“Hey! What’s taking you guys so long?!” Wah! Where did she come from?! Rainbow Dash somehow came back right behind me with an angry and impatient look. “We need to go pronto!” Okay... this is unexpected. I was just walking with Winter and Moonshine with my friends and suddenly here come Rainbow.
“Yeah yeah, hold your horses, skittles.” Jack rolled his eyes, ignoring the angry look from her.
“Don’t worry Rainbow Dash, we’re hurrying.” Fluttershy assured. We all followed after her and... “What the hay?!” Rainbow exclaimed, seeing something in front of us. We all looked over and jaw-dropped onto seeing such a long line to Sweet Apple Acres.
“Exactly, what the hay?!” Kodi gaped.
“You can’t be serious, right?” Mason asked, face-palming.
We saw Pinkie Pie nearby, "Hey Pinkie."
“So what’s up with the long line?”
“You gotta be kidding me! You’re in the front of the line!…Again?!” Rainbow exclaimed.
“Yep-a-doodles!” Pinkie nodded.
“The heck’s wrong with this chick anyway?” Jack questioned. “She’s been acting so weird for the past week.”
“Trust us, we’re all questioning her.” Mason sighed. “But we learned to forget to ever ask that question.”
“So you came in first?” Carrie asked curiously, moving back to the main topic.
“Oh yes! Since everypony was so eager and probably missed out the good taste of the apple cider, I told everypony last night to come and wait in line in front of Sweet Apple Acres and camp out here till Cider season was officially opened!” Pinkie grinned. “Even Jamie, Twilight, Kaede, Rarity, Spike, and Rantaro are here.”
“I see…” I nodded. "Where is Rantaro?" I asked.
“Oh, I saw him hanging around in the front of the line. He looked really curious about the apple cider!” Pinkie explained before we heard a bell rang. “Ooh! It’s starting! Gotta get back to the front of the line! Bye!”
With that, Pinkie Pie immediately ran off with an excited look on her face as Rainbow Dash twitched her eyes in annoyance before falling down on her knees with a shocked look.
“Oh dear…” Fluttershy muttered as she came over and patted her on the back. “It’s okay Rainbow Dash, there’s always next year.”
Rainbow soon began to form an angry look before screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
We all covered our ears from the loud screaming, even some ponies from behind covered their ears and looks back in surprise from that intense screaming. Hot dang! That scream probably echoed all over Ponyville! Jack managed to get the duct tape out of his mouth with a bewildered and furious look on her face.
“What the heck was that for?! That little squirt!” Jack growled angrily.
“Just calm down.” Mason said sternly.
“I AM CALM!” Jack yelled angrily.
“You’re acting like an angry bull.” Jack gritted his teeth angrily, ready to knock out Mason.
“You guys! Stop!” I pleaded, getting in between them. “You guys are only gonna make things worse!”
Jack growled blushing a little. “Fine…”
“Thank you…” I grinned.
“Once again, you managed to win by talking to them, Princess." Kodi laughed.
"Kodiak." I whined.
"Rarr." We turned and Lucario and Ampharos going towards us with.. "How did you two get Cider?" Rainbow asked.
"We got in last night." Lucario said.
"Nobody was here last night." Rainbow said.
"Exactly." Ampharos said. I laughed, knowing what the two did. Either way, they handed out cider to all us.
…Oh god! It taste awesome! Oh man, now I see why everypony likes it so much! It really taste so good! I can even taste the sweet apples in it!
“Wow! De-licious!” I commented with a happy smile.
“I know right?” Fluttershy giggled nervously.
“Do you think we should move out of the way since we already gotten our cider?” I asked.
“No way! We need more!” Rainbow exclaimed.
“But we already have some apple cider, Rainbow Dash.” Carrie stated.
“True, but I need more of that stuff! It taste so good that I can’t get the apple flavor out of my mouth!” Rainbow sucked her lips a bit before forming a determined smile on her face. “So I gotta need that drink!” Rainbow said. Suddenly, we heard something coming our way, blasting through the crowd and stopping in front of us all.
“What the?” I asked myself. What the hay is that? Suddenly, two ponies were seen on top of the machine with smirks on their faces. They looked very identical, but the only difference was that their cutie-marks were different and one of them had a mustache. They nearly looked like those advertisers you would see in the 1980s or something.
Soon, the machine they were on started playing some music as it began spinning around like an amusement park ride, surprising us all a bit.
“What in the world?” Kaede thought aloud with a surprised look.
Well, lookie what we got here, brother of mine, it's the same in every town
Ponies with thirsty throats, dry tongues, and not a drop of cider to be found
Maybe they're not aware that there's really no need for this teary despair
That the key that they need to solve this sad cider shortage you and I will share
The crowd began to grow excited at the prospect of getting cider, but the Apple family and Mason seemed a bit wary of these two unicorn brothers as they entertained everyone with their song.
Well you've got opportunity
In this very community
(Flim & Flam)
We're the world famous Flim Flam Brothers
Traveling salesponies nonpareil
“Non-what?” Kodi raised a brow with a bewildered look.
“The hell is this crap?” Jack wondered.
“I don’t know…” Jamie replied, raising a brow as he began to feel wary of them.
“Umm…what does nonpareil mean?” Carrie thought aloud. The two brothers looked over at her, not even surprised by her nor our appearance.
(Flim & Flam)
Nonpareil, and that’s exactly the reason why, you see.
No pony else in this whole place will you such a chance to be where you need to be.
Flim picked up Apple Bloom and Carrie by the foreleg and gave them a peck on the forehead.
And that’s a new world, with tons of cider.
