Dying is the worst part of living, so one should do their best to get it out of the way while they're young.
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Spike skipped happily into the Carousel Boutique. Rarity had been off in Canterlot for the past few days watching a fashion show, and now she was finally back. Twilight had been making him do math while she was gone, so now that she was back, he could finally stop. One question had been bugging him, but he set that aside as he rushed to Rarity’s.
Barging into the Carousel Boutique, Spike rushed up to the white unicorn. “Hey Rarity! Did you have a good time in Canterlot?”
Rarity turned around. “Oh, Spiky-Wiky! You’re just the dragon I wanted to see!”
Spike grinned. “Really?”
“Yes! I need you to go and get me some rubies for a dress I’m making for Allure.” Spike’s heart sank.
Oh well, he thought. “Anything for you, Rarity!”
Rarity smiled at the small dragon. “Good! I think Twilight knows where some are, she was talking about a book she was reading that had the locations of ruby deposits. I’d help you, but I need to do some last minute measurements. And besides, that would defeat the purpose of me sending you to do me a favor!”
Spike sighed and walked over to the Library. He was really hoping to get to spend some time with Rarity. Knocking on the door, Twilight answered.
“Oh! Hey, Spike! How was it at Rarity’s? You’re back a little early...”
“Oh, she needs me to get her some rubies, and she said you had a book that could help me find them. Could I borrow it?”
Twilight and Spike walked into the main room of the Library. “Sure, but I need you to do a quick favor for me. One of my books, Advanced Magic Spells, got torn when I was reshelving them this morning. Could you take it to Bound Leather and have him fix it up? Here’s ten bits, I think that’ll cover it.”
Spike took the bits, bid Twilight farewell, and headed over to Bound Leather’s bookshop. The stallion lived on the outskirts of Ponyville, so Spike was tired and out of breath by the time he reached the book enthusiast's place.
“Oh, hello Spike!” The stallion greeted the tired assistant.
“Hey... Bound... *huff*... Leather...” Spike collapsed to the ground.
“You ok there?”
Spike pushed himself back up. “Yeah, I’m fine. Hey, Twilight wants you to fix this book. Here’s ten bits to cover the costs.”
Bound Leather took a look at the book. “Oh... this is one nasty tear. And I’m actually out of materials! I was just about to head into town to get some more. Hey, but I’ll fix the book free of charge if you go and get me the items on this list!” The unicorn levitated a list over to Spike, who took it.
“Will do! Thanks!”
The stallion chuckled. “Come, now! You’re doing a favor for me! Thank YOU!”
Spike took the list and heading into town to get the items specified on the list.
“Alright, so I just need Everfree Silkworm thread, tanned Goosefrog hide, and some Medusoid Mycelium ink. Shouldn’t be too hard, I can get that stuff from the specialty shop!”
Spike had always avoided the specialty shop, since it was a bit dark for his tastes. However, this time he could suck it up and go get the materials.
Heading into the shop, he heard loud DJ-Pon3 music playing while angsty looking teenaged ponies looked through reagents, novelty items, or music disks. Lyra Heartstrings was in the corner ogling over the “My Little Person” merchandise.
“Um...” Spike approached the cashier, a teenaged pegasus with multiple piercings, and several wing tattoos. “Do you have, uh... Everfree Silkworm thread, tanned Goosefrog hide, and Medusoid Mycelium ink?”
The pegasus gave Spike a look which clearly displayed her distaste for him, pulled up a small stack of tanned hides, and a packet of silk. “We’re out of Medusoid ink. Now get lost, kid.”
Spike sighed sadly. “Are you sure you don’t have any?” The pegasus nodded, and picked up a magazine, ignoring the exasperated baby dragon.
“Well, you could go see Sunny Boulderair, the pegasus who lives down the road, I hear she might know something about Medusoid Mycelium. I heard she had a run in with it when she was younger, and since cultivated a small garden. Now, get before- LYRA! PUT THOSE BACK!”
