“Sweetie, what are we going to do tonight?”
“The same thing we do every night, Belle: sew dresses!”
Earlier that evening, both Sweetie and Belle remembered that their sister was a famous dressmaker and they spent a lot of time arguing in front of Apple Bloom and Scootaloo which one of them it was. The other two fillies unsuccessfully tried to convince the unicorns that the real dressmaker was Rarity, but both unicorns scoffed at mere suggestion that the robot could have anything to do with it. After they gave up arguing, they decided to sew.
With a battle cry of “CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS DRESS MAKERS!”, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo joined Sweetie and Belle in their efforts, but whatever the four of them tried to make, in the end it certainly didn't look like a dress, but more like a jumbled mess of pieces of fabric and loose threads.
Bon-Bon returned home, humming a cheerful song. She was carrying a machete, holding its handle in her smiling muzzle. She entered the house, closed the door behind her and went downstairs.
“How's the mission?” asked Lyra, when she saw Bon-Bon getting down to the conference room.
“He's gone,” the earth pony replied, dropping the weapon on the ground.
“You killed him?” the unicorn robot got her hopes up.
“Is he dead?”
“He ran away,” Lyra finally said with disappointment in her voice.
Bon-Bon confirmed: “Yeah, kind of.”
“Where's he now?”
“He got into a blue box and disappeared.”
The earth mare's explanation was deemed not sufficient by the unicorn.
“You're making stuff up based on that TV show, aren't you? That police stallion looked just like that actor, didn't he?”
“I swear I'm not making this up! Are you calling me a liar? It's not me who has a lyre for her cutie mark.”
Lyra paused for few seconds before responding:
“You haven't just made that pun, have you?”
Rarity was cleaning her saber in Fluttershy's hut. Fluttershy was sitting on the other side of the room, reading a grimoire. The book was probably older than both princesses' ages added together. It was probably written by so-called First Generation of warlocks. The language was ancient, but the Great Leader had no problems deciphering the strange runes that filled the pages of the book. Angel Bunny was nervously peeking from the kitchen, trying to not become a fencing practice target.
“Dear leader, do you remember our plans about virgin sacrifice?” Rarity asked nonchalantly.
Flutershy took her eyes off the ancient pages.
“Oh, yes, but I thought we could find another filly,” the yellow pegasus replied. “I wouldn't like to deprive you from your only sister, only to get a defective spell component.”
“Defective?” Rarity paused her work for a moment.
“You know, since your sister is not...” Flutershy covered her mouth with her hooves. “Oh, sorry, I remember you don't like talking about it. Anyhow, there's this filly with red curly hair, I think her name is Twitht. Nopony would probably miss her–”
“Dear leader, may I suggest something else?” the unicorn interjected, while resuming polishing the blade with a rug.
Rarity froze for a second with a shocked look on her face.
“Oh, sorry, memories from the war...” she said after shaking her head vigorously. “I just happen to have one extra copy of my sister, so we can use this.”
“I don't know, what if the copy is defective, too...”
“Fluttershy!” Rarity's tone of voice changed. “I beg you! I need to get rid of that copy!”
The pegasus was surprised: “Why? What would happen if you didn't?”
Rarity leaned forward and whispered into Fluttershy's ear the story she heard from Zecora.
Rarity and Fluttershy trotted through the town to the Carousel Boutique. The door was unlocked. They entered, but they couldn't see anypony there.
“Hello, Sweetie Belle, are you both home?” Rarity shouted.
“Go away, you robot!” a reply came from upstairs.
“Yeah! It's our boutique, not yours!” a second, totally different voice added.
Rarity was not happy with the turn of events. She turned around to face the source of the voices.
“What do you mean ‘your boutique’, I'm the dressma— AAH!” Rarity started to back off from mannequins wearing Sweetie and Belle's creations. “What in the name of Smooze are those abominations?”
“I told you, Sweetie, robots have no fashion sense!”
Rarity's voice became angry: “Sweetie Belle, you're wasting my materials on this. But I have more important thing to ask. Will you go with me to Fluttershy's?”