Fresh squeezed and ready for drinking.
More cider than you could drink in all your days of thinking
“I doubt that.” Rainbow said bluntly.
“Same here as well.” Mason added, looking at them with a suspicious and skeptical look. I felt the same way but I didn't say anything.
(Flim and Flam)
So take this opportunity
(Flim, Flam, and Crowd)
In this very community
(Flim and Flam)
We're the world famous Flim Flam Brothers
(Flim, Flam, and Crowd)
I suppose by now you're wondering 'bout our peculiar mode of transport
I say, our mode of locomotion
And I suppose by now you're wondering, where is this promised cider?
Any horse can make a claim and any pony can do the same
But my brother and I have something most unique and superb
Unseen at any time in this big new world
(Flim and Flam)
And that's opportunity
Folks, it's the one and only, the biggest and the best
(Flim and Flam)
Flim Flam Brothers' Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000
We all gaze at the machine, seeing how huge and amazing it looked by structure. But…can this thing really make as much cider as they say?
“That can’t be true…” I looked over at Jamie, who stared at the machine with a suspicious look. So I guess only he and Mason are suspicious by their arrival and their little machine. I mean, Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000? That’s such a mouthful. I mean, try saying that five times fast? I prefer calling it…the SSCS 6000. Seems pretty short.
“What do you say, brother?” Flim asked, standing next to his nearly identical twin brother.
Oh, we got opportunity
In this very community
Please, Flim, please, Flam, help us out of this jam
With your Flim Flam Brothers' Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000
“Pardon me, miss.” Flim turned over to Applejack with a grin. “It would be a great honor if my brother and I could borrow some of your delicious, and sellbindingly fragrant apples to demonstrate what our beautiful machine can do?”
“Uhh, sure, I guess…” Applejack replied, feeling unsure about them. You know, I’m…starting to have doubts about them as well.
Opportunity, in our community
(Flim and Flam)
Let’s bing bang zam!
Both brothers charged their horns, glowing in a green aura as they both shot a beam together and into their cider making machine, powering it up as it began to whir to life.
And show these thirsty ponies a world of delectable cider!
“Cider! Cider! Cider!” The crowd repeated as they watching the machine did its work, even Rainbow and Kodi were curious to see it go on. Soon, the machine started moving by itself and hovered over one of the apples trees in the orchard, sucking up all the apples from the branches and into the tube leading into the SSCS 6000.
Watch closely, friends!“ Flim shouted.
The fun begins
“Now, this is where all the magic happens, folks!” Flim shouted before he began his explanation about how it works. “Inside of the heaving, rolling, cider-press-boiling-guts of our machine, the apples that have been plucked fresh from the trees, as we speak, are being turned into Grade-A, top-notch, five-star, blow-your-”
“We get it! We’ll just watch it for god’s sake!” Jake shouted, interrupting Flim, who gave a huff towards the big guy.
Soon, all of us crowded around to get a better look at the machine doing its job, sorting out all the good apples from the bad with the blinking green and red lights.
Now wait a second, hold it!
You two just over-sold it!
I guarantee that what you have just won't compare
Cause the very most important ingredient
Can't be added or done expedient
And that's quality, friends, Apple-Acres quality and care!
Well, ma’am, I’m glad you brought that up, my friend, I say I’m glad you brought that up!
You see that we are very picky when it comes to cider if you’ll kindly try a cup!
Flim held a mug in his hands, wondering which one would accept it until Jack swiped it away from him.
"Oh please, like this mechanical do-hickey can make some good cider." Jack scoffed before taking a gulp of it, and just three seconds, his eyes widened in shock before shouting "NGHAARRR!"
"What? What is it?" I asked in worried.
"This...cider...is...so....goood!" Jack yelled, causing everypony to gasp happily and began cheering in excitement.
"I-it's...that good, huh?" Applejack asked in shock.
Yes sir, yes ma'am, this great machine lets just the very best.
So what do you say then, Apples?
Care to step into the modern world
And put the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 to the test?
The crowd began chanting 'Cider' over and over, seemingly getting those two brothers winning the crowd ver.
"So what do you say, folks?! Do you see what the Apples can't?" Flim asked. I looked over and saw how worried Applejack, Granny Smith, Mason and Big Mac were while Apple Bloom and Carrie were enjoying their little song.
(Flim and Flam)
We're saying you've got
(Flim, Flam, and Crowd)
In this very community
He's Flim, he's Flam
We're the world famous Flim Flam Brothers
Traveling salesponies nonpareil
(Flim and Flam)
"You got a deal!" Apple Bloom exclaimed with a happy smirk, much to our shock while the crowd were chattering happily about that.
"Not so fast!" Granny Smith exclaimed, pulling Apple Bloom away from them. "No way no how that machine matches up with the care we put in our cider!"
"I agree with Granny Smith." Mason agreed, giving the twin unicorn brothers a stern glare. "What makes you guys think this machine can produce quality over quantity?"
"Trust us, young human, this machine is a great machine that'll surely make your business boom!" Flim assured, wrapping his foreleg around Mason's shoulder, who still gave him a stern look.
"So I take it you knew what our kind is, right?" Mason asked, raising a brow.
"Course we do! Everypony in Equestria knows about your kind! It's quite remarkable, isn't it Flim?" Flam asked his brother, who nodded and replied "Sure is Flam! Seeing a new species in our planet is quite beautiful."
"Stop talking." Mason said sternly.
"But big brother, if it really does work, we could make everypony in town happy!" Carrie exclaimed.
"Yeah! Then we won't have to deal with another angry customer!" Apple Bloom added.
