• Published 11th Sep 2013
  • 1,111 Views, 19 Comments

Equested Development - Sage Runner

And now, the story of the Apple Family who lost everything, and the one grand-daughter who had no choice but to keep them all together. Based on the television series Arrested Developement.

  • ...

The Long Con

Applejack and Big Macintosh had, in recent days, seen an unexpected and welcome upturn in lemonade sales. The rumor was that while Flim's and Flam's cider making methods were as solid as ever, the quality of the applsomethings on the farm had actually started to diminish. It looked as though their recent legal assertion that only they could directly name the fruit in question was for nothing.

The old legend around Ponyville was that only an Apple Family member could grow the somethings in Ponyville; that the land on and around former Sweet Something Acres could only be worked by its original stewards. Flim and Flam had, naturally, dismissed the legend as horsesh*t as they burned down the Apples' old house on the night of their victory.

All that aside, the something cider didn't taste as good as it used to, nor did the somethings that made their way into the stands at the market square. As a result, ponies were flocking to the Apple Family Lemonade (Does Not Contain Somethings) Stand. As a result of that result, Applejack and Big Macintosh had taken to opening the lemonade stand a few hours earlier than other stalls. It was summer time, after all, and the ponies of Ponyville needed some sort of beverage to rehydrate and cool their mouths. And lets face it, water is boring.

The sight that greeted them on this particular morning, however, was somewhat unexpected. "Um... can we help you?" Big Macintosh asked the stallion in the overcoat and fedora who was repeatedly trying to light a match near the base of the lemonade stand.

"Aw, geez!" the would-be arsonist exclaimed. "You caught me."

"And you are?" Applejack asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Long Con's the name!" Long Con replied, tipping his hat, his smile widening the bushy chinstrap beard that adorned his... well, chin. His coat and mane colors being exactly the same as Flim's and Flam's was no coincidence. He was actually Flam's long-lost son, conceived during an ill-conceived scam involving real estate in the Frozen North nineteen years before.

His mother had wound up being the sole owner of a lovely piece of uninhabitable, frozen land that she didn't actually own. She managed to get a refund out of Flam (who worked alone at the time, as his brother was still an infant) in the same moment that Flam got a son out of her. She held onto both until the latter was old enough to realize that scamming ran in the veins and the former was spent on a nonexistent timeshare in the Badlands sold by the latter.

"I'm the Health Inspector!" Long Con lied.

"Health Inspector, eh?" Big Macintosh replied, squinting at the stallion that was clearly related to the Flim Flam Brothers in some way.

"Yep," Long Con replied, "and I'm here to carry out one of my... er... random inspections, yes! And your stand was randomly chosen! And also it failed."

"You don't say," Applejack replied, her face remaining stoic.

"I'm afraid you've got a terrible termite infestation," Long Con replied.

"No. We don't," Applejack said.

"Are you calling me a liar!?" Long Con replied, frowning.

"Eeyup," Big Mac said, nodding.

"Well I'm not," Long Con lied again. "This lemonade stand is infested with termites, and they've contaminated all of your lemons."

"Our lemons are on this here wagon," Applejack replied with a grin, gesturing toward the wagon that Big Macintosh was strapped to.

"We don't leave the product here overnight," Big Mac added as Applejack nodded.

"Well they'll get contaminated," Long Con snapped. "Also, there are some security issues here."

"This ought'a be good," Applejack said, glancing over at her brother.

"I took a peek in your cash register, and it's completely empty!" Long Con declared. "Without the previous day's profits weighing it down, anypony could just swoop in and run off with it completely unhindered! You should really leave all your money in there each night so that doesn't happen."

"We'll take that into consideration," Applejack replied, taking a step toward Long Con. "Please stop trying to burn down our lemonade stand and tell your uncles, fathers, brothers, or whatever the heck Flim and Flam are to ya that these pathetic attempts at hurtin' our business ain't gonna work."

"Alright, look, I'll level with you guys," Long Con said, leaning in closely.

"Yeah?" Applejack asked.

"I'm actually Flam's son. My name really is Long Con, though. Probably should have given you a fake one now that I think about it..." Long Con replied, echoing what you all were probably already thinking.

"Yeah, goodbye, now," Applejack replied.

"Wait!" Long Con said as Big Macintosh cracked the joints in his forelegs and began to approach the thinly-built shyster.

