• Published 30th Jul 2013
  • 707 Views, 31 Comments

Progress - suijin

A tale of some not-really friends trying to work together to save the world. They're not even acquaintences, really. WARNING: Sequel.

  • ...

Introducing the... Heroes?

The Great and Powerful Trixie needed a glass of water to quench her thirst. She had put on a most spectacular performance, after all. She deserved it, after giving the more common ponies such a breath-taking show.

Ah, that's better. The unicorn mare named Trixie (The Great and Powerful) had just finished up one of her routines, and was taking a break before she continued with her magic show. She was quite famous for, and proud of, her abilities in the mystical arts, and was stopping in the small city of Ponyville, before heading to perform in the capitol of Canterlot.

While she had technically only stopped for the sake of practice, her showpony spirit had quickly overridden any such plans. If the crowds demanded some demonstrations, then who was she to deny them? They were the ones putting bread on her table, after all.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard a commotion from outside, and looked to see most of her bread-giving crowd starting to shuffle in the direction of the noise.

She frowned. How could they simply abandon her like that? What could POSSIBLY be more interesting than her?

Whatever it was, she decided that she had an obligation to her fans to find out what had interrupted her sho-

Taken her crowd's attent-

Stolen her spotli-

Whatever it was that had made them so nervous. Yes, that. Definitely that. She had absolutely no selfish motivations or intentions behind her actions, whatsoever. Not a one.

... uh. Even I think I'm a bad liar...


"Flam, are you ready yet?"

"Just a second, Flim. I have to finish penning down this idea."

Flim and Flam, more commonly known as the Flim Flam Brothers, were trying their luck in the city of Ponyville. The two generally preferred to stay in more rural areas, but Ponyville seemed like a perfect place for some good business; while it was large and advanced enough to accomodate their more complex and modern wares, it still had the small town sense to it that guaranteed they wouldn't get into trouble with the law should any... mishaps occur.

The two brothers were traveling salesponies, and made their own products. Of course, said products weren't always as reliable as one might hope, and they were frequently forced to flee from angry mobs, who claimed that they had been "ripped off."

If you heard Flim tell it to you, though, he would make it sound as if everything they made was absolutely flawless, and that it was their customers who were trying to rip them off. Why, no pony could make a product capable of withstanding those ruffians' abuse if the Flim Flam Brothers couldn't!

And it was for that exact reason that Flam let his brother do the talking. He was more of an idea guy, personally, and was currently busy finishing up some of the details for yet another invention he had thought of. It was ambitious, and easily the biggest he had ever dreamed up. But he was certain that the two of them could make it, and that then, the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 would be able to make them a fortune.

All they needed was a constant supply of apples, and his brother claimed to know exactly where they could get some. Flam knew he could trust him on that, so he just focused on the design process for now.

After finishing up with some more details, he exited the tent that the brothers had been using. "Ready to give them a show, ol' brother of mine?"

"You bet'cha. Shall we?" Flim waved his brother forward.

"I think we shall." Flam was happy to oblige, stepping into the market that they were using to sell their many inventions. But he quickly realized that the crowd they had been intending to advertise to had disappeared. Scanning around, he noticed a group of ponies on the other side of the square.

The two only had to share a single glance, and then the Flim Flam Brothers were off to see what the hay was going on.


Uh, my head. Did I drink too much cider, or something?

Gilda, a female griffon that had stopped in Ponyville to visit an old friend, was currently rubbing her temples and trying to figure out why her skull felt as if someone had hit it with a hammer.

The last thing she could remember was getting into a fight with some dragon. But she didn't remember it quite escalating to physical violence, so it couldn't have been him. Besides, she would have simply beaten him up if he tried anything.

She kept trying to think, but couldn't remember anything else, except that there had been a red stallion there too.

Wait... now that she thought about it, he had been rather big, and looked quite strong. The pony, not the dragon. The dragon was obviously a weakling.

He might have been an earth-pony, too, in which case he MIGHT have been able to knock her out. When she wasn't looking. Maybe.

Not likely, but possible. If he was responsible, then she was going to find him, and drop him from a cloud. No one messed with Gilda like that and got away with it. Well, except for Dashie, maybe. But she would still get a hard smack in return, so Gilda guessed that she still wouldn't quite get away with it entirely. No, must focus on revenge. Random thoughts can wait.