Fluttershy patted Rarity's shoulder, shook her head and spoke to the fillies:
“Hello, girls. Please, you don't have to listen to her, but it's me, Fluttershy. Would you do this for me?”
The fillies paused for a moment.
“Fluttershy? Since when are you working together with a robot?”
“Wait, I remember that there was not only a unicorn robot, but there also was a henchpony with pink in her mane.”
“Was it Fluttershy?”
“I think so.”
“Fluttershy, you traitor! We're gonna tell on you to the Princess!”
“Yeah! Buck off!”
Fluttershy was confused by their reaction.
“Girls, Rarity is not a robot! She's your sister!” she tried to explain.
“Yeah, that's what a robot's henchpony would say!” one of the fillies answered smugly.
“We should try another approach,” Rarity whispered into her leader's ear and two mares left the building.
Bon-Bon was lying on a couch, doing nothing, when she heard a knock to the door.
“Who's there?” she asked, without getting up.
“It's me, Rarity.”
Upon hearing these words, Lyra quickly locked herself in the basement and Bon-Bon trotted to open the door.
“Hi Rarity, how's it going?” she said, while letting her guest in.
“Can I make a little request, please? My own sister threw me out and I have no place to sleep tonight.”
“Sure, you can stay here. Come in, I'll prepare something to eat,” Bon-Bon suggested, closed the door behind her guest and trotted to the kitchen.
“Oh, it's so nice of you. Is your friend home?” Rarity took a look around.
Bon-Bon voice came from the kitchen: “Yes, but she's kinda scaredy-cat nowadays. She locks herself downstairs, because she's afraid of some robot police officer.”
A muffled swearword came from the basement. Rarity's eyes widened: “Robot police came to Ponyville?”
“You didn't know that? Anyhow, he's gone now, but Lyra doesn't believe me.”
“Don't worry, darling, I believe you,” the unicorn reassured. “I'm glad he's gone, because lately my sister – or should I say, sisters – keep accusing me of being a robot. That's ridiculous, do you agree?”
“Mhm,” the earth mare pretended to have listened.
Rarity sat down in an armchair next to a small table and took a look around the room. She liked the paintings on the wall: she always admired Realism in art, although any other pony would feel weird, looking at a picture of princesses Celestia and Molestia being slain by a single orange pegasus filly. As for the futurist abstract sculpture in the corner, she found it disgustingly primitive, as if some art college student failed at creating a metaphorical piece. The jumbled mess of screws, wires, metal rods, and metal sheets looked as if somepony dismantled a pony-shaped metal figure and arranged the parts chaotically.
Bon-Bon returned from the kitchen with a bowl of hayfries. She put it on the table and sat on the couch, on the opposite side of the table to Rarity.
“It's still early. What do you wanna do?” the host asked.
“I don't know. Anything is fine,” the guest replied.
Bon-Bon got up and trotted towards a TV set.
“What would you say for some humans?”
“Sounds good to me. What about your friend?”
“Oh, she knows I watch it, but she doesn't like it.”
The earth mare inserted a disk into the player, took a remote and got back to the couch. With a press of a button, the show started.
De Grasse Tyson, a dark-skinned human wearing a mauve suit, was taking his usual stroll through streets of Humanville, when he noticed his two friends watching something on the Humanville race track. The friends were a long-haired human in a colorful shirt and an elegant, dark haired human in a stylish black suit.
“Hey Armani, hey Weird Al. What are you looking at?”
The long haired human responded: “Schumacher! Isn't he the most daring devil? I mean, the most devilish darer? I mean–”
“He's dazzling!” Armani interjected.
“Oh yeah, that's a good word. He's dazzling!”
Tyson walked towards them and saw a red race car on the track, moving with an incredible speed. He barely could follow it with his eyes. Suddenly, while taking a sharp turn, the car hit the barrier surrounding the track and was catapulted into the air. The three humans gasped simultaneously.
“Oh no, oh no, oh no!” Tyson uttered in shock.
The car span around several times and stopped on the barriers at the next turn, after losing all its wheels and many other parts.
