“Twilight, what are we going to do tonight?”
“The same thing we do every night, Luna: watch anime!”
Three ponies: Twilight Sparkle, Molestia (spirit name: Luna) and Berry Punch gathered in the basement of Ponyville's library. The guests, Luna and Punch, sat down on the couch, while the host, Twilight, walked towards a huge TV set and inserted a disk into a player.
“What series is this?” asked the fuchsia-colored earth pony.
“This is the uncensored version of Death Scroll, all 37 episodes. I think tonight we manage to get through at least 18 of them,” answered the librarian.
“That's great, I've always wanted to see it,” joyfully exclaimed Berry Punch.
“I've already seen this series, but woe! Only the censored version! There's a lot of details I'd love to see,” added Luna.
“Okay, it's starting now. Move aside, I wanna sit in the middle.”
The screen went black, and from the speakers a voice could be heard:
“This world... ponies of this world... are rotten...”
Sweetie Belle was bored.
She was sitting in her cage for several weeks now, she had read all Bon-Bon's comic books, and she was full. A plate with two dandelion sandwiches stood next to her, but she had no appetite.
She tried yelling to get her captors' attention. Unfortunately, Lyra never showed up, and Bon-Bon failed to provide her with some fresh entertainment. She had a choice of re-reading all Arsène Lupony III series, or doing nothing. And she already knew that series so well, she could quote large parts of it, verbatim.
The young unicorn had it enough. The anger was building inside of her for last few days. She suddenly stood up on her hind hooves, and threw her forelegs in the air, yelling “Oh come on!”
The cage jumped up.
Even though Sweetie Belle had never had any formal training in physics, she knew that a cage jumping like that, when the prisoner didn't get their hooves from the floor, was somewhat suspicious. She again rose to her hind hooves, this time much slower, and pushed the ceiling with her forehooves.
The ceiling rose. Sweetie Belle took a look at the place where the floor joined with the bars.
It didn't join. The cage consisted of the floor and the ceiling with bars attached. The bars were not attached to the floor at all.
Feeling shame for not figuring this earlier, the unicorn pushed the cage bars and tripped the upper part of the cage over.
She was free, standing on a huge rectangular board, that was supposed to be the cage floor. Smiling widely, she began to sneak upstairs.
Luckily for her, Lyra was nowhere in sight. On the couch in the living room, however, Bon-Bon was sitting, playing Pony Haystation. She was wearing headphones, so Sweetie Belle couldn't hear game's sound effects.
The filly started to sneak towards the door, trying to avoid Bon-Bon's line of sight. She was already half-way between the exit and the basement door, when the white mare turned around and saw her.
Sweetie Belle froze in shock.
Bon-Bon waved to her.
Sweetie Belle waved back.
Bon-Bon turned back to the TV screen and continued playing.
Sweetie Belle immediately galloped outside and directed herself towards the outskirts of Ponyville.
The sun was setting over Ponyville. Sweetie Belle was galloping for at least ten minutes. She could barely catch her breath. She stopped and looked around. She was already outside the town borders. On the horizon, she could see a familiar hut. It was her sister's cult headquarters, or less formally – Fluttershy's house. She trotted happily in its direction.
Soon, the filly arrived to the entrance. She knocked two times. The door opened, revealing a yellow pegasus.
“Oh hello, Sweetie Belle,” said Fluttershy. “I'm so glad you came.”
“Fluttershy, you must help me!” Sweetie Belle pleaded. “They're gonna look for me, you have to hide me!”
“Oh of course I will. I've just got this new recipe for summoning spell, I need one virgin to sacrifice, and I think you'll be perfect. What do you think?”
Without waiting for an answer, Fluttershy trotted to the kitchen, searched drawers for a knife, grabbed it with her teeth, and came back to the door.
“Oh, she's gone...”
Bon-Bon was almost done. Only few seconds and she'd finish this level...
A strong blow to her head broke her concentration, her game character misjumped and fell into a pit full of upright spikes. Somepony tore headphones from her head.
“She escaped!” Lyra's voice answered her.
“No, she didn't! She escapes one level later, I read a walkthrough!”
“I'm not talking about your stupid games!” Lyra yelled angrily. “I'm talking about Sweetie Belle! She escaped from the cage!”
“How's that possible? It was an Acme Moderately-Escapable Cage!”
“I don't know! All I know is that's she gone now!”
“If you say so...” Bon-Bon thought for a moment. “Now I remember seeing her. I waved to her and she waved back.”