"I just don't know, you all. We've always made cider the same way." Applejack said, feeling doubtful about it.
"Eeyup!" Big Mac nodded.
"Don't worry. We'll sweeten the deal." Flim assured. "You supply the apples..."
"And we'll supply the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000." Flam finished.
"Then we split those sweet sweet profits..." Flim and Flam said in unison.
"That might sound like a good deal." Carrie smiled.
"Yep! It's just a 75%-25% profit." Flim stated.
"Hold on!" Applejack stopped her sister from saying anything before looking at them with a suspicious gaze. "Who gets the seventy five?"
"Why us, naturally." Flim stated, causing the Apple family to gasp in shock.
"And we'll throw in the magic to power the machine for free." Flam added.
"You both are crossing the line, you know that?" Mason asked sternly.
"Y-yeah..." Jamie stepped in with a stern look. "In order for the Partnership to start, both companies needs to work together and have the equal amount of work, or else both companies will fall down. It's economics basics..."
"Right..." Applejack nodded before looking at the two brothers with a serious look and said "Cider sales keep our business afloat through the winter. We'd lost Sweet Apple Acres if we agreed to this."
"So? What'll it be?" Flim and Flam asked in unison.
"Obviously no deal!" I exclaimed, stepping up for Mason, Carrie, and the Apple family. "Why should they agreed with all this?! You two are just robbing of their whole jobs! If you lose Sweet Apple Acres, where could they go and think about what might happened? Then no one will ever buy good apples than here."
"Sarah..." Mason put his hand on my shoulder with a soft smile and said "Thank you."
"We really appreciate the help Sarah." Applejack smiled at me before glaring at the twin brothers. "Sorry, but like my friend here said is right. No deal."
"Hmph." Flim scoffed. "Very well. If you refuse our generous offer to be partners, then we'll just have to be competitors."
"C-competitors?" Jamie asked in surprise.
"This can't be happening, right?" Kodi wondered.
"You wouldn't dare." Applejack snarled. Winter and Moonshine roared in anger at the two brothers.
"Oh no?" Flim asked in a mock gasp.
"Don't you worry, everypony! There'll be plenty of cider for all of you!" Flam shouted to the crowd, who let out a cheer.
"Once we drive Sweet Apple Acres out of business." Wait what?! Those of us who were near them overheard what they muttered, causing us to gasp. Winter and Moonshine growled.
"You bastards!" Jack pushed me and Mason aside, with an angry look on his face. "What do ya mean you'll drive them out of business? You think this is some joke, huh?"
"Oh my good human sir, what ever do ya mean? We would never do that!" Flim assured with a grin. "After all...that's how business roll."
"Sarah, can't you stop them? You're a Pr-." Spike started but I covered his mouth. "Shhh!"
"You dirty bastards! I'll show ya who's boss!" Jack exclaimed angrily as he was about to pounce until they immediately switched a lever on, and made the SSCS 6000 to fly the coop. "W-what the heck?! Those little!"
"Jack, please calm down." Mason sighed. "I understand your anger, but it's not gonna solve anything. But then again, those two will pay for their actions."
"But still, they're gonna run Applejack's family business?" Kaede asked, feeling alarm of this. "That's so...cruel!"
"Yeah! They lived here, and the best apple sellers ever!" Kodi added, feeling furious at the Flim Flam brothers arrogance and such. You know, if I know one thing...those two aren't like the Mario Bros.
"I rather knock their crap out!" Jack growled.
"Yeah! How dare they not give me the cup of cider?!" We all gave Rainbow Dash unimpressive looks. "What?! I like apple cider! I need more, alright?!"
"...You are just a dumb pony, that's what." Jack commented dryly, ignoring the angry glare sent by Dash.
"But it's not fair! They can't run Sweet Apple Acres like that, right?" Carrie asked in worried.
"Yeah! It's even our home! Where we grew up..." Apple Bloom formed a sad look until Applejack and Big Mac comforted her as the former stated "Don't worry. There's no way those guys can do that. They don't even have apples to make Apple cider."
"That is quite true." Jamie nodded in agreement with a solemn look on his face. "Besides, I was studying their Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 quite a bit and saw how it operate. Unfortunately, I never gotten much info about it except seeing the speed rate of it."
"Speed rate?" I questioned.
"I think Jamie means about how fast it goes. I saw a bit of their Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 and it would seem that its control by the pull of a lever, judging by which position it goes." Twilight explained.
"Really? That seemed pretty easy to operate that machine to make cider." Kaede said, slightly surprised by that.
"So what now?" Carrie asked in concern. I noticed Mason held a determined look as he clenched his fists tight, much to my concern. I just hope that he doesn't take it personally. Besides, he just started out this job as a local Sweet Apple Acres apple farmer, and I bet he cares about them more than ever.
"Sarah, why didn't you stop them? You're a Princess." Spike said. I rubbed the back of my head. "I don't want to use my title invain."
"It won't be invain. You'll be helping if you speak up." Mason reassured. I still wasn't sure. "Sure I'm a royal Princess and everyone follows what I say, but I don't want to take advantage of that." I explained. "That's not what a Princess does." Jack patted my back. "Don't worry newbie, you don't have to confront them if you don't want to." I noticed Winter and Moonshine looked at each other with weird expressions. "So what do we do?" Applebloom asked.
"We need to make sure that they won't beat us." Everyone else turned to Mason as he made a serious and determined look. "We can't let them overrun the Apple Families' business, right? Besides, after seeing their cocky and confident attitude of theirs, they don't care whether if the apple cider taste good or not. They only care about the money and their motivation for greed."
"Well...can't argue with that." Jack shrugged.