Lyra Heartstrings had a large amount of My Little Person shirts she had been attempting to shoplift . “But you know I already spent all my bits! Please, I’ll pay you back after my next show!”
Spike put down the ten bits he had, then left the shop as the pegasus went off to apprehend the crook with her magazine. Jogging down the road, Spike hoped that he could just get the ink from the pony who lived down here, and get back to the book owner, then get the book from Twilight so he could get the gems for Rarity.
Stopping at a small cottage that was reminiscent of Fluttershy’s place, Spike knocked on the door. A darker-yellow-than-Fluttershy pegasus mare with a black mane opened the door.
“Ah! Hello there! I was just cooking something up. Is there anything you need?”
Spike shook the mare’s hoof as she extended it. “Yes, I’ve heard you grow Medusoid Mycelium here.”
The mare nodded her head. “Yes, I do. I’ve kept a few spores from an old diving helmet... but I can’t show you them, it would be catastrophic if the spores got out. I’m afraid there isn’t enough horseradish to cure everypony if it does get out!”
Spike shook his head. “It’s ok, I just need some ink. Could you please make me some?”
The mare smiled. “Sure! normally, I charge around 50 bits per bottle, but since you seem like a nice baby dragon, I’ll give it to you for 30.”
Spike’s spirits fell. “Oh... I don’t have any bits.”
The mare tapped her hoof thoughtfully. “Tell you what. I’ll give the bottle to you, free of charge, if you do one small favor for me.” Spike groaned. He knew that was coming.
“What do you want me to do?”
“Well, my sister, Violet Boulderair, is concerned about the whereabouts of our brother, Klaus. I’m sure it’s nothing... but still. She’s normally at the Very Fine Diner down in Manehattan. I hope that’s not too far for you. Go talk to her, and set her mind straight. Our brother’s fine, I’m sure of it.”
Spike left the house feeling tired of it all. Now he would have to go down to Manehattan, all for a stupid ruby. Oh well. The look on Rarity’s face would be worth it.
Spike ran back to the Library, grabbed some bits, bought a ticket, and jumped on the last train to Manehattan. The sun was setting, and Manehattan was a few hours away by train, so it would be around midnight when he would get there. Finding a nice deserted cart, he had himself a quick nap.
Spike dreamt of snow. He was standing in a forest clearing, as Fluttershy and Rarity danced the waltz, while Rainbow Dash played the bagpipes. Spike chuckled, and walked out of the forest, overlooking all of Ponyville as a large comet crested the sky. It was beautiful.
A shrill whistle woke Spike from his slumber. The lights of busy Manehattan poured into the train. Spike jumped off the train, and walked down the city streets of the bustling metropolis. Spotting the Very Fine Diner, he opened the door and walked in.
It was mostly empty, save a waitress cleaning up a table, and violet pegasus mare sitting on one of the stools, stirring tea slowly.
Spike summed up his courage and approached the stranger. “Um... are you Violet Boulderair?” The mare looked down at the small purple dragon.
“Why yes, I am. What is your need for me?”
“Well, your sister came to tell me that your brother is fine, and not to worry about him being gone.” It then occurred to Spike that Sunny would have no way of knowing if he had actually done this. Oh well, he thought. I guess she’s trusting.
The purple pegasus frowned. “No.. no, he’s not ok. Can you help me? I’m sure the Diamond Dogs have captured him. He was never very careful in their territory around Manehattan, always has his head in a book, that Klaus. If you find him, I’ll be ever so grateful.”
Spike inhaled heavily. “Fine. But after this, no more favors! For anypony!” Spike stormed out of the diner and walked the lonely road with only his shadow walking beside him, out into Diamond Dog territory. He didn’t like Diamond Dogs, not one bit. They had hurt Rarity once, forced her to do demining tasks...
Coming up to a hole a careless dog forgot to fill, Spike psyched himself for the drop, and jumped down the hole. Sliding down past the expanses of brown dirt, Luna’s moonlight slowly fading as he fell deeper into the earth, sliding, twisting, he began to wonder.
Do spiders dream?
