It was a bright sunny day in the jungle. We were traveling deep into the heart of the largest and most dangerous jungle of all, but we were not afraid. I am Braveheart, a pegasus colt. My sister is Strongheart, a unicorn filly.
We’re not just ANY ponies. We are the children of Daring Do herself. Almost from the moment we were able to walk we were trained in her ways. Following her meeting with a pony who taught her not to always rely on herself our mother stopped being so shut in and found a good pony to settle down with, and she got married. We were born after that.
Our mother’s tales of heroism and bravery always inspired us and amazed us. That’s why we try to follow in her hoofsteps. She said that Ahuizotl finally got what was coming to him shortly after the adventure where a blue pony inspired her. That was why she felt safe enough to start a family. She said she could never be sure if Ahuizotl had other friends who would be after revenge. That was why she trained us, so if need be she could send us out on our own to hide. We may only be eight, but our skills are second only to our mother for being able to survive in tough situations.
Today we’re on a quest for the most rare and elusive treasure of all… the Golden Cupcake. Our mother had always planned to get it, but she wasn’t able to do it alone. And after she got married and had us she decided to retire from the explorer game to care for us and her husband. As her children we have to finish her work. The two of us together will surely be able to do what she alone couldn’t.
So now here we stand, the temple in sight. We only have to cross the alligator infested river.
I turned to my sister. “You ready for this?”
She turned back to me. “I was born ready!”
There were a bunch of taller rocks in a set pattern leading across the water. We only had to jump across. One slip, and it could all be over.
I jumped across the gap, landing on the first rock, then the next and the next. When I was halfway across I suddenly heard the scream. I turned around to see Strongheart falling into the water.
She yelled out to me for help. “Aahhhh!” she screamed out in pain. “The alli-alli-hee hee-g-ga-gator-HEE HEE-has m-me.” She continued laughing.
“Pumpkin!” said Pound angrily. “You’re ruining it!”
Gummy was chewing on the filly’s leg. “S-sorry,” she replied. “It t-tickles!”
The two children were dressed in safari gear. Pound had a whip.
The living room of Sugarcube Corner had been set up for their adventure story. The two of them were putting on a play for the Cutie Mark Crusaders and their parents, with assistance from Pinkie and her friends. Rarity had made costumes for them. Twilight was in charge of helping with the magic effects. Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Spike, and Pinkie were all performers as well. At first Rainbow Dash wasn’t interested… at least until they told her what part she’d be playing and what she’d get to do.
Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle had been put in charge of the twins before, when they had calmed down and stopped being so hyper and became a little more mature. On one of those days Scootaloo had introduced the twins to the Daring Do series, which the twins were quite taken with. They loved the adventures and the characters and were constantly pestering Scootaloo to read more of the story. After a time they decided they wanted to do a pretend story of their own.
On the floor was a group of small upside down tubs representing the rocks, along with a bunch of pieces of blue construction paper representing water.
Pound was in a bad mood now. He had been making it sound so COOL, and stupid Pumpkin had to mess it up. He sat heavily on the floor, scrunching his body into a ball, his hooves crossed, and his mouth a thin frown.
“Come on, Pound Cake,” said Apple Bloom. “Don’t stop now. Yer doin’ great.”
“No!” he said shortly. “It’s ruined!”
“Hey!” said Scootaloo. “I came here to see a play. I introduced you to Daring Do, so you owe me. Don’t be such a sourpuss, Pound, or I won’t read you any more stories.”
“Come on,” said Pumpkin. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to laugh. I’m drowning and being attacked over here. You gotta help me. You’re my hero, Pound. Only you can save me.”
Pumpkin’s praise spoke to his ego, and his mood was already improving. He stood back up, saying, “Fine! But no more laughing. This is serious!”
“I’ll try.” Turning to the little alligator she said, “Gummy, stop gumming me so much.” The gator only blinked in response.
“Can we just get back to it already?” said Pound impatiently.
“Okay, okay! Keep your hooves on.” She sat down as Gummy chomped down on her back hoof, but this time he didn’t keep on chewing like before, so it wasn’t nearly as tickly. “I’m ready.”
“Braveheart! Help! An alligator has me!”
Strongheart could see his sister was in big trouble. With a grin he pulled out his trusty whip, and with a single well placed strike hit the gator right in the middle of his face, making it release his sister.
“Catch!” he said, whipping towards his sister, who grabbed it. With a yank he pulled her back up onto the rocks. “Are you okay?” he asked, looking over at her leg.