"Yeah! What my big brother said! We can beat them!" Carrie said with a bright smile on her face. "I wanna help out as much as I can!"
"Me too! Me too!" Apple Bloom volunteered.
"Now that's the spirit, you little whippersnappers!" Granny Smith smiled. "Now come along! Let's go make another batch of apple cider!"
"Eeyup!" Big Mac nodded before walking towards the fields to prepare themselves to get some apples.
"I'll help too. My strength and speed can help out get more apples in no time." Mason smiled.
"That should be good." Applejack chuckled. "Thanks for the help, you two."
"No problem, Applejack." Mason smiled. "Besides, I just can't let them kick you all out of your home. It's just not right, and I can't imagined what might happened if they do so. But they're arrogant, so I have a feeling they'll get what's coming to them."
"And besides, stealing one's product is quite illegal." Jamie added. "And it doesn't seem they don't care about quality over quantity."
"Heh, guess you got some brains in there after all." Jack grinned, causing Jamie to glance away nervously.
"T-thank you J-Jack..." Jamie chuckled nervously.
"Well I guess we'll take our leave then." I sighed. "We'll come back later."
"I see why not. It shouldn't take long." Applejack smiled. "Normally it takes a day, but with these extra hooves..." Applejack smirked at Mason and Carrie before saying "I say we might get it done in an hour or so."
"Well in the meantime, why not we head over to the home-ship?" Kaede suggested. "I mean, they're new rooms that just opened up Ren!"
"Really?" I asked in surprise. "I'm quite excited to find out what it is!"
"Trust me, you're gonna love them!" Kaede smiled excitedly.
"I never really explored the new areas. I stayed behind with you back at Fluttershy's cottage because I didn't feel like exploring without ya." Kodi said, lowering his ears a bit. I petted him on the head, cheering him up a bit.
"Don't be fret, Kodi." I assured. "I mean, you were worried about me after all. It was quite nice of ya to do that for me."
"Heh heh, thanks Sarah." Kodi smiled, nuzzling my leg a bit.
Phew, we finally made it. In the nick of time, no less. I managed to catch up with Jamie, Kaede, Rosy, Jack, Twilight, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash.
“Hey guys, did I miss anything?” I asked, trying my best to catch my breath.
“Well…not much to be exact. Just the Apple Family, Mason and Carrie arguing with the Flim Flam brothers.” Kaede explained. “And trust me, it’s not going okay.”
“Like how?” I asked. She pointed over to see Mason glaring angrily at the Flim Flam brothers as he yelled “Do you two even care about anything?! Is money and trickery the only things that entertain you both?!”
“It does, one hundred percent.” Flim nodded.
“Besides, do ya want to dissatisfied these ponies?” Flam asked, seeing the crowd so thirsty for it.
“God dang. This whole town really likes their cider.” Jack commented loudly.
“Tell me about it.” Jamie sighed.
“Ponyville is a sweet Apple Cider country!” Apple Bloom argued.
“Our cider speaks for itself!” Applejack added.
“let’s up it to the test then!” Flim smirked.
“Anywhere, anytime!” Apple Bloom glared at them with a smirk.
Uhh…why am I getting the feeling this is going to be a bad feeling?
“Yeah! We can show you jerks that my big brother and the Apple Family can make the best cider in all of Equestria!” Carrie smirked until she was held back by Mason.
“That’s enough Carrie. Please.” Mason said, not wanting his sister to be involve with them.
“Ahh, look at that. Defending his own sister. Isn’t that cute?” Flam chuckled.
“Yeah! It’s kinda cowardly, don’t you think?” Upon hearing what they said, Mason glared at them and said “Cowardly? Cowardly?! How is defending my sister cowardly?! I care about her and I won’t let something happened to her!”
“Big brother! Calm down!” Carrie grabbed onto her brother’s sweater tightly, not wanting him to fight them.
“She’s right, young man.” Granny Smith agreed. “You can’t go and picking up fights with them.
“Ooh, what’s the matter, Granny Smith? Chicken?” Flim taunted, causing Granny Smith to narrow her eyes in anger at him.
“What did you call me, sonny?” Granny Smith asked, glaring at the twin ponies.
“Uh oh…” Kodi muttered.
“Uh oh, indeed…” Fluttershy agreed with a worried look.
“If you’re so confident in your cider, then what’s the problem?” Flim shrugged.
Granny Smith continued to glare at them until she spoke “Tomorrow morning, right here!”
“What?!” Mason exclaimed.
“But I’m afraid we haven’t any…” Flam made a mischievous smirk. "Apples..."
"You can borrow our apples over by the south field." Applejack stated, narrowing her eyes at the Flim Flam brothers. "It'll be worth teaching ya varmints a lesson or two about messing with my family."
"Yeah! We're totally gonna beat ya into tomorrow!" Carrie added, glaring at the brothers.
"Really? You and your 'big brother'?" Flam asked, taunting that last part at Mason. "Are you two even related to the Apples?"
"Well...no." Carrie hesitated on that.
"What's it matter? It doesn't matter." Mason stated with a serious look.
"Actually, it does. How can two weird creatures like yourselves even work at a place like this dump?" Flim chuckled, adding more fury at the Apple Family, and unexpectedly, us as well. "Besides, you're not family nor even a pony at all!"
"Tch!" Mason clenched his fist, feeling like punching the living daylights out of them.
"Mason...just don't get angry at them." Applejack assured, patting him on the back. "I don't care what they say."
"But...what if they're right?" Mason questioned, causing me to frown over at him. Mason is having doubts in himself. I hardly ever see him like this.