This thought was forced from his mind as he tumbled out onto a rocky floor. A Diamond Dog was sitting on the floor, gnawing an old bone when he saw Spike land there.
“AH! A dragone! What a dragone be doin’ heresies?
Spike dusted himself off, and then, despite himself, coward a bit from the menacing monster.
“Uh... um... do you have a pony here by the name of Klaus?”
The Diamond Dog scratched his head. “Yuppers! We’s got a Klaus here! But pack leader say he not leavin!” The diamond dog then grinned, crooked teeth showing in all their glory. “Unless... unless you’s bringin’ me’s some tasty food bites to gobble!”
Spike gnashed his teeth. No more favors! He was adamant in his decision. For about ten seconds, anyway.
“What do you want me to get?” The dragon said defeatedly.
“Me’s wants about twenty chicklets from nearby farm! Then, we’s lets go of dah flying horsie and we all happy!”
Spike groaned, and crawled his way back up the tunnel. he wished we could fly. Then, he would soar up the tunnel, fly back to Rarity, and treat her to a flight across the sky...
Lost in a daydream about flight, Spike almost didn’t notice when he resurfaced. Taking huge gulps of fresh air, he scampered over to the nearby farm, which was built close to a river.
Spike was just about to knock on the door when he realized he probably didn’t want to wake somepony at this hour. So, he decided to do something he was not entirely proud of.
Spike snuck out back and opened up the chicken coup, only to find that there were no chickens, but only a note. Spike picked up the note and read
“Hah! Take that, Turner! Come over the river to my place and fight me like a REAL stallion!
-Hugs and kisses, Dinkleberg”
Spike crumpled the paper in his hands. “Dinkleberg...” he seethed, tearing the paper to shreds. The little dragon was getting quite tired of this escapade. Here he was, at two in the morning, sneaking around pony’s farms to try and accomplish a giant string of tasks, just to get Rarity a ruby! He could have just taken some from his stash and given it to her! But it was too late now, he couldn’t let down everypony he had been helping.
“I better get some serious karma here.” Spike hopped the fence and ran to the bridge that led over to Dinkleberg’s farm. Rushing around some barrels with stamps saying “Derpy wuz here”, he snuck into the chicken coup, this time being rewarded with far over twenty chickens. Spike grabbed a nearby sack, and started to load the chickens into the bag, when suddenly, he was tackled by a big brown unicorn.
“Heads off my chicks, Turner, or I’ll- hey! You’re not Turner!”
Spike squeezed himself out from underneath the farmer stallion. “Darn right I’m not Turner! I’m here to take these chickens to a Diamond Dog, so I can free somepony he’s holding captive, so I can return to his sister and get some ink to bring to a bookmaker, so I can get a book fixed, so I can find some rubies, and then enjoy some time with my crush! AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME!”
Dinkleberg looked taken aback, but recovered quickly. “Fine, I’ll let you have some chickens. But first, I want you to do me one small favor...”
Spike faceclawed. “NO! NO ‘ONE SMALL FAVOR!’”
The unicorn levitated a pitchfork from outside and pointed it at Spike. “Or, would you prefer the hard way?”
Spike swallowed hard. “What do you want me to do?”
The brown coated unicorn farmer smiled. “That’s more like it. Now, I need some cages, as I plan on taking some of my chickens over to the market to sell. They produce mighty fine eggs. Anyway, go back to Manehattan, and talk to Lit Blowtorch. He can get yah some cages. Just say I sent yah. He owes me.”
Spike skulked out from the coup and walked back to Manehattan. All this walking! He knew that he was just going to end up doing this for the rest of his life, until he finally collapsed with exhaustion.
Speaking of exhaustion, the little baby dragon was too tired to head on at that moment, and fell to the ground and into unconsciousness.
He was unceremoniously awoken by somepony kicking the side of his head.
“Ugh, we really do need to do something about the level of homeless here.”
Spike glared in the pony’s direction, then remembered what he was supposed to be doing. “Oh no!”
