• Published 7th Apr 2014
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In Another Pony’s Hooves - Keeper of time RD



The cutie mark crusaders find a magic artifact that makes them live a day in each of their other friends bodies.

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Chapter 6: Old Wings, New Beginnings

Scootaloo expected being awake for the mind-swapping spell to feel weird, but she didn’t expect raw agony. Her eyes shot open to find she was lying on her back and staring at a ceiling that wasn’t Apple Bloom’s room as she’d expected, but one of white washed plainness that could only belong to a hospital.

Of course now that the element of surprise was lost, Scootaloo was able to feel that the pain really wasn’t as bad as she first thought. Her neck and chin only stung a bit. Her chest and belly hurt noticeably more, but only if she tried to move. Not that the bandages wrapped around her body allowed much movement. Her wings felt a little sore at most, certainly not hurt.

Wings! Oh the sweet, glorious feeling of having wings again! No more making her side twitch trying to command limbs that didn’t exist. She opened her wings and pushed them against the covers until she saw them move the sheets beside her torso. Thank heaven her wings felt fine.

Resuming her examination of herself she turned her mind back to the other feelings coming from her body. Only the front side of her hind legs hurt and only slightly at that. Her back felt perfectly fine. The more she searched her body the more Scootaloo felt that the bulk of the pain was coming from her front legs. And her knees at that, sweetie Celestia her knees hurt.

The pain was as if she’d belly-flopped into the dirt and tried to catch herself with her front legs, without bending them properly just before impact. Oh come on Apple Bloom, we’ve crashed through lots of stuff crusading. I thought you’d know how to crash right by now. Scootaloo thought chastising her absent friend. Then a terrifying thought crossed the young pegasus’ mind. Don’t you dare tell me you broke my scooter! The thought made her try to sit up, but trying to put pressure on her front legs made the pain fare back up.

Gah! Forget the scooter, I should have told her not to break me! She added in her mind. Out loud, in frustration and disappointment, Scootaloo snarled under her breath, “Apple Bloom.”

“Oh you’re awake. I’ll go wake the doctor for you,” a sudden and unexpected voice came from above.

Tilting her head to look, Scootaloo saw the radio mounted in the wall over her bed. “Don’t bother. I’m not talking to anypony until I get to yell at Apple Bloom,” the filly told the radio that she assumed was set to an open microphone.

* * * * * * *

Thankfully the night shift nurse didn’t bother the doctor in the middle of the night. And while the nurse did come in the change Scootaloo’s bandages the filly held true to her word and refused to say anything more.

When the morning twilight came, the doctor did come in to ask the filly some questions but she held her silence. And while the hours of night stewing on her anger at Apple Bloom hadn’t helped, Scootaloo stayed quiet for an entirely different reason. That reason being, she didn’t actually know ‘how she did this to herself’ because she didn’t do this to herself.

It was still early morning and not long after sunrise, but no longer so early that it would be unreasonable to be awake. The doctor had returned form his other morning rounds and was now engaging in a staring contest with Scootaloo, trying to get the filly to answer questions with words rather than just gestures. Even if the tan unicorn stallion with the brown mane wasn’t enjoying the impromptu game of ‘silent pony’ it was lightening Scootaloo’s mood.

Then the radio in the wall behind the filly blared to life. “The Apple’s are here, shall I send them up?”

“Please do,” The doctor answered. Relieved that he would finally get some answers out of the filly.

Moments later three ponies entered the room, Applejack, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle. Judging from the look on Sweetie Belle’s face, her only concern was the health of her pegasus friend. So Scootaloo figured Captain Cloud Wall had been successful in returning Sweetie to her bed without waking her.

On seeing her pegasus friend Apple Bloom lowered her head just enough to avoid braking eye contact. Scootaloo was glaring at her with an intensity that burned the young earth pony far worse then any flame could hope to. And yet Bloom knew she deserved Scootaloo’s anger right now, so she kept looking into her friend’s eyes.

Once Apple Bloom had sit down beside her bed, Scootaloo snarled, “Crusaders can stay. Everypony else, get out. And turn off that stupid radio while you’re at it.”

The adults in the room tossed each other glances. The doctor’s expression started as confusion, but after a nod from Applejack he seemed to understand. Then the doctor’s horn glowed and a similar glow appeared on the radio, flipping a switch and casing the power light on the radio to die out. With that he followed Applejack out of the room and closed the door behind them. Although the lack of further hoofsteps told that the adults were waiting just outside the door.