"Well anyway. It's best if we go." Flim stated before remembering something. "Oh and there's just one thing. If you win, then you can keep making apple cider for Ponyville and can keep Sweet Apple Acres."
"But if we win..." Flam added with a smirk as he and his brother said it together. "We'll take Sweet Apple Acres into our own."
"....Deal." Applejack sighed.
"What?! Applejack?!" Mason exclaimed in shock.
"Okay then! Until tomorrow!" Flim and Flam laughed before they got onto their SSCS 6000 and driven off. Mason and Carrie looked at each other in worried while the crowd dispersed and were mumbling about what just happened while the rest of us walked towards them with worried.
"Don't worry you guys. I know you'll win tomorrow." Twilight assured.
"We'd better." Applejack said with a concern look. "Cause if we don't, we're gonna lose our farm."
Mason kept silent, sinking in what Flim and Flam said.
"Big brother?" Carrie pulled onto his sweater, feeling really concern for him. "They're not gonna listen to ya, are they?"
"S-sorry...it's just that..." Mason bit his lower lip, feeling hesitate about it.
"Mason, don't listen to them!" I exclaimed, surprising him a bit. "You can't let them get the best of ya!"
"I-I know that...but...they're right. I'm not even related to the Apple family...I'm...just an employee..." Mason looked away, feeling anguished by this.
"Big brother..." Carrie frowned, feeling guilty for her brother.
"So what?!" We all turned to see Jack walking up to Mason and just five seconds, he punched Mason in the gut, causing him to fall down to his knees in a huff. "Are you gonna let them give you that crap?! Stand up for yourself man!"
"Mason!" Rarity gasped before glaring at Jack. "What is your problem?! You could've nearly killed him!"
"She's right! Punching Mason isn't gonna solve anything!" Applejack said, poking Jack's belly. "I don't know if this is how you bikers solve these kind of issues, but that's enough!"
"Shaddup! I was giving him a talk! Besides, he's fine!" Jack scoffed before turning to Mason, who was clutching onto his stomach with Rarity and Carrie helping him. "Now listen! Family isn't about being born by blood! It's about bond! My entire family of bikers weren't by blood, but bond! Even if we were different, we were still like a family! Who cares what they say?! You need to stand up for yourself and don't let them get to ya! If you care about the Apple family, then stop your whining and get to it!"
Mason soon got back up and looked at Mason with a glare before letting out a soft smile. "Y-yeah...thanks. I'm surprised that you gave out a good and motivating speech. Almost like Ren.
"Hey!" Me and Jack yelled, highly offended of that. I cleared my throat before saying "But you know, Jack's right. It's not about being born in a family by blood, but by bond. You may have worked here for a month with them, but you're a part of them. In fact, you're a part of us. We're all family."
"Yeah! Remember the Sisterhooves Social, big brother?" Carrie reminded him.
"Yeah! Carrie thought of Kaede and Ren as older siblings figure. Even Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and I think of you as an older brother." Apple Bloom smiled. "Including Ren."
"Ahh, Apple Bloom..." I chuckled, rubbing my head bashfully.
"Y-you're right...I am so sorry for doubting myself and made you all worried about me." Mason apologized before making a smirk at Jack. "And thank you for your encouraging words Jack."
"I was just saying..." Jack glanced away with a blush.
"But still, thank you...but still..." In a flash, he punched Jack real hard in the gut, causing him to hold his gut in pain. "That's for punching me in the gut."
"Heh heh...payback, was it? I deserved that." Jack chuckled while the rest of us smiled at the scene.
"Ahh, now that's brotherhood right there." Granny Smith chuckled.
"Eeyup!" Big Mac nodded in agreement.
"I know that tomorrow that they'll beat the Flim Flam brothers in no time!" Kaede said with a smile.
"Meow!" Rosy agreed.
"Totally! There's no way they can be defeated by a machine, right Ren?" Kodi asked me, excitedly wagging his tail.
"Right!" I nodded with a smile.
"Eeyup!" Big Mac nodded with a grin.
"But...are we even sure we can?" Jamie muttered loudly. "That machine is quite good at making cider more faster..."
"We know we can win Jamie! After all, we just gotta have faith in them." Twilight said with a smile.
"Faith?" Jamie asked in confusion.
"Of course! After all...that's the point of believing in others." Twilight smiled. "You just gotta believe in them and I'm know for sure that Applejack and her family won't fail."
"Faith..." Jamie muttered, glancing down with a sad look. Twilight's right. We just gotta believe in the Apple Family. I just know that they can do this.
The Next Day
Well, today's the day where the Apple Family will be facing off against the Flim Flam brothers. This is it! It's time for the Apple family to show them why they're the best cider making ponies in all of Equestria and put them into place. Everyone, including us, watched the competitors get into place.
Mason, Carrie, and Apple Bloom waved at us while me and Kodi waved at us with a smile on our faces, wishing them good luck.
"So what do you think, you guys?" Jamie asked with anticipation. "Think they can do this?"
"Of course! They can do it." Kaede assured with a grin before glaring over at the Flim Flam brothers, who were just relaxing on their couch on top of the SSCS 6000. "But those guys...they're definitely bad news. Just look at them! Lazying about in their makeshift couch."
"Ain't that the frigging truth?" Jack rolled his eyes.
"Some big event, huh?" Huh? I turned over to see a familiar fedora man coming over with a smug look on his face. "What's this about?"
"Oh! They're having a competition to see who makes the best apple ciders!" Pinkie answered, getting into his face. However, he was hardly surprised by her appearance as he just continued to smirk.
"Really? The best ciders? Well I don't know who to decide." He chuckled.