Speeding off, he ran up to a blue stallion. “Excuse me, do you know where Lit Blowtorch lives?”
“Um, yeah!” the stallion pointed to a shop right across the road which had a very large sign with the words “Lit Blowtorch’s Armour Emporium: For All Your Armour and Metalwork Needs.”
Spike smiled sheepishly, and ran into the shop. Lit Blowtorch was examining a helmet that he was making for Shining Armour. It was really quite a magnificent piece, a beautiful silver shine with a absolutly stunning blue and gold trim.
“Hello... are you... Lit Blowtorch?” Spike gasped, hugging his chest.
“Why yes I am. What can I do for you, little dragon?”
Spike gulped for air “Dinkleberg... needs cages... sent me here... to collect...”
Lit Blowtorch set the helmet down carefully in its case. “Well now, I don’t know about that. you could just be any punk trying to score some free cages! I need you to do me a favor...”
Spike collapsed on the ground. Why? Why was it that EVERY SINGLE pony he went to needed a favor done? WHY?
“I need you to deliver this helmet. It’s very important you know... give it to Shining Armour, Captain of the Royal Guard, in Canterlot.”
Spike brightened up a bit. “Hey, I know Shining Armour, he’s- wait. If I were a crook, wouldn’t it just be easier for me just to steal this? It’s probably worth a lot more then these cages I’m supposed to be collecting.”
“Well, now, if Shining Armour doesn’t get his helmet because somepony stole it, then he’d probably hunt down whoever did it. And I’m sure you wouldn’t want that...”
Spike shrugged. “Whatever, I’ll do it. I’m just saying, your logic is a little flawed.”
Spike was now nearly over encumbered with the amount of things he was carrying, but still managed to hail a carriage to Canterlot, walk through the streets of Equestria’s capital, and make it to the Royal Palace. The guards recognised him as Twilight Sparkle’s assistant, and let him pass. Reaching Shining Armour’s dormitory, he knocked. The unicorn opened it, looking tired and frayed.
“Oh! Hello, Spike! What brings you here?”
“I’m here to deliver your new helmet!”
Shining Armour levitated the helmet from its case and put it on a dummy one used for hanging armour currently not in use. “Thanks! Lit Blowtorch is really quite amazing, and for one so young, too! I mean, He’s only seventeen!”
Spike nodded. “Yeah, I did think he looked a little young... but hey, that is some quality armour!”
Shining Armour chuckled. “Yeah... anyway, I gotta go, Cadenza is sick... hey, can you do me one small favor?”
At that point, things could have gone differently, and none of the following events would have happened. Spike could have said he was busy, walked back to the store owner, get the cages, give them to the farmer, then get the chickens to the diamond dog to have Klaus safely returned so he could get the ink, which he could then give to Bound Leather, and then get the book he needed to find Rarity’s rubies. But he didn’t say he was busy.
“Sure, Shining. What do you need?” Spike had just stopped caring. He had finally figured it out. He was going to be stuck like this forever now. Destined never to stop helping ponies.
Oh well, it could be worse.
“Well, like I said, Cadenza is sick with Tartarian Flu. Could you go to the apothecary’s place down in Canterlot, near the museum and get her some herbal tinctures? Thanks, I really appreciate it! Here are some bits to cover the cost.”
Spike now mechanically walked his way to the door, and stiffly walked outside. He slowly wandered down the streets, and nonchalantly opened the door. The apothecary was so startled he dropped the pot he was currently holding, where it smashed against the floor.
“Hey, I need some herbal tinctures to cure Tartarian Flu.”
The herbalist grimaced and looked away.
Spike sighed. “Let me guess. That pot was the last of it.”
The herbalist nodded. Spike slowly turned away. “I’ll do you one more. You want me to go and get you more?”
The herbalist’s mouth dropped open. “How did you-”
Spike turned around, his manic smile one that would rival Twilight’s. “I’m psychic!”
The herbalist had never been more scared in his life. “Are you sure you don’t mean ‘psycho?’”
“That too.” Spike left. “I’m going to get tinctures from Zecora, and you’re going to like it, understand?” The herbalist nodded.