“Well?” Scootaloo asked, glaring at Apple Bloom and trying to sound as angry as possible while whispering.

“Ah’m so, so, sooo sorry!” Apple Bloom whimpered, braking into tears and finally looking away from the friend she’d injured.

Truth was that Scootaloo’s mind still hadn’t wound down from secret agent mode from last night. Seeing that her friend seemed to have forgotten the whole ‘keep Applejack in the dark’ game the crusaders had been playing for the last two days Scootaloo elaborated on the meaning of her earlier question. “I’ve had doctors and nurses asking me all morning how ‘I did this to myself.’ Well? How did I ‘do this to myself’?” she whispered, nodding toward the door to remind them they weren’t entirely alone.

Apple bloom wiped the tears from her eyes and looked meekly to her friend, whispering back, “Ah tried to fly.”

Scootaloo tilted her head to the side, raised a single eyebrow and voiced her confusion from that answer. “I try to fly all the time. I don’t put myself in the hospital doing it.”

“Ah know. It’s just… you know… the way you pull us around in the wagon with your wings. Ah thought that there was no way your wings could be that strong and not be able to fly. And after riding your scooter went so well, ah thought… Ah thought maybe ah could figure out what you were doing wrong.” Scootaloo repeated her one raised eyebrow look, but said nothing. Seeing there was no easy way out Apple Bloom decided to get it over with and finished with, “Ah jumped off the barn roof.”

Scootaloo’s eye twitched as she thought. I risked my honor and Sweetie Belle’s safety to protect you and you threw me off a roof?!

With her two friends refusing to look each other in the eye Sweetie Belle saw fit to intervene on Apple Bloom’s behalf. “We did set up hay bales for you… er, Apple Bloom to crash on just incase.”

“Oh? Then why am I here?” Scootaloo asked, whispering, with a hint of sarcasm and disbelief in her voice.

Sweetie Belle opened her mouth to speak but Apple Bloom placed her hoof over the unicorn’s mouth. With a heavy sigh Bloom answered, “Thing is, ah did fly. Well it was more of a really long jump. But it was just enough to get past all the hay bales we’d lined up, so ah crashed on hard ground. Ah don’t know what happened after that. When ah woke up again ah was already back in my own body.”

Scootaloo had promised to yell at Apple Bloom and as she listened to the explanation she was already planing her outburst, now that she knew what Applejack must have seen/been told Scootaloo let said outburst fly. “I TOLD YOU I CAN’T FLY YET! SO, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW THAT I PROVED IT! DO YOU BELEAVE ME NOW?!” she yelled as loud as she could.

Apple Bloom cowered beside Scootaloo’s bed, and the earth pony could only whimper in response, “Ah’m sorry, Ah’m so sorry ah hurt ya. Ah’ll do anything to make it up to ya. Can you ever forgive me?”

Seeing Apple Bloom break down crying for the second time in so many minutes tore at Scootaloo’s heart. Why did it hurt so much to see a friend she should be angry with so sad? Then something Bloom had said sank into Scootaloo’s mind. The pegasus looked to Sweetie Belle. I hurt you too. I made the same mistake as Apple Bloom. Still looking to Sweetie, Scootaloo answered, “I don’t know. Sweetie Belle, can you forgive me?”

“Wait? What? Huh?” Sweetie Belle said, after the moment it took to realize she was asked something, she answered, “What am I forgiving you for? You haven’t done anything to me.”

“Come closer,” Scootaloo said to Sweetie. The unicorn filly stepped up until she was close enough for Scootaloo to reach her. “Yesterday I made a mistake and got you cut. See? So, can you forgive me?” Scootaloo said, stretching out her leg and gently brushed her hoof over Sweetie Belle’s flank, parting the fur as she went, revealing the thin extra pink line of healing skin beneath.

Looking at what her friend had shown her Sweetie Belle casually answered, “Oh so that’s why it was itchy this morning. Shoot this is nothing, of course I can forgive you.”

If she could be forgive who was she to deny forgiveness? Breathing a sigh of relief and looking back to Apple Bloom, Scootaloo said, “There’s your answer Apple Bloom. Of course I can forgive you.”

