot in the box*
Rainbow Dash: *showing the camera that she voted for Silver Spoon* It was just a matter of time. Once a bully, always a bully. I never did trust you that much, little filly. *she puts the ballot in the box*
Spike: *he writes down the name of who he wants to get voted off, but folds it up too quickly for the camera to see who it is* Well, Twilight…are you watching me? Watch my big move tonight!
“And…with Spike’s vote tallied…we have them all!” Discord smiled, snapping his fingers and having the ballot box appear, “Once the votes are read and a majority is reached, the decision is FINAL. The eliminated camper will be sent down the Dock of Shame and be forced to board the Boat of Losers. They will be taken away and they CANNOT come back to the island…not ever, ever, EVER! If we’re all ready, I shall read the votes.” He popped the lid off the ballot box, reached inside, and pulled out the first slip.
“First vote…Silver Spoon,” Discord said, showing the first ballot to the Royal Ruffians’ with Silver Spoon’s name on it. Silver Spoon herself just sighed and hung her head.
“Second vote…Silver Spoon. That’s two votes Silver Spoon.”
“Third vote…Silver Spoon. That’s three votes Silver Spoon.”
“Fourth vote…” Discord paused, looking slightly amused at the night that was written down, “…Luna. That’s three votes Silver Spoon, one vote Luna.” The Royal Ruffians looked a bit shocked and gave Silver Spoon a few choice looks, since it seemed that the only non-vote for her was directed at the princess.
“Fifth vote…” Discord said, pulling open the fifth ballot. Here, the Ruffians fully expected Discord to say that Silver Spoon was voted out and that a majority was reached. The unthinkable happened. “…Luna. That’s three votes Silver Spoon, two votes Luna, and two votes left.” The Ruffians were even more in shock. Someone besides Silver Spoon had voted for Princess Luna?
“Sixth vote…Luna. That’s three votes Silver Spoon, three votes Luna, and just one vote left.” By now, the entire team of Ruffians was beyond stunned. THREE members of the team had dared vote for a princess? Luna herself looked shocked while Silver Spoon looked stunned.
“Eighth loser of Total Magic Pony Island…” Discord announced, pulling out the final ballot and slowly opening it. As he saw the name written upon it, his eyes shot wide open and his jaw dropped. He clearly was not expecting this, and the entire world of Equestria wouldn’t be either. He slowly flipped the ballot over to show the name to the team. “…Princess Luna. My dear princess…who is much better than your troll of a sister…with four votes, you are hereby eliminated…as shocking as that sounds. It is now time for you to go.”
The Royal Ruffians were in a state of horror at the moment. Applejack and Fluttershy both tried to avoid looking at Luna. Celestia looked like she had just been stabbed in the back with a machete. Rainbow Dash looked completely and utterly confused. Silver Spoon looked like she was about to cry in joy. Spike had his arms crossed with a proud smile on his face. Luna herself, while looking stunned at first, slowly began to get a grin of her own on her face.
“Oh…so, it is ME that is going home?” Luna spoke, standing up and still smiling, “Well…that is quite shocking…did you all change your minds? Hmm…well, you know that? That is just fine with me! In fact, I’m rather HAPPY that I got voted off!”
“Well, I’m not,” Discord growled, “Do you even realize how bad this will hurt my ratings now that you’re gonna be gone? All I have left is your sister to torture! And why in the world are you HAPPY, woman?”
“For three reasons, actually,” Luna chuckled, glancing at her team and still smiling, “First, I have no need for the million bits. I have all I could ever wish for being a princess of Equestria with my dear sister. Being here was just a fun little adventure and a learning experience, but I never expected to win. Second, I’m proud that my team changed their minds and decided to not vote for young Silver Spoon instead. The fact that I am a princess does not make me better than anypony else. Silver Spoon did not deserve to go, and while I did vote for her, I am glad that my royal lineage didn’t come before what was right. Third…I get to go home and reclaim my duties of raising the moon, whereas my dear sister STILL won’t be able to reclaim HERS of raising the sun! Ah, the…what’s it called? Oh, yes, the IRONY! She’s been wanting to go home SO bad to get back to her duties…alas, it is I who is going home and not her.”
“Ooh, what a speech before you go!” Discord grinned, “Not bad, not bad at all! Cameras, are you getting all this?”
“Fare thee well, Royal Ruffians and my sister!” Luna laughed, trotting past Discord and heading for the Boat of Losers, “This has been quite fun, but it’s time I get back to raising the moon…it’s REALLY an important job, you see…I just don’t know WHAT I’d do if I went another day without performing my duty. I daresay that spending 1,000 years on the moon drove me absolutely CRAZY when I didn’t get to perform my duty.”