Spike got into a train heading to Ponyville. When the conductor asked for a ticket, Spike told him to go to Tartarus. The conductor’s eyes slowly began to fill with tears. Why? Why was he so mean?
Spike marched through Ponyville. Twilight Sparkle trotted up to him. “Spike! You’ve been gone almost two days now! Where were you? I was-”
“Twilight, I don’t have time for this, I need to talk to Zecora.” Twilight stared after the little dragon. What had gotten into him?
Spike eventually reached Zecora’s house. Knocking upon the door, the zebra answered.
“Ah, hello there, Spike the Dragon! What brings you here my friend?”
“Zecora, I need you to make me some herbal tinctures! For Tartarian Flu, if you can.”
“If a cure for the flu from Tartarus is what you need, then you will have to gather these ingredients with speed. Head to the base of the of the Crystal Mountains, and gather me moss from the ancient fountains.”
“Crystal Mountains? But that’s-” Spike closed his eyes and breathed deeply. “Yes, Zecora, I’ll be heading there right now.”
Spike rushed back to the Library, grabbed a big sack of bits, and rushed to the train station. Purchasing a ticket, he boarded another train. He hoped this would be one of the last times, but he knew it wouldn’t be. He knew he would never stop, riding trains, running about. He knew he wouldn’t stop until his feet were worn down, bloody messes.
The train ride was about two days, and Spike spent most of his time staring out the window. The train was passing The Galloping Gorge when it happened.
“Is anypony sitting here? Nope, it’s just a dragon. An odd one, one alone. Are you ok, dragon?” Spike looked down to see a small colt with a coat unlike any he had ever seen before. It was red, black, and green, but the color was all patched around him. His eyes were a dull yellow, with no pupils, and his horn was snapped in half. Worst of all, he looked barely older than Sweetie Belle or one of her friends. All in all, he was very disturbing.
“No, you’re not ok. You’re lonely, and tired. Tired of walking, tired of being taken advantage of. Am I right, dragon?” Spike stared at the little foal. How could he-
“Yes, of course I’m right, I’m never wrong. Go ahead, ask me anything.” Spike continued to stare at the dragon. “Speechless? Most are. Anyway, I better leave. Oh, and that equation?” The little colt smiled. “Forty-two is the answer, good chap, forty-two.”
The mysterious colt trotted down the train cart. Spike would never see him again, but his appearance would haunt him for years to come. Who was he? What was he doing? Spike sighed, and rolled over, catching what seemed to be his thirteenth nap that day.
The train stopped right at the base of Crystal Pass to let Spike out, and then continued on to the Frozen North. Spike shivered as he trekked through the snow. Eventually, right as he was about to get frostbite, he reached the Wintergrasp Fountains.
It was pleasantly warm and sunny around the fountains. They bubbled pleasantly, with the moss Zecora needed growing visibly in the fountain’s base. Spike felt the warm air wash over him as he walked closer and closer to the fountain. Upon reaching the fountain, however, he noticed that somepony was blocking his way.
A large, dull grey earth pony stood between him and the fountain. “No pony gathers the sacred moss without sacrifice. What give you to the fountain?”
Spike looked through his pack. Everything in there was something he needed. Spike stood up, looked at the pony and said “I don’t have anything I can give, but if I were to do you, say, a favor, would you let me gather the moss?”
The earth pony nodded, and said “Yes, we do offer favors as payment too... We would like you to go to the druids’ enclave south of here and commission one of them to cure the poisoned waters of the southmost fountain.” Spike looked over to where the stallion was gesturing. Indeed, the waters were a sickly brown.
Spike saluted the pony, and walked south. After a few minutes he began to see a small forest in the expanse of ice and snow. Approaching it, the smell of spring filled Spike’s reptilian nostrils. All of the inhabitants were creatures that looked somewhat like apes, only made of leaves and vines rather than fur and flesh. Spike was taken aback at first, but then realized that this must be the druid race that the Fountain Guarder had told about. He could vaguely remember Twilight talking about druids back when he and the unicorn still lived in Canterlot.