"Hmm?" Big Macintosh grunted, his ears perking up.

"I'll be honest," Long Con said, actually telling the truth this time. "I reached out to my dad because I want him to will over the Apple* Corporation to me when he dies."

"I reckon he'd leave to his little brother, Flim, right?" Big Macintosh asked.

"Normally, yeah. Problem is, there's been trouble in paradise lately. A couple of apple trees mysteriously caught fire a few nights ago," Long Con explained.

"Caught fire!?" Applejack shouted, her eyes growing wide. "How many were lost!?"

"Only three, don't worry," Long Con replied. "So everypony thought it was a freak accident, ya know? A fluke. Only, a day later, Flam found a whole bunch of matches and lighter fluid in Flim's bedroom, and Flim didn't have a good explanation for why those things were there."

"Whose hoof-prints were on 'em?" Applejack asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Nopony's, I wore gloves," Long Con replied, nodding proudly. It took him about two seconds to rethink that response. "I mean, nopony's... and I don't... own any gloves..." His eyes darted back and forth.

"So because Flam thinks Flim burned down a few something trees, he's keeping the sole ownership of the company to himself?" Big Macintosh asked.

"Exactly!" Long Con replied, nodding vigorously. "And if I play my cards right, my dad just might see his newly discovered son as a suitable business partner now that Uncle Flim can't be trusted!"

"And this should matter to us... why?" Applejack asked, shrugging a shoulder.

"Well, burning down your lemonade stand would score me some serious brownie points with the old man, and once he's officially named me next in line, and dies from what everypony will assume are natural causes, I'll remember that you guys did me a favor. Huh? Huh?" Long Con said, nudging Big Macintosh. "Might even be grateful enough to give you guys the old farm back."

"Now you listen here-" Applejack began.

"Sis, let me," Big Macintosh said, holding his hoof out in front of her. "Listen here, Long Con, y'all may have used your fancy business techniques, silver tongues, and legal loopholes to gain control of our farm, the Oranges' farm up in Manehatten, and even the whole town of Appeloosa, but I can tell just from havin' spoken to each of ya that there's no way you can maintain this ridiculous scheme."

"You're gonna run the farms into the ground and be voted out of Appeloosa come next election," Big Macintosh continued. "Within a few months, your pappy will be beggin' us to take the farm back, and by then we'll have enough money to haggle with him."

"What makes you so sure of that?" Long Con asked, a deep frown on his face.

"Y'all have only had the farm for a short while, and you're already burnin' down your own something trees and plotting to kill each other. So call it a hunch," Big Macintosh replied, leering down at Long Con.

"Is that a... yes?" Long Con asked. As Big Macintosh whirled around and raised his hind legs in preparation for a buck, Long Con took what had long since stopped being a hint and ran away.

"Well said, big brother!" Applejack exclaimed, nudging her brother playfully. "Do ya really think that's how it'll go down?"

"I don't know," Big Mac replied, shaking his head. "A part of me worries that they'll wind up destroyin' the farm before we have a chance to reclaim it."

"One thing at a time," Applejack replied, patting him on the shoulder. "For now, lets sell us some lemonade!"

On the NEXT Equested Development:

The Zap Apple trees spring out of the ground, and the Flim Flam Brothers have no idea what those are or how they're supposed to be harvested. Long Con, desperate for his father's approval, seeks advice from the only Apple Family members who won't immediately call him on his bullsh*t, Apple Bloom and Babs Seed, the latter of whom just might discover her own inner con artist.

Author's Note:

*Quotations from Flamily members can still contain the word "something". Footnotes, however, can not, which probably makes this really confusing.

Comments ( 7 )

Ok you get a thumbs up just for combining poines with that show.:pinkiehappy:

I just noticed... you got an extra "e" in the title. :scootangel:

You get a thumbs-up and a watch for writing a crossover that isn’t terrible.

Yours would be the first one.

Shame the fic looks to be dead. Was fun reading and would love to see the loss of the farm make the family a bit... dysfunctional.


It's more on a hiatus than dead. Right now I'm focusing on completing one specific story and that's slow going. I have a couple of chapters in different stages of development for this one. I'm glad you like what's already there, thank you very much for reading!

5630993 Well, that's a relief! Was afraid someone would need to pick off where this left off.

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