After flying a short distance into the air, she was able to see a large crowd not far away. It wasn't exactly hard to notice the big red pony that was at its center.

Smiling, Gilda headed for her prey.


Not too far away, a young dragon was having a similar experience. But where as his griffon counter-part had recovered quite quickly, he was having considerably more trouble.

All of the goods in his stall were destroyed. Every single one; he couldn't find so much as a glass bowl that wasn't shattered. Add in a throbbing headache, and he was NOT happy. His only consolation was that someone had left a substantial purse of bits on him. It wasn't enough to make up for the losses, but it was something.

"Great. Just great. And here I was thinkin' that I could actually make a profit this time. How silly of me, thinking that I might actually MAKE some money on the seventh try, rather than just losing everything in a freak accident. Again," grumbled the dragon, who was named-

Wait. Is that...? Yep, that's definitely the griffon that had smashed his stall. He was going to make certain that she paid for all of the damage she had done, no matter how long it took him.

With a grimace on his face, he followed after the flying fiend, noticing that she appeared to be heading for a large group of ponies, who were gathered around a familiar, and quite large, stallion...


Ah, horseapples. She had lost. Again.

Vanilla was lying on a cloud, letting her hoof hang lazily off the side. She was contemplating her recent race with Rainbow Dash. The race that she had lost.

How did that colorful pegasus manage to go so fast? Vanilla had always been the fastest flyer in town, but now, losing was something she was getting used to. Apparently the most promising student in all of Cloudsdale had been dropped straight into Ponyville.

Vanilla didn't really mind, however. She WANTED to see just who the fastest pegasi in Equestria were, and test herself against them.

What she did mind was losing. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how much she trained, she would always wind up being second place. Second place was not acceptable, not by any means. She had to be the fastest, or else she could never do her job.

If Rainbow Dash could get from point A to point B faster than her, then she would be forever worthless.

Her depressing and self-pitying train of thought was derailed when she heard a commotion from below. Peeking over the edge of the cloud, she could easily recognize the huge red stallion charging through the streets.

He was breatheing pretty hard, and for somepony as strong and tough as him, that meant that he had to have been running for a REALLY long time. Like, from Canterlot to Ponyville, long...

Vanilla flew down, eager to discover what, exactly, was going on. Many other ponies were joining her, as well as some other creatures.

Is he wearing armor? Well, that confirmed it. It was nearly impossible to get Canterlot Guard armor outside of, well, Canterlot, so he had to have been there before he ran all the way here.

Something had to have happened, and something big. She silently prayed that it wasn't something terrible, too, as everyone gathered around.

"The Princesses are back."

And then everything devolved into chaos. And NOT the good kind.


"Is something wrong? You actually look as if you're thinking."

Celestia frowned at her younger sister, Luna. "Oh? And is that strange?"

"Yes," the Princess of the Night dead-panned. "Remember, the day you come up with a good idea is the day I befriend Discord."

The Princess of the Sun did not like being talked back to, especially not by her whelp of a sister. How dare she disrespect her older sister, her better? "Well, I don't see you doing anything important."

"If you must know," Luna began, as she gave her sister yet another aggravating look, "I'm thinking about what we're going to do about a certain king. You know, the one that stopped us last time? I seriously doubt that he's been sitting on his hooves for our entire imprisonment."

Both sisters shuddered as they thought of what Sombra had done to them. There seemed to be no limit to the horrors he was capable of conjuring.

Celestia decided that now would be a good time to talk about something else, rather than thinking about their never-ending nightmares. So, she turned to the strangely jovial looking Spirit of Chaos, now locked in stone. "We should probably think about what Discord said, first."

"You mean how he seemed to have a plan of some sort?" Luna was surprised that her sister had seemingly become more intelligent during their long sleep.

"No. What does 'arrivederci' mean?"

Luna had never face-hoofed so hard in her life.

Author's Note:

And... they're back. Well, that didn't take long, did it?

In case anyone is wondering, Discord's in the same position as he was in the show, originally. Arrivederci is, of course, a reference to one of Discord's lines in the show, and basically means goodbye.

Also, the princesses' escape will be explained at a later date. They didn't just break out for the sake of the plot. Sort of, anyway.