“So what are you waiting for? Go find her!” the green unicorn tried to push the white mare off the couch.
“Yeah, I'm going, I'm going. Sheesh!”
Bon-Bon mumbled some swearwords and left the house. Lyra sat down on the couch, put on the headphones, grabbed the controller, and started playing.
Sweetie Belle decided that Fluttershy's hut was not the best place to hide from Lyra and Bon-Bon. When she was walking through the Ponyville, she decided to try the next best place. When she saw it, she slowed down and stopped before the door. She knocked three times.
The crimson pegasus thought to himself: ‘I can't appear too confident, because if I do, he'll think I'm trying to conceal the fact that I'm Killer. Let's proceed slowly.’
“So, Night, can I really trust you?” the black unicorn asked.
Night moved towards the unicorn, pinning him between himself and a bed.
“If you can't trust me, who's left?”
The unicorn, known to his teammates only as M, smiled and seductively whispered to pegasus's ear: “Nopony else. Only with you I can catch Killer and make him pay for his crimes.”
Night smiled and gently laid M down on the bed. “I want him caught as much as you do,” while thinking to himself: ‘Just as planned.’
“This scene was heavily censored. I'm so happy I can see in in its whole glory!” exclaimed Luna.
“This version was expensive, but sure it's worth it,” replied Twilight.
“Shouldn't we wake Berry Punch up? She'll miss the best part.”
“Nah, it's her fault she got drunk too fast.”
“If you say so... Oh, look at his stallionhood!”
Two mares looked at the TV screen, trying not to blink, with their mouths drooling, and Celestia knows what else wet.
They suddenly heard a triple knock to the door. Twilight grabbed the remote with her magic, pressed ‘Pause’ button, and asked angrily:
“Who the hay can it be at this hour?”
She trotted upstairs, only to see Spike open the door, revealing a very tired white filly.
“Rarity's sister! What are you doing here?”
“Help!” Sweetie Belle tried to catch her breath. “You must hide me! Lyra Heartstring's a robot, she kidnapped me and locked in her basement.”
The librarian rolled her eyes.
“Riiiight, sure. Come in. We're watching Death Scroll downstairs, wanna join?”
“Hey, you told me I'm too young for this stuff, and now you're proposing it to her?” protested Spike.
“Spike, you're a straight male, you wouldn't like it,” she explained.
“Sure, a basement is fine. It's not like I spent last few weeks in one,” replied the filly.
Twilight, failing to understand Sweetie Belle's sarcasm, smiled and showed her the way. The little unicorn went downstairs, greeted Luna, and sat down next to her on the couch.
“Twilight, do you think it's okay for her to watch this stuff?” the alicorn asked with concern.
“Why not? She's a grown filly, she already got her horn.”
“But foals have horns from birth.”
Twilight didn't answer and smiled mischievously instead.
Two stallions stood next to each other, their necks joined by an iron chain. The crimson pegasus asked:
“Is this really required, M?”
The black unicorn answered:
“Yes, Night. I really want to prove you are not Killer, so I thought if we can't be separated, I can keep an eye on you all the time.”
“I'm glad you say so,” replied Night. “But isn't this chain too long?”
“What do you mean?”
“If you really want to keep an eye on me,” the pegasus drew near, “we should be really, really close.”
“Like friends? I...” The unicorn stumbled over his words. “I think you're my first real friend...”
“More than friends!” The pegasus nuzzled M's neck seductively. “Let me show you.”
Berry Punch was snoring in the corner. Twilight and Luna were watching this juicy scene without blinking, drooling heavily. Only Sweetie Belle sat quiet. She has already read all volumes of Death Scroll and the anime adaptation wasn't very interesting for her. The only novelty for her were THOSE scenes, but the filly was still to young to understand and appreciate them fully. The mares were enjoying themselves though.
Suddenly, a loud knock came to the library door. Twilight paused the video, groaning loudly:
“Who the hay is it now? Don't ponies see that the library is closed?”
Sweetie Belle reacted to the knocking, too. She exchanged looks with Luna, while putting her hoof to her mouth, and quickly hid in a closet that stood in the corner. Luna looked puzzled, but didn't say anything. Instead, she turned around to see what Twilight was doing.
The librarian opened the door and saw three little fillies.
“Good evening!” the fillies greeted her.
“Good evening, Applejack's sister, Rarity's sister, and... um... the third one! What are you doing here?”