“Are-are you sure? You gave her a paper cut. Ah put you in the hospital,” Apple Bloom said, able to look her friend in the eyes again.

Scootaloo nodded, and was immediately taken into a powerful hug. “Ouch! The legs, watch the legs!” Scootaloo cried and giggled at the same time.

Once her friend had released her from the embrace, Scootaloo had her friends let the adults waiting just outside back into the room. Not surprisingly the first question asked when the adults returned was how Scootaloo had been injured. She gave them a story about Apple Bloom not believing that she couldn’t fly and being pestered until she agreed to prove she couldn’t by jumping off the barn. While not entirely true her friends played along as letting Apple Bloom take a portion of the blame, without admitting it was purely her fault, seemed more than fair to the other two crusaders.

“You’re lucky you only sprained your knees doing that young filly. Judging from the x-rays you came this close to braking you legs outright,” the doctor said, holding his front hooves so close together that the space between them almost couldn’t be seen.

“I know,” Scootaloo said, hanging her head low and trying to sound like she was accepting responsibility for her own foolishness. Yet in the back of her mind she knew that if she was using her wings to cancel out most of her weight she could actually fall from much higher than the Apple family barn and be okay. The doctor seemed to be done lecturing her so she asked, “Can I go now?”

The doctor was quick to respond, “Well, you’ll need to stay off your front legs for three days to let them heal. But if Miss Applejack is willing to take you home I guess I can let her sign you out.”

“Ah’m sure her father will take her home. Big Mac or Ah will let him know where she is when he comes to pick her up,” Applejack said.

“He’s not coming,” Scootaloo stated flatly.

“Oh come on. Ah’m sure-”

Scootaloo didn’t wait for Applejack to finish. “No. He’s not going to pick me up from your place. He knows I know where I live, he’ll expect me to come home on my own. He probably won’t even notice I didn’t come back until tomorrow.”

Applejack blushed for a moment before admitting, “Oh, Ah’m sorry. Ah didn’t know I’d be checking her out of here, Ah didn’t bring any money to pay the bill with.”

“Oh, I’m not asking you to pay the bill. Scootaloo’s father always pays her medical expenses in a timely enough manner. I don’t see why that would have changed. So we’ll just send the bill home with her. I just need you to agree to take her home since she’s in no shape to get around on her own,” the doctor explained.

“Oh yeah, Ah can do that.”

* * * * * * *

“Ah can’t believe you talked Scootaloo into jumping off the roof. Ya know better than that Apple Bloom,” Applejack repeated for the umpteenth time since they’d left the hospital. They had actually returned to sweet apple acres first and were now on their way to Scootaloo’s home.

“That’s my house over there,” Scootaloo said, lying on Applejack’s back, and saving Apple Bloom from having to apologize yet again.

Applejack knocked on the door. Scootaloo raised an eyebrow, questioning why she did that when she had a filly that lived here giving her permission to enter. Oddly enough, before Scootaloo could say such a thing she heard hoofsteps coming from inside. Scootaloo’s father opened the door and he also raised an eyebrow when he found the farm pony at his door.

Scootaloo pointed through the open door to the living room couch and said, “You can just put me on the couch.”

At the sound of his daughter’s voice the stallion stepped aside and allowed Applejack and Scootaloo’s friends to enter the house. Not a word was said, but the icy glare coming from Scootaloo’s father chilled everpony entering the house, even Scootaloo.

Why did he seem mad at her? He’d never seemed mad when Scootaloo had hurt herself before. As Applejack carried her in the filly spotted the reason. At the table was Captain Cloud Wall, in full royal guard regalia, he gave a small wave of a hoof and smiled toward the pegasus filly. The nail in the coffin however, was the coin pouch sitting on the table by Cloud Wall. The pupils of Scootaloo’s eyes shrank to dots as she guessed what the captain had said to her dad.

“Yes, it’s always good to catch up with a long time friend, don’t you think so? I imagine you can guess what stories he has been telling me,” the father said.

While it might have occurred to Cloud Wall to be mad at Scootaloo when he realized she’d been lying about having permission to work for him, it didn’t. Instead a startled look of surprised and shame flashed across his face, at the realization that he’d blown her secrets by talking about them to somepony he thought knew but had been kept out of the loop. Captain Cloud Wall gave a look of apology to the filly, as he suddenly understood the reason for the sudden chill felt in the otherwise warm room.