“Yeah,” she responded. “His teeth weren’t that sharp.” Taking a bandage from Braveheart’s pack she wrapped her leg. “Let’s go.”
Together they finished jumping across the rocks towards the Temple of Deliciousness. “Mom will be so proud of us. The Golden Cupcake will be the best treasure ever.”
The two cautiously approached the temple, looking out for traps. “Hey,” said Strongheart. “Do you hear that?”
“Look out!” she suddenly said, pushing her brother out of the way as something went flying past them.
A sinister looking owl was perched on a tree, letting out an ominous, “HOO!”
“Just an owl,” said Braveheart in relief. “I thought it was going to be-”
He didn’t get to finish. A terrifying looking creature came running towards them. It had three heads; one a cat, one a dog, and one a turtle.
Strongheart laughed. “I should have known. Ancient Temples always have a guard animal.”
“Let’s do it! We’ll show it that we’re not scared of it and our Momma taught us well.” Braveheart gave the monster a lash with his whip. Strongheart pulled down a vine from a nearby tree and jumped on top of it. Making a lasso she threw it around their heads and pulled, making the monster come to a stop. “Get on!”
Strongheart jumped on next to her brother, giving the monster another lash to make it go forward, the two kids cheering. It jumped over pits and brought them right to the tower.
The two of them jumped off. The dog head gave Braveheart a lick. “Good girl!” he said, rubbing its head. It gave out a happy bark, before running off.
The Temple of Deliciousness rose up before them in the shape of a giant cupcake with a fountain of chocolate running under it.
Entering the temple they slowly walked through. Braveheart suddenly heard a click, feeling his hoof sinking into the floor a bit. From up above came a rain of stuffed animals. “Oh, no! It’s a trap! Run!”
Braveheart was almost to the next room when he heard his sister cry out for help. One of them had fallen on her. And now a whole mountain of them was descending on her. Taking out his trusty whip like before he flicked it towards her, pulling her out of danger just in time. “That was close!”
“Thanks, bro!” She gave him a hug.
“Be more careful!”
“Hey, this is why we’re doing this together.”
They continued through the temple, avoiding traps like the Pit of Broccoli. Working together the two of them were unstoppable.
Finally they made it the center of the temple. There, on a podium shining with light, was the Golden Cupcake in all its glory.
They walked up the stairs sitting over a deep pit. Braveheart picked up a nice sized rock. “Ready?”
“Yes,” said Strongheart. “One… two… three!” She suddenly picked up the trinket, and Braveheart quickly placed the rock down.
There was a tense feeling in the air. The two of them waited for something bad to happen. They looked around, seeing if anything had changed.
After a short time, when nothing happened, they let out sighs of relief. “We did it!” said Strongheart, the two of them slapping hooves.
They headed down the stairs, and suddenly heard a voice. “Thank you, children of Daring Do. I’ll be taking that.”
A hooded figure walked into the room, accompanied by an orange pony and a dragon.
“Who are you?”
She pulled back her hood, revealing a pink face with blue pointed ears. “I am Quetzalcoatl, daughter of Ahuizotl. Your mom drove my father to his doom. Now I have risen to take his place. I will have the Golden Cupcake. I will use it power my Delicious Cannon, and then all the world’s cupcakes will be mine. Not a single chocolate, vanilla, nor tub of icing will survive except in my home. Then I will be the supreme cupcake queen.
“Now, make it easy on yourself and hand over the Golden Cupcake. NOW!”
“Never!” said Braveheart.
“I expected as much. Go, my servant.”
The orange pony raced at them.
Strongheart and Braveheart looked at each other, smirks on their faces. “Just one pony against the two of us?” said Braveheart. “She underestimates us.”
The orange pony whipped a lasso back and forth, throwing it towards the pair. Strongheart grabbed the lasso out of the air, giving it a hard pull, making her trip onto the floor. With a quick bit of effort Braveheart tied up her hooves, leaving her hogtied.
Quetzalcoatl gasped, before growling. “You’re a bit better than I thought for your ages. Your mother taught you well.”
“Got that right!” the proud colt said.
“Oh, yeah!” agreed the filly.
“Enough of this. Dragon of terror, go retrieve my prize, and you’ll receive your own gift.” She rubbed her pink hoof slowly against a gem set around the dragon’s neck.
The dragon’s face lit up with joy. “You got it.”
He charged at them as well.
Again, the two of them just grinned smugly at each other.
The dragon jumped at Braveheart, who simply dodged out of the way and the dragon fell into the pit behind them.