While the orange pegasus filly kept pulling porcupine needles out of her wing, the yellow earth filly answered:
“We're crusadin' for our cutie marks, as always! We wanted to ask if ya know how to git a cutie mark related to jellyfish!”
Twilight stood dumbfounded for few seconds, and finally replied, smiling:
“I have no idea.”
“Okay, so we git goin'! G'bye!”
The fillies galloped away in direction of the Sweet Apple Acres. Twilight closed the door, turned around to return to the basement, when unexpectedly somepony else knocked. Annoyed vehemently, she opened the door and saw a white earth mare. She couldn't remember her name, but she remembered that that mare once kept watering the same patch of flowers for three hours straight.
“Uhm, hello? Have you seen a white unicorn filly?”
“Sure, she went that way.” Twilight pointed her hoof in the direction where Cutie Mark Crusaders went. The mare thanked her and galloped away. The unicorn closed the door and sighed with relief. Then it suddenly struck her.
Was Rarity's sister watching Death Scroll downstairs with them, or was crusading outside with those two fillies?
‘Twilight, you're getting crazy! It's all Berry Punch's fault! You shouldn't drink so much, it's her bad influence.’
She trotted to the bathroom to refresh herself. She leaned forward, supporting her forehooves on the sink, and glared into the mirror. She saw a drunken and tired mare, with eyes red from watching TV. She shook her head and washed her face with cold water. It helped: she instantly felt better.
When she returned, Luna said to her:
“The filly came out of the closet!”
“Oh, I didn't know. If she prefers fillies—”
“I'm not talking about—”
“I should've shown her some yuri anime. I think I still have all four seasons of Celestia-sama ga Miteiru. Do you think she'll like it?”
“Cele-mite? I'm not sure... Maybe we should check it out first, I've heard a lot of good things about that series.”
“Yeah, we totally should check it if it's suitable. Next week?”
“Deal. But we need to finish Death Scroll first. Press play, I can't wait to see what happens next!”
“When I think about it, it would be pretty weird if somepony from the street just came in here now and saw the video paused on an hoof-drawn, fully erect–”
“Press play already!”
The lone unicorn filly ran through Ponyville, looking for next safe place to hide from her captors. She suddenly saw light in one of the buildings. She slowly approached it and heard a joyful polka coming from the building. She knocked four times.
Three young fillies, strolling in the night on the streets of Ponyville, were discussing what were they going to do next morning. They walked towards the Sweet Apple Acres, where one of them lived. When they reached farm's gate, they stopped to exchange their last words tonight.
“So we still have no idea what to do with jellyfish?” asked the pegasus.
“Jellyfish cutie mark: not found,” added the unicorn.
“If not jellyfish, then Ah think we can come up with some good idea tomorrow.” the earth filly suggested.
“I hope it will be a better idea than today's,” burst the pegasus.
“It's not mah fault! If ya could fly, ya wouldn't have any problems with those porcupines!” protested the earth filly.
“Oh yeah? If you're so smart, we didn't you try for herself?”
“Ah didn't because Ah didn't want to git mah ribbon dirty! Mah sister would've killed me if Ah destroyed mah ribbon!”
“Oh, so you're scared of your sister?”
“No, Ah'm not!”
“Yes, you are!”
“No, Ah'm not!”
“Yes, you– Wait... where's Sweetie Belle?”
The fillies looked around, only to see that there were only two left of them. In the distance, they could see a sillhouette of a running mare, carrying something on her back.
Pinkie Pie opened the door and saw a unicorn filly standing outside.
“Hello, kid! You're one of Apple Bloom's friends, aren't you?”
“Miss Pinkie, you need to help me! Robots want to kidnap me!”
Pinkie drew closer to Sweetie Belle and looked deep into her eyes.
“That's what a robot would say.”
Sweetie Belle protested:
“I'm not a robot! The other me is a robot!”
“That's even more like something a robot would say.”
Sweetie Belle went silent. Pinkie Pie noticed this and cheerfully invited the filly inside.
“Don't worry, kid, everypony was accused of being a robot at least once. Or a gypsy. It's no big deal. Come in.”
The unicorn filly entered the bakery and noticed it was dark inside. The only source of light happened to be in a room in the back. Pinkie Pie trotted slowly to the light, stopping once or twice to check if Sweetie Belle followed her. She indeed walked slowly behind her. The pink mare opened the door, blinding the filly with the light. When her eyes got accustomed to new conditions, Sweetie Belle saw a crib with two babies.