"What are you talking about? It's obvious Applejack and her family." Rarity retorted.
"Yeah! And besides, at least I can at least get another batch of some apple cider." Rainbow stated, causing us all to give her blank looks. "What?! I'm thirsty, okay?!"
"Well in that case..." He pulled out a mug of apple cider, which surprised us all. "Been saving this since yesterday."
"Awesome!" Rainbow grinned as she tried to grab it until Rantaro stopped him as he pulled out his hands and said "Nah-ah-ah. Cough it up!"
"Ugh...do I have to?" Rainbow asked irritably, only to receive a deadpan look from him. "Ugh....fine."
She slapped ten bits into his hand, which he accepted before he gave her the mug of apple cider, much to her joy.
"Seriously? Bribery?" Twilight said, sternly gazing at Rantaro.
"It's what he does best, apparently..." I sighed. Still though? What's up with him? Why does he like doing this?
"Attention, everypony!" We all turned to Mayor Mare, who was making an announcement from her megaphone. For a second there, I almost mistake that for my hacking gun. "We are about to begin the competition! Each team has one hour to produce as much cider as they can! After the barrels have been counted when time us up, the winner will be the sole provider of apple cider for all of Ponyville!"
"Good luck Mason! Carrie! Applejack!" Kodi and I cheered, causing the three to smile over at our support.
"Now...are both teams ready?" Mayor Mare asked. The Apple family, Mason, Carrie, and the Flim Flam Brothers glared at each other in anticipation.
"We're ready!" Applejack called out.
"We've been born ready." Flim said nonchalantly. Now that's the sound of arrogance there.
"Frigging morons..." Jack cursed under his breath, still irritated by those brothers.
"Then let the cider making..." Mayor Mare brought out a small hourglass and turned it upside down before shouting "Begin!"
With that, the competition went underway as Applejack bucked the first tree while Mason used his bamboo pole to swat the apples out of the tree, while Apple Bloom and Carrie carried a wooden bucket on her head, catching them as they fell. When the two buckets got full, the filly ran over to Granny Smith and poured the bushel out next to her, where she inspected each good apple from the bad, placing the perfect ones onto a chute leading to the presser while tossing the rotten ones away. Big Macintosh ran on the treadmill to grind the wheel into the fresh apples, pouring out cider into a barrel. As soon as it was full, he placed a lid on top of it and rolled it aside, putting an empty one in its place and continued running.
"Alright! We got a full barrel! We'll beat them Flim Flam brothers in no-" Applejack jaw-dropped as she stopped mid-sentence upon seeing the SSCS 6000 already making three barrels over their side. "...time?"
"Don't celebrate so soon, Apples!" Flim taunted before he and his twin brother took a sip of their cider.
"You're already falling behind." Flam added, both brothers clinking their mugs together.
"That's so unfair." Kodi whined.
"Yeah!" Kaede agreed.
"What are we gonna do?" Fluttershy muttered while I continued to watch over with a worried look.
Soon, the Apple family and the Hunter siblings were already falling behind. After only near half a dozen barrels, they started to get exhausted as Applejack's bucking and Mason's strength were started to get weaker, Apple Bloom and Carrie's burst of energy were beginning to dwindle, Granny Smith exerted more energy than she should at her old age and was slowing her inspection and Big Mac was panting heavily from all this running.
"I...can't...keep...going...big...brother..." Carrie complained.
"We can't give up Carrie, we need to keep going..." Mason panted, almost ready to pass out.
"Oh! This is just dreadful! Even at top speed, the Apples are only making one barrel to the twins three!" Rarity exclaimed in shock while gazing over at Mason with a worried look. "Oh Mason...Carrie..."
"W-we gotta do something!" Jamie exclaimed, holding onto his journal real tight until he was grabbed by the tie by none other but Jack.
"Well let's go then!" Jack exclaimed.
"W-wait what?" Jamie asked before being dragged by him.
"Yeah! We gotta do something! No way am I gonna watch them get tired out by this and lose their family's farm!" Kaede exclaimed.
"He's right! We need to help them!" Ren added before rushing over to the competition with Jack, Kaede, Kodi, and a forceful Jamie on his side.
"W-what? Ren? Kaede? Jack? Jamie? Kodi?" Applejack looked over at us with a surprised look. "What in tarnation are you doing here?"
"We came to help you, idiots!" Jack exclaimed.
"But what about the rules? You guys can't just breeze in here and help us out!" Mason retorted.
"Mason!" Ren yelled, giving him a serious look. "It doesn't matter! We need to help out with ya and not let you guys lose your jobs! Besides, isn't that what family do? We are all family, after all...brother."
Mason widened his eyes at him before sighing and smiling over at me. "Alright, help me out...brother."
"Awesome!" Ren exclaimed in excitement.
"And we're here to save the day as well!" Huh? We turned around to see Twilight, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash came over with smirks on their faces.
"I just spoken with the mayor and apparently, it doesn't matter if there are no honorary members of the Apple family, those who are close to them can compete in it!" Twilight smirked.
"Well that's quite satisfying." Kaede chuckled before clapping her hands together. "Alright! Let's get to work!"
"Yeah!" Ren nodded before taking out my hacking gun. Jack scoffed at it and stated "Oh please, like that thing can even help out?"
Ren raised a brow at him before pointing it over at a nearby apple tree, shooting it with 'Break' and knocking all the apples out of it, causing Jack to jaw-dropped.
"You were saying?" Ren smirked before blowing the smoke coming out from the hacking gun...like a boss.
"A-ahh..." Jack twitched his eye a bit before regaining his composure as he scoffed "W-whatever! It's good enough for me! Let's get to it now!"