The druids were an older race, one that existed before Discord ruled, and had a functioning society before unicorns had even figured out how to use their horns. Sometime after Luna’s banishment, Spike thought it was sometime in the Third Solar Century (the time in which Luna was gone was recorded in Centuries, from the first to the tenth. When the Elements of Harmony saved Luna, it began the new Era which they were currently in: The Age of Harmony), an unknown pathogen wiped out most of the colonies from the Equestrian Continent. Some were rumored to live in the Griffin Empire, and maybe some still populated Warscape, but Spike had the habit of zoning out when Twilight talked non-stop for more than five minutes.
Spike approached one of the druids. “Um, excuse me, who’s in charge here?”
The plant being looked up with flower eyes at the dragon. Moving vines in an area that may have been its mouth, Spike could not hear any noise being generated.
“Uh... thanks.” The druid nodded and slinked off. Spike decided just to head the large flower in the center of town. Perhaps that’s where the head druid was.
Upon reaching the flower, Spike failed to see any leader. Just a few druids watering or fertilizing the ground around the flower.
Suddenly, without any warning, the flower bent its unopened bud down to Spike. The little dragon was taken by surprise, and he fell to the ground.
Do not be afraid, child. That voice... it was inside his head!
I am Elder Druid Glaymaxi. What do you require from me?
Spike, still shaken from the event of a flower talking to him, stammered a bit before saying “One of the fountains to the north is corrupted. Can you... um... save it?”
But of course! However...
“You want me to do one small favor, yeah, yeah, yeah...”
Actually, no, but now that you’ve offered... Spike smashed his head into the ground, cursing his stupidity.
I would be grateful if you gathered some honey from The Hive, located in the Everfree Forest. I know how far away that is, so I can provide transport.
The bud opened up. Spike peered inside to see it looked just like a normal flower. A daisy, to be exact.
Spike, now having learned not to question anything and to just do it, climbed inside the petals. The large flower engulfed him, and Spike felt himself being squeezed. It wasn’t an unpleasant squeeze, but it was... nice and smooth, soft... warm... Comforting, even.
Then, he was unceremoniously spat into the ground in the forest he knew so very well.
Come back here when you have gathered the honey... and before you go, I must inquire: Why not simply just gather some rubies for this “Rarity” and forget about this all?
Spike looked at the flowery extension of the druid. “How did you know what I was doing?”
I apologize for the thought intrusion, it is involuntary.
Spike shrugged. “Well, I can’t give up on everypony I’ve promised to help, now can I?”
And with that, the little dragon headed off to find The Hive.
The Hive was just that: A giant beehive. Spike looked up and the behemoth insect colony. A large buzzing droned in his ears. Grabbing some large leaves, curling them up and lighting them on fire, he shimmied up the tree. “This smoke oughta put any bee guards to sleep!”
Spike smiled, as he knew this would finally be the end of his trail. There was no way anything was going to ask him for one more favor after this! “After all, they’re just dumb bugs!” Spike said out loud.
“Who’re ya callin’ a dumb bug?” A large bee flew out of the entrance of the hive and stared at Spike with its compound eyes.
Spike groaned. “Of course.” He brandished the large wad of leaves, swing the smoke at the insect. “Shoo!”
The bee gave Spike an apprehensive (at least, he thought it was apprehensive, he couldn’t honestly tell) look, and grabbed the leaves. “Give me dat cigar!” The bee took a nice big puff, then charged Spike. Spike shrieked his manliest shriek, and dived headfirst into The Hive.
The small reptile landed in a huge honeycomb full of the sweet stuff. Struggling to climb out, Spike finally escaped the grasp of the goo only to find himself face to face with bees wearing... armour?
“The queen wishes to speak with you.” The bees’ voices were droning and buzzing, almost violent to the ears.
Spike allowed himself to be escorted to the chamber of the queen. It was a small side chamber, and was just like anywhere else, except it was full of eggs, and a very large bee with a crown upon its head.