Weird Al shrugged his arms: “So much for dazzling.”
The bushes next to Carousel Boutique were yet again witnessing two mares hiding in them in the morning.
“Are you sure it's a good idea?” the yellow pegasus asked.
The second mare was holding a yellow thread. The other end of the thread was tied to a stick, supporting one side of a huge box. Under the box, there was a pile of candy and next to it there was a sign, saying ‘Gratuitous confections’.
“Rarity, where did you get this idea?”
“I saw it... on TV! Yes, on TV, I was zapping through the channels and there it was, haha!” Rarity displayed a nervous smile.
“Okay, I hope it works,” said Fluttershy, shifting her gaze back at the box.
Around eight o'clock, two fillies left the boutique and walked towards their school. Suddenly, both of them noticed the sign.
“Sweetie, do you see what I see?” Belle asked, pointing at both the sign and the box.
“I don't know what it is, but it looks familiar.”
“So, what do you think?”
Sweetie paused for a moment.
“Belle, what does ‘gratuitous’ mean?”
Belle put a hoof to her chin, as she was taught she should do while thinking. She thought for whole two seconds and the result was:
“We'll ask Miss Cheerilee. Come on, you're be late for school!”
The fillies cantered away. If they didn't, they would hear a soft voice coming from the bushes:
“Rarity, you idiot!”
“Good morning, kids. Take your seats.”
Upon hearing their teacher's words, foals, who were scattered around the classroom, moved towards their designated seats, managing to greet the teacher back:
““Good morning, Miss Cheerilee!””
All the colts and fillies took they seats and calmly waited for Cheerilee to start the lesson. Only two white unicorns didn't sit down.
“Hey, it's my seat!” Sweetie shouted, pulling the chair out of Belle's grasp.
“No, it's mine!” Belle leaped forward.
Cheerilee started slowly turning to face the fillies: “Sweetie Belle, could you be qui— Aah!”
The mare jumped in shock: “Sweetie Belle, why are there two of you?”
“She stole my seat!” Belle pointed her hoof at Sweetie.
Cheerilee couldn't conceal her confusion: “But this seat was for only one Sweetie Belle...”
“So where do I sit?” Belle threw her hooves in the air to protest.
Cheerilee remarked: “Wait a moment,” and went out of the classroom. The class erupted into chatter.
Rarity trotted through the streets of Ponyville with her head hung down. She couldn't believe that such a perfect plan failed. She disappointed her mentor, even made her cry. It was the most severe of crimes in Equestria's penal code: making Fluttershy cry. She hoped nopony would ever find out, because in that case she would certainly become a social outcast.
Suddenly, she noticed a familiar lavender unicorn, leaving her arboreal abode. She remembered the second thing she planned to do today.
“Hello, Twilight!” the cultist shouted.
“Hi, Rarity! What are you doing this early?”
“I could ask you the same thing,” retorted Rarity, also known for getting up late. “But since I met you, I have some more important thing to ask: do you happen to have a telescope for sale?”
“Telescope?” Twilight was surprised. “Well, I have one, but I still use it, so I can't sell it.”
“Oh. Do you know anypony who might have one?”
Twilight pulled up a saddlebag that was slipping off of her back.
“I think Luna has one. I'll mail her about it. Are you in hurry?”
“What do you mean?”
Twilight smiled with pride: “I can arrange that if Luna still has the telescope, she'll send it here tomorrow before noon.”
Rarity jumped with joy. “Really? Oh, I would be eternally grateful! Thank you, Twilight!”
Rarity happily trotted in some random direction, singing quietly some song about swords and death. Twilight observed her friend leave. When she lost Rarity from sight, she pulled a piece of paper from her bag. She had to triple check if she really didn't make any spelling errors in the application. It was a very important thing. It was for science.
Belle was sitting at a desk miss Cheerilee brought for her from school's storage room. The teacher, still confused by a sudden duplication of her student, opened her notebook to check what subject should she teach today, when suddenly one of the white unicorns raised her hoof up.
“Yes, Sweetie? Belle? Damn it!”