“W-W-W-W-WAIT JUST A SECOND HERE!” Celestia screamed, finally finding her voice, “YOU CAN’T DO THIS! SISTER, I DEMAND YOU GET BACK HERE AT ONCE! HOW DARE YOU!”
“See you later…Trollestia!” Luna giggled, hopping onto the Boat of Losers and giving a mock wave to her enraged sister, “Have fun seeing your sun raised in the morning!” She raised her head into the sky and laughed hard as the boat began chugging away from the island.
“NOOOOOOO! THIS ISN’T FAIR! LUNA, YOU…YOU…YOU WILL PAY!” Celestia cried, dropping down onto the ground and throwing a fit, “LITTLE SISTER, YOU WILL SUFFER DEARLY!”
“Oh dear…seems somepony is having a temper tantrum,” Discord mocked, “Must be your young age. Don’t worry; I hear that you grow out of that when you get older.”
“Uh…can somepony PLEASE fill me in on what the hay just happened?” Rainbow asked, still in the dark. She watched as Applejack and Fluttershy both giggled, then simply turned and trotted away back to their cabin for a well-earned sleep. “Hey! AJ, Fluttershy, get back here! Let me in on it! What happened? C’mon, girls, be real with me!” The blue Pegasus quickly followed after them, leaving only Spike and Silver Spoon behind.
“Heh…what did I tell ya?” Spike grinned, giving Silver Spoon a thumbs-up, “I told you that I would…” However, his little speech he had planned was never spoken. During the next moment, Silver Spoon had given the dragon a warm smile before quickly moving her face towards his and planting her lips right on his, silencing him. Spike’s face lit up instantly, turning crimson as he was kissed on the lips for the very first time. This wasn’t who he had been expecting to be the first to kiss him, but it made it no less enjoyable. As he felt the filly’s soft lips press into his own rougher ones, all he could think about was how happy he was and how happy he had made Silver Spoon.
“Ooh, would you look at THAT!” Discord gushed, pointing to the two kissing Royal Ruffians, “Cameras, get that! Hurry, get a close-up of that! Do you KNOW how big romance is? This is gonna make the ratings skyrocket! I changed my mind from what I said earlier. Luna might be gone, but things have never been better! In fact, things are only gonna get better from here on out; count on it!”
Silver Spoon had never kissed anyone before, and she wasn’t expecting HER first to be a baby dragon. But, she had no regrets, and it felt amazing. Feeling Spike’s hands hold her tightly as they kissed, stroking up and down his back with her hooves as she snuggled into him, feeling his tongue softly lick and wrap around hers as they pressed in a little harder with their locked lips. Silver Spoon’s glasses were beginning to steam up and slide down her face, but she didn’t care. The only thing she cared about at that moment was Spike. He was right. She WASN’T alone anymore. No matter what happened from here on out, she didn’t care. Zecora said that it would all be worth it, and she was right.
Finally breaking the kiss, Silver Spoon gave Spike a playful little grin. She gently pushed herself out of his arms, then gently bumped him with her rump as she trotted past him. When the dazed dragon glanced back at her, he saw her motion with her head back towards camp, indicating for him to follow her. Putting on a cliché stupid grin, the lovesick dragon slowly walked right after the filly, his tail sticking straight up in the air in a rather risqué way.
“Well, how was THAT for an ending?” Discord asked, facing the nearest camera and giving a wink, “Bet you all didn’t see THAT coming, did you? Princess Luna got voted off, Pinkie revealed a little something in the confessional about a certain mare, Applejack and Rainbow Dash went at it yet again, Mare Do Well showed up and angered our favorite Pegasus, and Spike saved Silver Spoon from elimination and won something valuable in return: her heart. Makes you wonder what Rarity will think about all of this…can you say ‘love triangle’? Ooh, this is gonna get GOOD! Make sure all of you stay tuned in for the next episode of Total…Magic…Pony Island! See you all later!” He snapped his fingers and was gone, but the episode wasn’t quite done just yet.
“YOU WILL SUFFER DEARLY FOR THIS, YOU EVIL BRAT!” Celestia continued to scream, standing on the edge of the Dock of Shame and shaking her hoofed fist into the night, “I WILL SEND YOU RIGHT BACK TO THE MOON FOR ANOTHER 1,000 YEARS! HOW DARE YOU MOCK ME! HOW DARE YOU TAKE BACK YOUR DUTIES BEFORE I CAN! WHEN I GET AHOLD OF YOU, I’M GONNA SPANK YOU SO HARD THAT YOU WON’T SIT DOWN FOR…” Thankfully, a summoned bucket of water soon drenched Celestia’s head, the bucket itself slamming down onto her head as well to silence her. The cameras faded as Celestia’s twitching body sat forebodingly on the dock.