Quetzalcoatl looked furious now. “You little brats!” She suddenly began laughing. “You’re much better than I thought. However, what are you going to do now?”
“We’re going to fight you and get out of here,” said Strongheart.
“No, I mean what are you going to do about THIS?”
With a whisper of wind Strongheart screamed as she was suddenly lifted up into the air.
“Sister!” yelled Braveheart.
In front of Quetzalcoatl landed a yellow pony with bats for a cutie mark. She had two fangs, one sitting right on top of Strongheart’s neck.
“Now, then. My bat pony here has the ability to suck all the moisture out of things. So now either give me the Golden Cupcake, or she will turn your sister into a shriveled up husk. Make your choice.”
“Don’t do it!” said Strongheart. “A world without cupcakes isn’t worth living in. You have to get out of here.”
“I… I can’t,” said Braveheart. “I won’t lose you. You’re worth more than all the cupcakes in the world. I… I’ll give up the Golden Cupcake.”
“Good!” said Quetzalcoatl. The pegasus walked up to her, hesitated, then held out the Golden Cupcake. “Perfect. I’ll be taking that.” She grabbed the treasure out of his hooves. “And YOU as well!”
Quetzalcoatl yanked up Braveheart by his leg. “I need to get rid of the two of you before you become a pain in my side like your mother was for my father. Say goodbye.”
Quetzalcoatl suddenly felt a tapping on her shoulder. Slightly confused, she turned to look, seeing another pony there.
“Get your hooves off my son!” And with that the blue coated pony socked Quetzalcoatl in the face, knocking her to the ground, catching both Braveheart and the Golden Cupcake.
“Mom!” said Braveheart happily, hugging and nuzzling her. “I’m so glad you’re here.”
“Of course I’m here. You think I’d miss this party?”
Quetzalcoatl stood up. “Daring Do! Today is the day I get my revenge! Now, my bat-pony. Drain her child dry right in front of her!”
“Not today!” said Braveheart. He threw his hat, hitting the bat-pony in the head, which provided enough of a distraction for her to escape. Just knowing his mom was there filled him with courage.
“Good job, kid!” said Daring Do. “You take care of her. I’ll deal with Quetzalcoatl.”
Seeing that things had turned against them the bat-pony decided to flee. The two children were about to help their mom when they heard a roar, and out from the pit came the dragon from before, but much bigger now.
Quetzalcoatl laughed. “Dragons become bigger, stronger, and more powerful when overtaken by greed. I promised him the gem on his chest if he beat you and got me my treasure. Nothing can stop him!”
“We’ll just see about that,” said Daring Do. “Braveheart, Strongheart, do as your names say and be brave and strong. Don’t lose heart. You can win.”
“Right, Mom!” said the pair.
The dragon ran towards them, releasing green fire. The two of them jumped out of the way. Braveheart jumped on his back, grabbing hold of his head hard and twisting, knocking him off balance and onto his back.
Strongheart used all her strength to pull off the big gem stuck to his chest.
The dragon roared, knocking the two kids off of him as he stood back up.
“Here, boy!” said Strongheart. “I have a nice tasty gem for you.”
The dragon suddenly panted like a dog, drooling with anticipation.
“Chase her away,” Braveheart said, pointing to Quetzalcoatl, “and it’s all yours.”
Quetzalcoatl’s eyes went wide as the dragon growled, setting its eyes on her. Realizing she had lost she began running away, saying, “This isn’t the end! I’ll be back, Daring Do! You’ll pay! You and those little brats!”
When she could no longer be heard the dragon walked in front of Strongheart, giving a meaningful growl.
Strongheart laughed, throwing the gem up into the air.
The dragon chewed it down greedily, and then suddenly shrank back down in size. “Thanks. That was yummy.”
“You did good, kids,” said Daring Do, giving them both a hug.
“Thanks, Mom!” they responded.
“Hey, can we keep him?” Asked Strongheart.
“Keep a dragon?” asked Daring Do with a groan. “Well, he might come in handy if we have to fight Quetzalcoatl again.”
“That’s right! We! We’re a family and we have to stick together. You were able to conquer this temple when I couldn’t because you worked together, a lesson I needed to be taught. So forget retirement. There’s still plenty more temples that need to be explored, and treasures that need to be kept safe.
“This victory goes to you for fighting so hard. You saved the day. You’re both heroes!
“Now, let’s go home and make some cupcakes!”
“Woohoo!” they both cheered.
As they went to leave the temple the orange pony cried out, “Hey, what about me? Helloooo?”