“Ma'am,” Sweetie said, “what does ‘gratuitous’ mean?”
Cheerilee smiled and started to answer: “Well, it means...” she tried to remember, but nothing came to her mind, so she switched to different method of handling this kind of situations: “What kind of filthy language is that, young filly! If I hear you saying such stuff again, I'll be forced to contact your parents!”
Few foals in the back snickered.
“Now, what subject is... Aha! Today, we'll again talk about robots.”
Students groaned. They've had classes on robots few times too much already. Belle raised her hoof:
“We've seen a robot!”
Cheerilee blinked in disbelief: “Where? How did it look like?”
Belle rushed with the explanation: “It was big, and white, and had a purple mane.”
“Wasn't it your sister?”
“No, Sweetie was with me all the time.”
Cheerilee had no idea how to respond to that. She analyzed the whole situation in her head, and after a moment she decided:
“Class dismissed. See you tomorrow.”
She trotted outside. The last thing she wanted to do is to waste the rest of her dream on conducting imaginary lessons. Other earth ponies usually dreamed about stuff they could never do in real life, like flying, and not about the same things they did at work. It would be an awful experience to go through the morning routine and start working, only to wake up to the sound of alarm clock and realize you need to do it again. Cheerilee was too smart to allow it to happen. It was time to have some fun.
“Madam Mayor, mail for you.”
Mayor Ivory Scroll was sitting at her desk, reading a newspaper, when her young assistant brought her a pile of scrolls. She put the paper away, grabbed the first and unrolled it.
To Ivory Scroll, Mayor of Ponyville
It came to my attention that Ponyville library lacks an hourglass. I would like to ask you to send the municipal hourglass operator to consult with me the possibility of hourglass installation. I would be very grateful.
I will be waiting for him at the library today at 7 pm.
The mayor smiled. That was one of the most adorkable methods of getting a date she saw in ages. She pondered how to answer this request. Engineer Whooves surely was a professional, but he lacked any social skills. He seemed to be afraid of his own shadow and he tried to avoid meeting any new ponies, as if all Ponyvillians wanted to kill him. The mayor giggled softly. This would be a good opportunity to show him that ponies of Ponyville are as everywhere else. She grabbed her quill and scribbled in her notebook:
get Whooves laid
Foals cheerfully left the school building. Unbeknownst to them, some adult pony was observing them from her hiding place and it wasn't their teacher.
“Psst, Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon!”
Two fillies stopped and looked around to locate the source of the voice.
“Hey, Tiara,” Silver Spoon whispered, “I totally heard somepony calling us.”
“Girls!” a quiet shout came again. Fillies trotted towards the bushes surrounding the school yard, only to find a yellow pegasus there.
“Miss Fluttershy!” Diamond Tiara said. “What are you, like, doing here?”
“I need your help. Fifty bits for capturing both Sweetie Belles. I need them in my hut today.”
The fillies looked into each other's eyes.
“It's, like, a deal!”
They galloped towards Cutie Mark Crusaders, while Fluttershy observed the scene from afar.
“Hey Sweetie Belle!” Diamond Tiara yelled to get the white unicorns' attention. “Wanna bet?”
“Bet what?” Sweetie asked.
Diamond Tiara tried to quickly think up something, but Silver Spoon was faster:
“I totally bet both of you together won't, like, fit into Mr Boxy.”
“What? Mr Boxy is my best frie–” Diamond Tiara tried to protest, but she couldn't, given Silver Spoon's hoof put into her mouth.
“How much?” Belle asked.
“Like, ten bits.”
Silver Spoon, Sweetie, and Belle shook their hooves and galloped towards Diamond Tiara's house. The pink filly followed them, shouting her objections at them. Scootaloo, still confused, asked Apple Bloom:
“Who the hay is Mr Boxy?”
Apple Bloom inhaled deeply and spoke without pausing to take a breath: “Mr Boxy is an equinification of a multichromatic parallelepipedal cardboard container. Initially, Ah've observed an instance of such equinification while performing a comprehensive summary of mah training routine with Rainbow Dash.”