"Wait a minute, what about the other guy? Rantaro?" Rainbow reminded us. Speaking of which, where is he? I haven't seen him since the thing started out.
"Looks like he disappeared...again." Jamie sighed.
"Seems so." Kaede shook her head. "But anyway! Let's get to work!"
"Yay! Let's begin!" Pinkie cheered.
"I'm ready!" Rainbow grinned.
"Hopefully I won't get dirty after this." Rarity added.
"I-I'll give it my all!" Fluttershy smiled.
"Let's do it everypony!" Twilight exclaimed in determination. Applejack and Mason couldn't help but smile at us, happy to see us helping them out.
"Thank you all for helping us out." Applejack smiled.
"We really appreciate all of your help." Mason chuckled, smiling proudly at us all. "Besides, I think we can agree with this. We love to have the rest of our family helping out."
"I think of that too!" Applejack nodded.
"Hey, never leave a man behind as they always say." Jake laughed, patting Mason's shoulder a little hard. Mason smiled over at him and nodded before we all began to get to work.
Me, Applejack, Fluttershy, Jack and Mason began knocking out apples off their trees. Rarity, Kaede, Rosy and Granny Smith were helping each other out in the quality-control station. Pinkie, Carrie, Apple Bloom, and Kodi were using the baskets to catch the apples. Big Mac and Rainbow Dash were running through the treadmill, increasing more of its speed of cider production. I kept blasting some trees with my Hacking Gun, only using 'Break'
"Break!" Ren shouted, shooting another tree and knocking some apples out of the ground with Kodi and Apple Bloom catching them
"Alright!" Apple Bloom cheered.
"We're gonna win this!" Kodi barked happily as we continued to move on. Kodiak has a point, we are totally gonna win this!
"Come on Rainbow Dash! Keep pressing!" I heard Twilight shouted over at Dash as she continued to increase the speed.
"We don't have time for quality control if we wanna win this thing!" Rainbow argued.
"Rainbow Dash! Shut up for one minute, will ya?!" Mason yelled.
"Big brother's right, Dash! If you get one bad apple in the cider, it's gonna taste bad!" Carrie added, causing her to growl angrily and kept moving. Well...that'll surely teach her a lesson about being patient at least.
Soon, I noticed both Mason and Jack slamming a tree together, knocking more apples down.
"Not bad for a biker." Mason smirked.
"And not bad for a bodyguard. I almost take everything back. Almost." Jack smirked, patting his gut out.
"Whatever..." Mason rolled his eyes while I smiled at the two of them. Looks like those two are finally getting along than I thought. I watched everyone and I turned to Flim and Flam's machine and saw they were putting things from the ground like branches and stems in the cider! That's not right. I wanted to say something but something was holding me back.
"Sarah..." I turned to see Winter and Moonshine. "We know that you see that they are cheating but you have to speak up."
That's easy in a fight but for something like this... I-I- "I don't want to abuse my title." I said nervously.
Winter and Moonshine looked at each other and nodded, "Well we have something to tell you." Moonshine said. Suddenly, music broke out and Winter and Moonshine started singing to me.
Things are looking grim
Our chances slim
But just between you and me and him
From what we've seen
Your mind is keen
And now it's your time to intervene
You have to stand up
For what you believed in
You have to stop them now they started cheatin'
So if you're wondering what to do
We've got a single word for you
Say your mind now
You'll be fine now
Don't you be afraid to ever cross the line so
You have your mind
Take the lead, go
It's the only way to rid us of those pains so
Moonshine: "So I'll asked again. What do we do now?"
Me: "Let's see. I can use my scepter on the barrels to show everyone what's inside them and prove they cheated."
Winter: "Sounds like a plan"
Now you know exactly what you have to do
Proudly fight to make them see your point of view and
Loud and clearly
Even if no one's agreeing with your theories
You'll show your clever
It's now or never
And they'll listen more respectfully than ever when you
You've/I've got to speak
We landed in the field and I smiled at my two dragons partners. "Alright then... let's do this."
One Hour Later
Thank god, finally! I never...felt so...tired before...in my entire life...man. My hacking gun's power was nearly out of power, and looking around to see everyone was tired.
"Dang...I feel like I'm about to have a heart attack..." Jack sighed, taking off his coat, revealing his meaty but muscular arms.
"Tell me about it. But this isn't nearly as tough than the training I had when I worked as a personal bodyguard." Mason panted, taking off his sweater and revealed his muscles, making some of the mares, including Rarity, from the crowd to blush and admired them. Hmm...seems like Mason got some admirers in their eyes.
"But you know what? I think we did a good job, everyone." Kaede smiled.
"Yeah! We totally did! There's no way we could've lose to those meanies!" Carrie added.
"W-well....judging by all this cider we made. I saw we did pretty well." Jamie chuckled with a soft grin.
"You know what? You all are right. No way we could've lost to them." Applejack nodded in agreement.
"You're right Applejack, and I'm proud of you." Twilight smiled.
"Integrity like that will always be...rewarded." Jamie added.
"Flim and Flam wins!"
"Wait what?!" We all exclaimed in shock as everypony else was too shocked to hear that as well while the two conniving twins were getting giddy at that.
"W-w-w-w-we lost?!" Kodi gaped.
"Daww, too bad, Apples." Flim chucked with a mischievous smirk.
"Guess you'll just have to find a new line of work that doesn't match your names quite so...perfectly." Flam smirked slyly.
"Hey! That's no fair!" I exclaimed. "You guys must've cheated!"
"Cheated? Us?" Flim asked in mocked surprise. "No way we could've cheated. I say you all are the cheaters themselves."