“Ah yes. So this is the intruder.”
“Wow, word really gets around fast,” Spike said, astonished.
“Well, we share a hive mind. What one bee is thinking, all the other bees know.”
Spike grinned. He had just realized that he could use this whole thing to his advantage. He was learning so much, he could probably bargain whole years worth of ice cream from Twilight with it. The purple unicorn would probably faint from all the knowledge he’d acquired.
“We will be willing to forgive the intrusion,” Spike was shaken back to reality by the buzz of the Royal Bee “If you, small dragon, will do us a favor: There is a pony who insists on flying his dastardly machines all about. Go talk to him and get him to stop flying so near to our hive. We’re afraid he might kill one of our nectar collectors.”
Spike laughed. “Hey, that-” The cold metallic eyes of the Queen immediately sucked all of the happiness from Spike. “Yes, I’ll see to it right away. On one condition: I can take some of your honey as I go.”
“You may take some honey once you return.” Spike saluted the bee, and dashed off, past the bees, past the squirming grubs, and jumped out of The Hive.
He immediately regretted doing so, as the fall was a good twenty feet into a thorn bush. Thankfully, his scales kept him from being too injured.
Spike then had to deal with the problem of the fact that he had no idea where to find the pony in question. This problem didn’t exist for very long, as a glider smashed through the canopy and nearly crushed the little dragon.
“Well, that didn’t work. Perhaps next time I’ll use a different adhesive then grape jelly.” The aviator stallion, who was wearing a leather cap, sporting a very nice pair of goggles, and wore an aviator's jacket, looked over at Spike. “Well, hello there!”
“Um, listen, Mr-”
“Timn. Mr. Timn is the name.”
“TimN! With an N!”
“Mister master. Anyway, what can I do yah for?”
Spike was very confused. “Um, anyway... can you not fly so close to The Hive? The bees are concerned by... everything you do.”
Mr. Timn put on his most thoughtful of faces. It looked like we was trying to pass a kidney stone the size of a bowling ball. “Well, I could... but yah see here, dragon, I need more T.R.A.S.H.”
Spike was utterly confused by the stallion before him. “Excuse me, what?”
“I need more Triple Redundant Aero Super Hawsers,” Mr. Timn explained as though it were the plainest thing in the world.
“Oh. Well, I-”
“You can find them in a shop called ‘Sugarcube Corner’ underneath the pineapple pastries. Also-” Suddenly, Mr. Timn stopped. “Do you hear that?”
Spike gave the stallion an odd look. “Hear what?”
Mr. Timn’s eyes grew wide. “It’s the sound of somebody stealing all my pretzels!” Mr. Timn dashed off into the bushes, where the sound of a crash and screams of pain could be heard. Spike ignored this, and begrudgingly returned to Ponyville.
Spike waltzed into Sugarcube Corner. “Oh, hello Spike! Twilight Sparkle has been looking all over for you!” Mrs. Cake informed the assistant.
“Look, I have no time, I need your T.R.A.S.H.”
Mrs. Cake gave Spike a very odd look, then dumped all of the contents of the wastebin on top of him
“There you go. A little bit of an odd request...”
Spike brushed the garbage off of him, surprised at how little he cared about what Mrs. Cake had done. “No, I need your Triple Redundant Aero Super Hawsers.”
“Oh!” Mrs. Cake blushed. “Well, why didn’t you say so?” The mare reached down under the counter and brought up some mesh rope. “Here yah go, sweetie. Oh! And before you go, can you do me one small favor? I need the weather forecast for tomorrow, go be a dear and ask Rainbow Dash about that.”
Spike groaned. He was so close...
“Sure thing, Mrs. Cake.”
Spike walked outside, looking up at the sky for Rainbow Dash. Finally spotting her resting on a cloud that was drifting over the schoolyard, he called out to the pegasus.
“Rainbow Dash! What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?”
Rainbow Dash looked down at the dragon. “Oh, hey Spike. Listen, I’ve misplaced Tank. Can you go and find him?”