Scootaloo processed the answer in her bird brain for a while: “I still don't know what Mr Boxy is, but you were training with Rainbow Dash?”
“I still can't believe we let her put ourselves in a box and get delivered here.”
Sweetie and Belle stood in the corner of the room in Fluttershy's hut. All the ways out were locked, so they could not escape, and all they were doing for the last few hours was standing idly, awaiting their fate. The yellow pegasus looked with concern at her follower and asked:
“Rarity, are you sure you want to do it?”
“Yes.” Rarity nodded. “We'll sacrifice one and the other one will watch what will happen to her if she reproduces ever again.”
“Let us out, you robot!” shouted one of the fillies.
“Sweetie Belle, for the last time: I'm not a robot,” replied annoyed Rarity. “I'm your sister. Or maybe an aunt. I don't know how it works in this case.”
The pegasus interjected: “Okay, Rarity, but how will we decide which one to kill?”
“Still got that virginometer?”
Fluttershy trotted to the cabinet and pulled a rectangular device out of it. She passed it to Rarity. The unicorn pointed the device's antenna at the filly on the left, pressed the button and a red light lit up. She pointed it at the filly on the right and after pressing the button, she saw a white light.
“Aha! This one is still a virgin!” she exclaimed. “We can use her as a spell component!”
“That's good. I wouldn't want you to experience–” Fluttershy almost mentioned Zecora's story, but she bit her tongue in the last moment. “Uhm... help me prepare the summoning circle.”
“Yes, my leader!”
The mares took a big cubic piece of rock with red substance embedded in it. They crushed it with their hooves and removed the pieces of stone. What was left was a dark red powder, which they used to draw an encircled pentagram on the floor. When the pentagram was ready, the powder started to emit red light.
“This is goodbye, Sweetie,” the filly on the right said.
“No! I won't let them! You can't die!” her twin protested.
“No, you won't do it...”
“Yes, I will! Belle, swap places with me.”
“I can't, Sweetie! They'll kill you.”
“And if we don't swap, they'll kill you. I can't allow that. Sorry, and goodbye, Belle.”
“No buts. I love you, sister. Now please swap.”
The fillies, with tears in their eyes, hugged each other and exchanged places. The mares were occupied with lighting up five wax candles they put in the tips of the pentagram arms. When they finished, Fluttershy grabbed Sweetie, tied pieces of string to each of her legs and tied the other ends of strings to the hooks in the walls. Belle tried to stop the pegasus, but she was held by Rarity, who observed the whole scene with no emotions. Sweetie was laid down on her back in the middle of the summoning circle, with her legs spread out. Fluttershy trotted to the kitchen and returned a moment later with a large knife. Both mares started to chant: “Iä! Iä! Smooze fhtagn!” Fluttershy raised the knife, put it to the filly's chest and pressed down. Sweetie yelled in pain. Fluttershy continued the incision downwards, through the belly button towards filly's nether regions. Sweetie's skin parted, revealing her innards.
It was all wires and pieces of metal.
The mares stopped chanting. The knife fell down from Fluttershy's motionless muzzle. Sweetie stopped crying and exclaimed: “Cool, I'm a robot!” Suddenly, the door exploded, revealing two new ponies.
“I hope we're not late for the party,” Lyra said. “Bon-Bon, the tranquilizer!”
The clock struck seven and a gentle knock came down to the library's door. Twilight hopped towards them and let her guest in. Engineer Whooves wasn't displaying any emotions. He simply trotted inside and said:
“Good evening, miss. I heard you wanted to install an hourglass here.”
“Oh yes, but you don't have to hurry,” the unicorn replied with a warm tone. “First, I think we should sit down and talk a little.”
“Talk?” The stallion raised his eyebrow. “But–”
“Absolutely!” Twilight interrupted him. “White or red wine?”
Whooves noticed that the only table and the only chairs stood in the darkest corner or the library. On the table there was a crimson tablecloth, two plates, two wine glasses and a single lit candle. Twilight didn't hear any answer, so she asked again:
“I've got the finest liquors from the whole Equestria, I got them through my special connection. So, what would you like to drink, Doctor?”