Applejack laid Scootaloo down on the couch. And while they might not have understood why, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle could feel that their pegasus friend was in trouble, so they dutifully climbed onto the couch and sat down beside their friend, on either side of her, as if that somehow offered some kind of protection.

Once Applejack finished helping Scootaloo get comfortable she turned to the filly’s father. “Ah’m real sorry about this.” The farm pony paused just long enough to remove her cowboy hat, revealing a coin pouch. The very same one the stallion had given her to watch his daughter. With a tilt of her head Applejack let the coin pouch fall to the ground and the heavy rattling thud it made when it hit the floor made it clear it was still all there. “See’n as ah failed to live up to my word, ah reckon ah don’t deserve a bit of this,” Applejack finished.

Although he saw the coin pouch Scootaloo’s father never took his eyes off mare speaking to him. “I’ll be the judge of that.” He said coldly. Completely ignoring the coin pouch and turning to his daughter he commanded, “Scootaloo, report.”

“Yesterday Apple Bloom talked me into jumping off the barn roof to prove I couldn’t fly,” the filly answered, knowing that her father knew about the mind-swapping magic artifact. “Oh yeah! This is for you, and the ponies at the hospital say ‘hi,’” she added, with a timid smile, opening her wing and letting her medical bill slip out onto the couch.

A glimmer of understanding sparked in the stallion’s eye and he took a moment before he responded with, “You jumped off the barn roof?”

“Yes.”

Raising a hoof to rub his forehead with, he asked, “I thought you said Rainbow Dash was giving you flight lessons?”

Scootaloo tilted her head to the side, not sure how that had anything to do with this, but she answered anyway, “She is.”

“I thought you said you were still cratering pretty badly off the two hundred and fifty foot cloud ramps?”

“I am,” she answered, blushing slightly from having to talk about her flightlessness in front of others.

“So… even knowing that you can’t pull out of a dive with two hundred and fifty feet. You jumped off of a barn that’s what, thirty, forty feet tall tops, just to prove to your friend that you couldn’t do it?” the stallion asked, possibly overacting how dumbfounded he was.

“Umm… yeah, let’s go with that,” Scootaloo answered trying to look like she felt foolish even though she knew she’d have never done what Apple Bloom did.

“We set up hey bales for her to land on,” the farm filly volunteered in her defense.

The stallion’s colors may have made him look like fire but his glare felt like ice as it fell on Apple Bloom. “I don’t recall speaking to you, and you would do well not to interrupt somepony else’s conversation,” he rebuked the yellow filly in a stern, icy tone.

“Ah’m sorry!” Apple Bloom barely managed to whisper. She lowered herself to the couch cushion, cowering as she remembered that this stallion know about the mind swapping incident and understood she was truly at fault. That thought actually calmed Bloom a little, as she now understood Scootaloo’s dad knew where the blame truly belonged. She wanted to promise to do what ever it took to make it right but, having never been so harshly rebuked for speaking out of turn before, the farm filly dared not speak again until she had permission to.

Turning back to Scootaloo, her father commanded, “Well Scoot, explain, is that true?”

“Yes, but it seems I flew just well enough to clear the crash pad. So I crashed into the ground instead.”

Turning from his daughter and to Applejack, the stallion said, “Keep the money. From what I can tell, you kept my daughter fed and happy. And as you can see, Scootaloo being herself tends to prohibit her from staying healthy for prolonged periods of time, so I can’t blame you for her recklessness.”

“That’s mighty kind of ya, but ah still don’t feel ah earned any of that. Ah know what she can be like too, ah should’ve kept a closer eye on her than ah did,” Applejack responded with modest honesty.

“Nopony can be protected from themselves. You looked after my daughter, just as I asked and I can’t fault you for failing to do the impossible. So as far as I’m concerned service was rendered so payment is due,” Scootaloo’s dad said in a stern tone. The stallion absolutely despised the idea of owing anyone a favor and the mare before him had done him a service, so if she refused to take payment for it he’d owe her just that.

A hint of a smile appeared on Scootaloo’s face. She knew her father could be stubborn, but unlike her dad, she also knew Applejack could be stubborn too. And part of her couldn’t help but wonder who would win this battle of wills between two headstrong ponies.