“Huh? Your tortoise? When did you lose him?”
“Right after Pinkie’s ‘Half-way to Twilight’s Coming to Ponyville anniversary’ party.”
“Wasn’t that like three weeks ago?”
Spike sighed. “Look, can you just give me the forecast?”
“Sure, right after you find Tank, ok?”
Spike had several choice words he wanted to say to the pegasus, but thought better of it, and left to find the tortoise.
Asking around town, he finally got an answer from Colgate.
“Yeah, I saw him near that cave north of here a few days ago. By the way, Twilight is looking-” Spike had rushed off at the word “Cave.”
Spike knew not to get his hopes up. There was probably something holding Tank captive that wanted him to do something for the little tortoise. But still, it got him ever closer to his goals.
Reaching the cave, Spike went inside and gave it a look around. There were all manners of stone statues inside... including one of a tortoise.
“Oh no... a cockatrice’s cave!” Spike tried to lift the tortoise, but he was already over encumbered by the weight of all the other things he was carrying. “I’ll come back and help Tank, I swear!”
Spike fled from the cave. “Ok... Twilight knows a spell that turns things back from stone... but I already owe her a favor... and I can’t go to Rarity... what am I going to do?”
“Hey Spike! Twilight’s looking for you,” Lyra Heartstrings told him as she approached.
“Lyra!” Spike hugged the unicorn’s leg. “Am I glad to see you! Listen, do you know how to turn things back from stone?”
Lyra frowned. “Well, yeah... but I don’t do things for free. I’ll do a trade since I know you probably don’t have any money.”
“I’m assuming you wouldn’t want to trade stories?”
“And you want me to do you a favor.”
“That’s about right.”
Spike sighed. “What do you want me to do?”
“Well, you know Greyhound?”
“That grey guy who’s always drooling over Dashie?”
“Yeah, well, he came to me asking about my crystal collection, looking for a rainbow one to give to Dash. Go and get the crystal from my collection and give it to him.”
Spike left for Lyra’s house, and upon arrival, found the door to be slightly ajar. Stepping in, he was hit over the head with a frying pan.
“Ow! What the-” Bon-Bon was holding a frying pan between her teeth. Spitting it out, she grinned sheepishly.
“Oh. Sorry... Lyra’s been creeping me out with her human stories again. What do you need?”
“Well... you know that rainbow crystal?”
Bon-Bon gasped. “You mean Captain Sparkles?”
“You named a rock? What kind of-” Spike thought about what he was saying, the remembered. “Oh. Right. Anyway, can anything change your mind into letting me have the rock?”
“Well... if you really want it, you can go run a quick errand for me. Applejack borrowed a pillow from me. Go and get it back, will you?”
Spike headed over to Sweet Apple Acres, and saw Applejack, sans hat, bucking a nearby tree. “Applejack! Where’s your hat?”
“Oh! Hey, Spike! Well, that’s not important, Twilight wanted to see yah, so Ah’d-”
“Bon-Bon wants her pillow back.”
“Oh! Well, it’s in the barn. But hey, can you help me? Mah hat got stuck in the tree, and Ah’m not exactly the best tree climber. Can yah do it fer me?”
“That’s it? No interaction with any other pony?”
“Ah’d say no ta that.”
Spike happily climbed up the tree and threw down Applejack’s hat. “Thanks, Spike! Alright, the pillows in the barn.”
Spike skipped gleefully to the barn, swung the door open, and saw Big Macintosh sitting on the pillow.
“Let me guess. You want me to do you a favor to let me have that pillow.”
“Well, what do you- wait, did you just say ‘nope?’” Spike stared slack jawed at the big red stallion.
“So, you’ll just give me the pillow, and I can go?”
“I love you.”
Big Macintosh gave Spike an odd look.
“Wait, not in that way, I just...” Spike blushed. Big Macintosh looked slightly disappointed. He stood up, took the pillow in his mouth and threw it to the dragon. Spike caught it, and headed back to Lyra and Bon-Bon’s.