“Aww, babies! Are they yours?” she asked.
“Nope!” answered Pinkie. “I'm theirs.”
Sweetie Belle froze in shock. Did she understood it right?
“Wait, are you saying...”
“Yep, they're my parents.” Pinkie turned to face the foals. “Aren't they cute?”
She turned back to see how Sweetie Belle would respond, but the filly was nowhere in sight.
“This again... Everypony whom I tell about my parents runs away. Why would they do that?”
“I got her!” Bon-Bon yelled from the doorstep.
Lyra paused the game she was playing, got off the couch and trotted towards the door to see the results of Bon-Bon's search. She saw her henchpony carrying a white unicorn filly on her back. The filly suddenly said:
“Hey, what for?” asked Bon-Bon, massaging the place of her head where Lyra hit her.
“That's the wrong Sweetie Belle, you idiot!”
“Put her down!”
Bon-Bon took the load from her back, put the load onto the hooves and said:
“Oopsie, auntie Bon-Bon took you for somepony else.”
The robotic filly smiled and said “No problem detected.” Then she galloped away into the darkness of the night.
The white mare watched her disappear and then turned to her boss:
“She looked exactly as the one who escaped!”
“That's the point!” Lyra yelled. “They need to look identical! Now there's two Sweetie Belles running around the town and I see that we can't hope we catch the real one soon.” She pointed her hoof at Bon-Bon. “We're waiting till morning and let's hope nopony notices that and starts asking questions.”
Twilight couldn't stop asking herself questions.
Did she really see a second Sweetie Belle, or was she just drunk?
Currently playing was a juicy scene that was totally cut off from the censored version of Death Scroll. But Twilight couldn't enjoy it, her mind was busy trying to understand the situation.
If she knew that she would wake up next day with a hangover and decide that this whole double filly conundrum was an alcohol-caused delirium, she would fully enjoy seeing two main male characters doing each other.
“All the ponies in this town are CRAZY!” Sweetie Belle said to herself, hiding in bushes near the Carousel Boutique.
After she confirmed that the robot doppelganger wasn't home, she decided that the best choice now it to get help from her own sister. She knew her sister hated her and wouldn't ever participate together in a family contest, but she had no other choice. She took a huge breath, closed her eyes, and slowly trotted towards the door. She raised her hoof and knocked five times.
She heard 10 knocks.
She opened her eyes and looked to the right.
Other she also opened her eyes and looked to the left.
““What are you doing here?!”” both Sweetie Belles shouted.
The door opened, revealing Rarity. She had bags under her eyes and stank of alcohol.
“Oh Shmooze, I'm sheeing double. I musht be drunk.”
““She's a robot!”” both fillies pointed hooves at each other.
“There'sh nope-pony elshe there, darling. Come inshide, it'sh cold...”
The fillies walked inside, keeping their gazes fixated on each other.
“Now go to bed.” Rarity ordered. “I'm gonna go shoon, too, jusht one more gulp.”
Sweetie Belles walked to the bedroom, and Rarity trotted to the kitchen, where her last bottle was.
The fillies stopped in front of bed and looked at each other.
“I'm not sleeping with you,” one of them yelled.
“Of course you're not, that's my bed and you go out,” the other responded.
“No, it's my bed and you go out.”
“I'm not leaving.”
“Nor do I.”
After a moment of silence both fillies jumped to the bed, crashing in midair.
“Move aside, you're taking too much space.” said one of them, pushing another with her flank.
“I'm on my own half. It's you who's taking too much space.” replied the second one.
“I'm not! And share the blanket!” The first one grabbed the blanket with her hooves and started trying to pull it out of the second one's grasp.
“Stop pulling, you'll rip it apart!”
Both fillies suddenly calmed down.
“Okay, I'm gonna sleep now. Just don't try to kill me in my sleep,” the first one said.
“I won't!” objected the second one. “It's not me who's a rampaging murderous robot.”
“Hey, I'm not! That's you who's a robot!”
“Stop it! And don't try to kill me because you think I'm a robot – which I'm not!”
“So we both won't try to kill each other tonight for any reason whatsoever. Agreed?”
Both fillies shook hooves and instantly fell asleep.
Both fillies woke up at the exact same moment.
‘‘She didn't kill me,’’ both of them thought. ‘‘It means she knew that killing me would lead to her being revealed as a robot. If she did kill me, autopsy would've proven that I'm a biological being. She's not that stupid.’’