The command presence of Scootaloo’s father may have worked on Apple Bloom, but Applejack didn’t really care who this stallion was or how tough he acted. She leaned in close and, with no respect to personal space, pressing her muzzle and forehead against his and said, “Look, ah can appreciate that ya think ah did a good enough job and all. But ah didn’t, so ya don’t need to pay me anything.” Stepping back AJ gave a cunning smile and motioning to the coin pouch on the floor added, “Besides it’s not like ya can make me take the money.”

The orange pegasus stallion allowed Applejack a moment to revel before returning the sly smile. “Oh but I can make you take it, farm pony. And you will be paid for this. Either you take it now, or I buy ten months worth of apples only for most of them to rot before Scoots and I can get around to eating them.”

At first Applejack glared at Scootaloo’s father, but then her expression softened to a smile as she conceded. “Heh, fine, ya win. But no point waste’n good apples. Ah’ll take the money and whenever you buy something from me ah’ll just take the cost out of this until we’re even,” she said, as she returned the coin pouch to it’s hiding place under her hat.

Feeling like he owed others was unacceptable. Having others feel like they owed him was fine. “Fair enough. But before you go can I borrow these two for a little while?” he asked motioning to the two fillies on the couch with Scootaloo.

“Ah can’t speak for Rarity’s sister, and it is a school day, but see’n as Apple Bloom had a part in getting Scootaloo hurt ah’d say have’n her play servant to her friend while she recovers seems a mighty fitt’n punishment.”

“They’ll be late, but I’ll make sure these two go to school once I have things squared away here.”

“All right. Guess ah’ll stop by the schoolhouse and let Cheerilee know what’s up,” Applejack said as she headed for the door.

As soon as Applejack had closed the door behind her, Scootaloo’s dad found a spy hole and watched her as she walked away.

That was the moment Apple Bloom chose to speak up, “Sweetie Belle was right. Something seems missing in here.”

“Oh? Like what?” Scootaloo’s father asked as he started looking over the room. He quickly abandoned the effort as he realized that his daughter was probably the only one who knew the room well enough to know if anything was missing. That thought aside, everything seemed to be there to him.

“That’s it! The picture is missing!” Apple Bloom cried in jubilation.

On instinct everypony else in the room began looking to the pictures hanging on the walls. Most were of landscapes, some were star fields, but not a single empty picture hook could be found. “You mean these pictures?” Scootaloo’s dad finally asked.

“Kinda, but ah meant the family picture. Ah’ve never seen a living room without at least one family picture, somewhere. But none of these pictures have any ponies in them.”

Scootaloo’s father looked to his friend, Cloud Wall, then to his daughter. “Is it really that unusual to not have a family picture around?” he asked, knowing full well that the house was devoid of any evidence of who lived there on purpose.

“Well, yeah, kinda… Maybe not, but its definitely the first time ah’ve seen a living room without one,” Apple Bloom answered, blushing a little as all eyes in the room where now on her.

This distraction had gone on long enough. Scootaloo’s father peeked back outside and confirmed that Applejack was long gone, so he trotted over to his daughter while turning his head to the other pegasus stallion in the room he asked, “Captain. Mind helping me shuttle these three around?”

“Not at all,” Cloud Wall answered.

“What? I thought we were going to help take care of Scootaloo? And isn’t she in no shape to be moving around anyway?” Sweetie Belle asked, her voice squeaking a little as she spoke.

“Aren’t you forgetting that you three have an appointment at the library?”

* * * * * * *

Scootaloo was on her father’s back as they flew toward Ponyville’s library, while her friends were on Captain Cloud Wall’s golden-plated royal-guard-armored back. And looking over to them now she finally understood why he had his armor on in the first place. It worked wonders for covering up the bandages he was wrapped in, although it did nothing to cover up the black eye that had developed overnight. Scootaloo was too far away to hear, but she could see that Cloud Wall was talking, probably making up an elaborate, and purely false, story to explain his injuries to her friends.

The flight was short lived and soon the five ponies found themselves at the library and in the presence Twilight Sparkle. “Good,” the purple unicorn said as she finished using her magic to confirm that the three fillies minds were in fact all in their own bodies. “Sit still, this will only take a moment,” she added, levitating out the magic figurine and placing it between the three fillies.