"What?" Twilight asked in confusion.
"What do you mean we cheated? We've worked together as a family." Rarity stated, glaring at the two brothers.
“They’re right!” Sarah said as she approached the gang. “The Flim Flam brothers did cheat. I saw them putting things into the cider that should not belong.”
“Oh yeah? Prove it.” Flim smirked. She took out her scepter and pointed it at one of their barrels. “Reveal!” The jewel glowed and shined a light allowing everyone to see net hat was in the the barrel.
“Hey there’s a branch in there!” A pony called.
“And apple stems. Gross!” another one cried. The two brothers stared to sweat nervously. “Now, now, why would you believe her?” Flam asked the crowd.
“Because she's our Princess!” A pony cried.
“Yeah!” The crowd added.
“Princess!?” The brothers cried.
“Yeah the Princess of Friendship!” Ren called.
“And she would never lie to her subjects. That’s not what’s our Princess does!” Another pony added.
“Yeah!” The crowd added again.
“And it's clear to me that’s the ponies do not want your cider after seeing what’s in it so I declare the real winners Sweet Apple Acres!” I declared proudly.
Everyone cheered happily and the Apples hugged each other thankfully that their home and business was saved. I turned back towards Flim and Flam. “Now I suggest you both leave.” Sarah said. Flim and Flam stared Sarah down with upset faces, "You think you can push us around cause your a Princess, huh?" Flim said.
"Well you have another thing coming!" Flam said and together they launched a magical beam at Sarah. "Lookout!" I called.
Suddenly Blitz came out of nowhere and bit the beam, breaking it. "Blitz!" Kaede cried with joy. Blitz growled at the brothers. "Oh you wanna take us on, little shrimp?" Flim taunted and he and his brother laughed. Blitz turned to me and chirped. "You read my mind." I turned him into a card and..
"DINO-SLASH, STYRACOSAURUS, CHARGE!"
Blitz landed in front of the brothers and roared at them. The brother whimpered in fear. "Now I'll ask you again, leave this place at once." Sarah demanded and to add to their fear, a certain robotic dog came from behind her and roared right in the brothers face. The brothers backed away and whimpered nervously, "It looks like we've encountered a slight...problem here in Ponyville." Flam whispered to his brother.
"Nopony wants our product...next town?" Flim suggested.
"Next town! Let's go!" Flam suggested.
"Let's go, Flim!" As the two brothers got on their contraption and tried to escape, their machine started malfunctioning.
"W-what the? What's going on? Why isn't this thing working?!" Flim demanded.
“You can thank AXL for that.” Sarah smirked. AXL growled at the brothers. AXL frightened the two brother but they scowled at her, "Hey! You'll pay for this, Princess Sarah!" Flim exclaimed, shaking his hood at him.
"Yeah! You'll get what's coming to ya!" Flam added, angrily glaring at them.
"Ugh...you two are so annoying." Sarah rolled his eyes. "Oh and by the way, you two won't be needing this." She pulled out a small bag and threw it to the crowd, revealing to be a bag filled with bits, much to everypony's joy as they immediately gotten all their profit back.
"W-what?! How?!" Flim and Flam jaw-dropped.
"Again, I’m sneakier than I look and my many friends than you think.” Sarah smirked and Oshawott came into her shoulder. “Osha.”
"Why you little!” Flim growled.
"Alright, I think I have had enough with them." Mason sighed before turning to me and asked "Hey Ren, is your hacking gun still working?"
"Just a little more power left in it, why do you ask?" I asked.
"Please help 'fix' their Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000." Mason winked at me before I let out a smirk and nodded before aiming my hacking gun at the SSCS 6000 at them and shouted "Paralyze!"
The electric beam shot at the machine, causing it go haywire and immediately was driven away straight out of Ponyville with the brothers yelling "WE'LL BE BACK!"
"Well...that was one way to get rid of them." Twilight commented with a raised brow.
"Hehehe. That’s our newbie.” Jack commented with a grin. Blitz roared and I changed him back into a card and his chibi form. "You know Mason, you were pretty awesome back there!" I added, nudging him a bit.
"Same to you Ren." Mason nodded. "But besides that, is it true? Did you really see me as an older brother?"
"Well yeah! You remind me a lot like my older brother, only much more cooler!" I grinned, catching Mason by surprise before he ruffled my hair and said "Well, I appreciate that...little brother."
"You too, big bro." I teased.
"And I say that I love being a part of this group." Kaede laughed, joining in.
"Y-yeah...me too." Jamie nodded with a meek smile.
"I say we all deserved it to be in it." Applejack smiled as the others came in for a hug. “Thanks Sarah. If you haven’t spoken up like you did we would have lost our home.” Applejack said.
“Your welcome.” Sarah said with a grin.
Cause you one who exactly what you had to do
You proudly fought and made them see your point of view and
Loud and clearly
Even if no one had agreed with your theories
You shown you're clever
Was now or never
And now the Apples have their respectful home forever cause you
Because you/I spoke
Everyone cheered loudly and happily. "Now come on! Let's get some cider ready!" Rainbow said.
"Calm down Rainbow Dash. We'll get ready for it." Mason sighed.
"Yay! I want some cider too!" Carrie added.
"Count me in as well!" Jake patted his gut while Jo Jo nuzzled his cheek, agreeing with it too.
"Yeah! I'm down with it! What about you guys?" I asked the crowd. "Want some apple cider as well?"
"No!" Everypony yelled, causing me to blink in surprise.
"...You're kidding right?"
"Yes!" The crowd smiled as they rushed in and prepare to buy some apple cider.