The stallion answered: “If you wish, you can call me ‘Doctor’, I'm planning to become one in few years. Uhm, red, maybe?”
The librarian happily cantered to the kitchen and fetched an expensively looking bottle. “So, shall we sit down?”
Whooves slowly trotted towards the table, letting Twilight pour drinks and sit down first. They raised the glasses and said ““Cheers!”” Whooves took a sip.
‘Yuck!’ he thought. The wine was disgusting. He barely managed not to gag.
“So, Doctor, why did you, uhm, decide to become one?” Twilight asked.
Whooves paused for a moment. “Well, it's hard to explain and you might not believe me, but...” he paused again, “it involves a little bit of time travel.”
Twilight's eyes sparkled with joy. ‘He's roleplaying!’ she thought. ‘That's so exciting!’ Despite her excitement, she tried to hide her feelings: “So, time travel with some kind of time machine? What kind?”
“Well, uhm,” Whooves started to feel uncomfortable. “A blue one.”
Twilight couldn't control herself any longer. She quaffed the remaining wine with one swift, well practiced motion and threw the empty glass to the other end of the library. The glass shattered into multiple shiny sharp pieces. The librarian leaned forward and looked directly into Whooves's eyes.
“So, Doctor, care if I take you to show my room, and in exchange you show me your screwdriver?”
Whooves swallowed. “But I didn't bring any tools with me...”
“Oh, I'm talking about the other screwdriver,” she added seductively.
The engineer fully understood this innuendo. In panic, he galloped towards the door, hoping to run away from the excited mare. He skidded to halt just before it to grab the handle, but to his disappointment the door turned out to be locked. He yanked the handle several times before giving up. He lay down and started to cry. Suddenly, he felt something pulling on his tail, ultimately dragging his whole body away from the door. He only managed to whisper one word:
Two ponies, a white unicorn and a yellow pegasus, sat down strapped to chairs in Lyra's underground lair. On the table that stood in the middle of the room, Lyra was fixing a white robot filly, using various tools. Bon-Bon was standing in the corner, munching carrot slices. The slices were in a bowl that stood on a cabinet. There was a huge sign over it, saying: ‘CHEW THIS; DON'T CHEW CABLES’.
Lyra finally stopped poking around inside robot's chassis and connected it to her main server.
“Restore from backup,” she said.
“Are you sure? Restoring memories from backup will overwrite all current memories,” the robot filly responded.
Lyra turned around to face the mares.
“Sorry, I need to wipe your memories. Luckily, you're older, so I'll be able to remove precisely those memories I want.”
“Please be gentle,” whispered Fluttershy, whose all legs were tightly tied to the chair. Rarity, who was sitting next to her, didn't say anything, because she still didn't wake up after getting her dose of sedative back at Fluttershy's cottage.
Lyra put a helmet on Fluttershy's head and pressed several buttons on the computer's keyboard. Fluttershy started screaming very, very softly.
Bon-Bon reached to the bowl, but her hoof hit the bottom. She glanced inside: the bowl was empty, but she still had an insatiable urge to chew. She looked around and she noticed the robotic Sweetie Belle, with her stomach still open. Several clips were holding together robot's ribs, so the glue could dry. When she saw wires inside, she felt a tingling sensation in her lips. ‘Okay, Bon-Bon, nothing happens if you grab the cables with your lips and don't bite anything with your teeth.’ After making this mental note, she burrowed her muzzle in filly's innards. She instantly felt better.
Fluttershy passed out after the memory transfer. Lyra put the helmet on still unconscious Rarity and repeated the procedure. It took only few minutes to complete. When she was done, she said without looking behind her:
“Bon-Bon, take those two and toss them away.”
In shock, Bon-Bon quickly pulled her head from inside Sweetie Belle's stomach and accidentally pulled out two cables from their sockets. She quickly put them back and executed the order.
Meanwhile, some filly shouted from the upper level of the basement:
“Oh, cool! Death Scroll! I've always wanted to watch this series. Hey, when will you release me from this cage?”