The three friends looked to each other, then nodded to Twilight. A purple glow once more surrounded the elder unicorn’s horn and a sphere of light surrounded the artifact. After a second the sphere of light pulsed and then shattered into sparks, like shimmering specks of dust, that flickered out in an instant. With that the artifact’s glow was gone.

“There it’s done,” Twilight announced, as she relaxed her stance.

“That’s it? I thought it would tingle again,” Sweetie Belle said.

“That’s it. I can’t sense any more magic linking the artifact to you three,” Twilight confirmed, with a smile and a nod.

The three fillies gathered on the cushion Scootaloo was lying on and embraced each other in a group hug. “Ah’m so glade that’s over with. Now we can finally get back to crusading for our cutie marks!” Apple Bloom cheered.

“That’s all well and good, but I believe you two are late enough for school as it is,” Scootaloo’s father interrupted. Turning to the other pegasus stallion in the room he added, “Captain, can I bother you to make sure they get there in a timely manner?”

“I’d be happy to. Had my fill of tough assignments for now,” Cloud Wall laughed.

Taking the hint Scootaloo’s friends released her from the hug and said, “See you after school.”

“Yeah, see ya.” Scootaloo managed to say in a low tone, knowing that although she might ‘see’ them from the couch, after school when they dropped off her homework, her friends were unlikely to be allowed in the house that afternoon.

Once her friends were gone Twilight helped set Scootaloo on her father’s back and they too left the library.

They were flying slowly on the way home, and just above the roofs of Ponyville’s houses. Scootaloo had always enjoyed the feeling of flight, even if it was just from riding on her father’s back, and yet today it felt hollow. And worse yet, she knew why. She knew the hole in her heart was because she was holding out on her friends. Because she was holding something back that didn’t really need to be withheld from them, and it was long past time that she at least tried make this wrong right.

“Dad? Once I’m better, can I invite my friends to a sleepover?” she asked.

Her father slowed to a hover. He had many things to consider about that question. First off she was still in trouble for working special ops behind his back. But, considering the injuries her friend had given her, she was in effect grounded for the next three days and doomed to be board out of her mind lying around the house waiting to heal. A punishment worse than what he’d have given her if left to his own devices. Among other things, that left the practical problems.

“Isn’t your room rigged with a bunch of booby traps?” he asked in return.

Scootaloo gave a soft laugh. “That’s why I said ‘once I’m better’ dad. I don’t need them anymore, so once I can move around again I’m going to take them apart.”

The stallion resumed flying the two of them toward their house. If even half of what he’d heard from his friend about his daughter’s actions last night was true, than she’d more than earned this simple request. No matter how complicated their lives actually made it.

He smiled, although he was facing forward so nopony could see it when he answered, “We’ll have to time it for when we know I can be home that night, but sure.”

Author's Note:

So from a practice perspective I wanted to try a story with two chains of events unfolding at once. Hopefully I did well enough to amuse you.

As always any and all honest critiques are welcome. And if you think your critique is too spoilerly for the story's comments section feel free to send them to me in a private message.

Comments ( 21 )

Haven't read this story yet, but the premise of it is reminding me of that one episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy where the Eds were playing Truth or Dare and they dared each other to act as another one of themselves.

4198247

I'll take your word for it that such an episode existed in Ed Edd and Eddy but I can't say that show ever made it past my five episode review with me. (I'm not terribly fond of shows with 'idiot heroes' so it really wasn't my cup of tea.)

You need to fix your dialogue tags, love. When you have a line of dialogue followed by who said it and how, the whole thing must be treated as a single sentence; you must end the character's dialogue with a comma, not a period, and you do not capitalize the first word outside the closing quote mark unless it's a name. (If the character's dialogue ends with a question or exclamation mark, you use those as usual, but still don't capitalize the next word after.)

In other words, do not do this:

“Thank you…? Huh didn’t even wait for a tip.The stallion who answered the door said to an empty hall when he opened the door expecting to find a bellhop but finding only the service cart with his order waiting.

“Stay out! I just got in the shower!” A male voice too gruff to even belong to a pony responded.

“Scootaloo, drop zone incoming.” Captain Cloud Wall said over the winds.

Do this:

“Thank you…? Huh didn’t even wait for a tip,the stallion who answered the door said to an empty hall when he opened the door expecting to find a bellhop but finding only the service cart with his order waiting.