Then suddenly both of them realized: ‘‘I'm so stupid! If I had killed her last night, not only I would've proven I'm a real one, I would've also got rid of that robot once and forever!’’
They turned around and looked angrily into each other's eyes. Suddenly, Rarity's coarse voice could be heard from her bedroom:
“Sweetie Belle, make me a breakfast...”
““I'm coming!”” they answered.
The fillies ran to the Rarity's bedroom and presented themselves before her.
““What would you like?””
“Oh Smooze...” Rarity rolled her aching eyes. “Not only I've already got a hangover, but also I'm still drunk.”
“Honestly, I swear to the Evil Robot Overlord, why did you keep insisting we use your method of choice, why did I agree, and why the hay did you choose that?”
Lyra couldn't contain her anger. She was currently sitting hidden in bushes near the Carousel Boutique, holding a piece of red yarn with her magic. Bon-Bon was with her, observing their surrounding. It was morning and soon foals would start going to school.
“Well, that's the only method I knew,” the white mare answered. “And I know it works.”
The other end of yarn was tied to a stick, supporting one side of a huge cardboard box. Under the box there was a pile of candy, and next to it there stood a sign, saying “Free kandy”.
“It worked once,” the robot unicorn corrected. “And do you really think she's so stupid she'd fall for the same trick twice?”
Lyra sighed heavily. She had already lost all her hope about Bon-Bon's usefulness.
“Oh, they're coming!” the white mare exclaimed.
Lyra took a peek. She saw two white unicorn fillies walking next to each other. The fillies didn't look as if they were in good mood, it looked rather that they would kill each other if an opportunity presented itself. Suddenly, they saw the candy and stopped.
‘It's like on that day,’ the real Sweetie Belle thought to herself. ‘But it's safe to assume that Lyra wouldn't be so stupid as to use the same trick twice. It has to be somepony else. This time, I'm really gonna steal that candy.’
The robot filly thought: ‘Wait, it looks like somepony wants to prank me. It's the same trick they had on My Little Human few weeks ago. They are not too creative. But I'm not dumb! I'm gonna take the candy and run away!’
In the exact same moment, both fillies launched themselves forward and galloped towards the candy pile. The yarn was pulled, the box fell down, and the fillies were trapped.
“Dammit!” one of them yelled from inside the box.
Lyra was walking in circles in the basement. The door was locked. Bon-Bon was sitting on the floor next to two Sweetie Belles.
“Okay, Bon-Bon,” the green unicorn started. “We've got two fillies here. Imagine I'm absent. You must now determine which of them is a robot, so you know which one to set free.”
“Oh, that'll be simple!” Bon-Bon replied. She stood up, walked in front of the fillies like a sergeant in front of recruits, and asked.
“Which one of you is a robot?”
The real Sweetie Belle, trying to seize the opportunity, yelled: “I am!”
“Aha! I knew it!” the robotic filly exclaimed with joy.
Bon-Bon smiled and happily said to the real Sweetie Belle:
“Okay, so you may–” *SMACK* “Ouch! For what?”
“What the hay is that supposed to mean?” Lyra shouted angrily.
“I tried to find out which one is a robot! I don't know any other way!”
The green mare sighed: “Who must I work with? Take this one,” she pointed at the robotic filly, “and release free. Quick!”
Bon-Bon took a key to the door and led the fake Sweetie Belle outside. When they reached a safe distance, Lyra asked the real one:
“How many ponies saw you both?”
“Only my sister, but she was drunk, I swear! Please don't kill her!”
“You're lucky that she's the only reason I bother with this plan.”
Moment later, Bon-Bon returned downstairs, without company of the robot filly.
“What did I miss?” she asked.
The only answer she got was silence and Lyra's condescending gaze. She tried another question:
“Both those fillies look identical. How can you so quickly discern which one is real and which one is a robot?”
Lyra sighed: “For a robot like me, it's simple. The real one doesn't have a wi-fi.”
Sweetie Belle was sitting in her cage again, this time in a more durable model. She was perusing volumes of comics she had already read several times. Suddenly, she heard a loud noise. She turned around and saw Bon-Bon carrying a small TV set. Before she could think up a question, the mare put the TV in front of the cage, plugged the cables, and went back upstairs. She returned again, this time carrying a bag. She put the bag on the floor and said:
“You were complaining about lack of entertainment, so I went to the library to look for something interesting. I got here something. I haven't watched it yet, so I'll watch it with you.” She put a disc into a player. “It's Death Scroll, the complete uncensored edition.”