“Stay out! I just got in the shower!” a male voice too gruff to even belong to a pony responded.

“Scootaloo, drop zone incoming,” Captain Cloud Wall said over the winds.

Only when the words that follow the dialogue are not a dialogue tag, but a separate action unrelated to the character speaking, do you end with a period.

Also, you have a lot of run-on sentences here. Break them up, and use a few extra commas.

Last: take another pass through it and really pay close attention to the spelling. You've got a lot of misused words here that a simple spellcheck won't flag, like:

with the downward trust from he wings

Remember, a spellchecker can only tell you if what you wrote is a word, it can't tell you if it's the right one. :twilightsheepish:

4198625
Thank you. this is exactly the kind of feedback I can use to improve my work. :scootangel:

save the last part, thanks for pointing out that error but I'm well aware of the uselessness of spell check in finding one letter errors that happen to make a different word. I'll do another pass and fix what I can but what's posted is what I came up with via four waves of searching for such errors already. :fluttershysad:

4199450
Here's a trick that might help: :twilightsmile:

backwards story whole the read yourself make and end the at Start. :applejackconfused: :pinkiehappy:

Artists often use a similar trick, of deliberately turning their drawings upside-down, to "break" the brain's pattern-recognition ability so they can see errors that are effectively invisible, when the drawing's right-side up, because the brain is too good at recognizing complete shapes and figures from incomplete data. :twilightoops: By reading the story backwards, it can help keep your brain from predicting what the next word "should" be, so you're more likely to see the word that really is there instead of the one your brain "knows" ought to be there. :twilightsmile:

Here's an example of breaking up the run-on sentences I mentioned:

Nodding pointlessly to the empty hotel room the young pegasus looked under the bed and spotted a suitcase just like the one she was carrying in her mouth.

This one sentence alone has three separate actions taking place in it (highlighted for clarity); without any commas to break it up, it's a mishmash. Break it up like so:

Nodding pointlessly to the empty hotel room, the young pegasus looked under the bed, and spotted a suitcase just like the one she was carrying in her mouth.

In fact... try writing this sort of thing more like this:

Nodding pointlessly to the empty hotel room, the young pegasus looked under the bed, and spotted where she found a suitcase just like the one she was carrying in her mouth. She ignored Ignoring the suitcase under the bed for the time being, and she set her own down next to the bed. She, then climbed up onto the bed and set her sights on the smoke detector on the ceiling above.

With a wing-boosted bounce, she reached it and clamped on to its sides with her hooves. It was a hard object to grasp, but with the downward thrust from her wings canceling out most of her weight, holding on to it was a manageable task. She used her mouth to open the battery compartment and yanked the battery out, then . Sticking stuck her muzzle into one of the pockets of her bellhop outfit she and pulled out another battery. Carefully, the filly pushed the battery into the slot in the smoke detector, and then looked over her hoofwork. With the exception of some small slits in its side, the new battery looked just like the one she’d dropped to the bed below.

Note the changes:
# "Wing-boosted" is what's called a compound adjective; two words acting together as a single description of the following noun. Whenever you have a compound like this, they need to be hyphenated. (You can tell when you have a compound, vs. two individual adjectives, by sticking "and" in between them and see if it still makes sense. "With a wing and boosted bounce" makes no sense, so "wing" and "boosted" can't each act alone on "bounce", so they're a compound. On the other hoof, something like "clad in radiant and golden armor" still works, so "radiant" and "golden" are both individual adjectives, not a compound.)

# Instead of "she did this" and "she did that", the actions are linked together in a way that makes the descriptions seem more "active" and shows the sequence of actions more clearly. Writing everything as a series of "she did this", "she then did that", "she then did something else", can get kind of dry and repetitive.

Hope that helps! :twilightsmile:

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That does, it will take some time to implement but I'll do what I can as I continue to edit. thank you. :scootangel:

I don't normally comment on stories, but I thought I'd give you a nod and mention that I thought this idea has potential. However, I tried to read the first chapter and I couldn't get into it. I didn't know who was who for almost half the chapter. I re-read it and figured out that the first scene was, I think, supposed to be from Scootaloo's point of view.

Don't be afraid to use names to identify your ponies. I don't think that I saw a single proper name in the first scene. You need to give your readers a persona to latch onto or it's just words and actions with the occasional "adjective noun" describing who is doing the action. I know that an orange pegasus is probably Scootaloo; but I don't know that for certain. With the story premise that you have set up, it would have been more entertaining if that orange pegasus introduced herself in the first paragraph or two as Sweetie Belle or Apple Bloom, leaving the reader to wonder just what in the hay is going on and want to keep reading to find out.

Telling a story from an omniscient POV is possible, for short spans of story, but it should be just a short text describing something before dropping your reader into the character's thoughts.

If this helped you, I'm glad it did. If you have any questions, please feel free to reply or PM me.

I see what you did in the title, you sneaky bugga (Im Australian)


You rotated all of them to the left!

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Sorry that the confusion bothered you, but I avoided outright identifying the young shadow ops agent on purpose throughout the first section. More or less as a means to help the sneaky feel of what was going on.

So yeah, you're meant to be a little unsure of who the bellhop is unless you know the charter well enough that you'd have guessed their identity had the reader been there to see her, just as her friends wouldn't have failed to know who she was just because of the outfit but a random stranger in the hotel would.

Please create a sequel.

oMG!!!! loved it ya! you should make a sequel like one where like the bad guys that scootaloo fought as she was sweetie belle what if they went after sweetie belle and scootaloo, and her dad go to rescue her or something and the dad and cloud wall become friends again that would be sooo awesome and then like... scootaloo would be happy that she wouldn't have to hide her secret from her friends anymore that would be sooooooooo awesome!!!!

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Wait, what, 'become friends again'? what did I write that made you think they stopped being friends? :rainbowhuh:

As far as the continuation of the double-life story line I had planed out more events even before I typed this story up... But I'd only really planed on writing up one more story heavily following this particular aspect of Scootaloo's life with the other events being merely referenced as past events from the camera's perspective.

And as fair warning I'm planing on getting some of my other stories written before I get to that one. So it might take a while before you see Scoots doing any more special ops stuff. :scootangel:

4248220 Oh ok still excited about it!! and cant wait to read it! :yay:

I loved the story! A few grammar problems I'm sure you're probably working on but either way, it wasn't hard to figure out which words you meant. Love to read a sequel if at all possible. Keep up the good work! :twilightsmile:

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It's always nice to know when I entertained some one. :scootangel:

And thank you for letting me know there are still mistakes, and sorry for the slow response, I wanted to wait until I had more time, I managed to fit another quick pass of error correction in, and I'll do a another real pass once I have the time. Thank you.

Okay, I finally found the time to do another full pass of error correction. And yeah... I feel dumb now, as I managed to find an average of four mistakes per chapter to fix despite how many passes of error correction I've done in the past. :unsuresweetie: So... yeah if anyone finds anymore mistakes please bring it/them to my attention.

In other news I think it's time I give you that sequel some have been asking for. So story #11 will see the return of secret agent Scoots.

On a related note I originally only planed on writing two of the four events from my secret agent Scoots story line, but in contemplating the responses here it occurred to me that I could make a decent story out of a third event.

And wow, it's been over a year since I first started posting stories here. Dang. I'm sorry, I didn't intend to make you wait that long while I practiced. And now I'm making you wait even more... dang, but soon... or however long it takes to write the next story anyway.

Well, until next time, have fun out there. :scootangel:

I read this entire story in one sitting, and I had to fight my instincts to not comment on every single chapter with pure praise. You had minimal errors, none of which did anything to distract from the story, and the actual plot to the story was superb and unique, just the kind of fic I truly enjoy reading! This story had excellent explanations to everything, leaving no stone unturned, and wrapped up nicely at the end. I applaud you for this amazing story, and humbly ask you to continue your work.
-Chaos Storm

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Wow... thank you for your kind words. :scootangel:

Makes me a little nervous that some one has such a high bar for me, as I consider this one of my better stories. :unsuresweetie: I can only hope that I hit the target as well with future works. Here's hoping that the next one is as good.

Though it seems another round of error correction is needed here, I'll get on that soon.

Okay, finished another pass of error correction. So as always, if anyone finds any remaining mistakes please feel free to bring them to my attention.

Comment posted by KiKo4 deleted May 13th, 2017

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if your going to pull a quote like that from the ending could you be so kind as to use the spoiler block out on it?

It's the one next to the emoticons like so.

Actually even the part of you comment referencing it could use it too.

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