• Published 1st Oct 2014
  • 3,126 Views, 414 Comments

Story Shuffle - FanOfMostEverything


Thirty-one one-shots inspired by thirty-one random Magic cards.

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7
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My Little Ponzi

Day Planner was one of those ponies who was saddled with what others might see as a less than appealing special talent. Of course, she didn't think so. If she didn't like being a receptionist, she wouldn't have gotten her closed-book cutie mark that day she told a door-to-door salespony that her mother wasn't home. That she was a receptionist for one of the biggest up-and-comers in Manehattan? That was just icing on the cake.

But even for one so satisfied with her lot in life, there were those days when it just didn't pay to get out of bed, and today was one of them. Her alarm clock had broken, a taxi had splashed her, and a born sniper of a pigeon had used her back as target practice.

Still, Day had gotten to work on time. Today's appointments were minimal. She was free to soothe the morning away with coffee and crosswords.

"Ahem."

Or not. Day put on her usual polite mask and looked up. "Welcome to the Razzle-Dazzle Investment Group. How may I..." She trailed off as she felt her ears press against her skull.

The pony on the other end of the desk was built like a plowhorse. Her gender would've been a mystery if it weren't for her reputation. But Day knew who she was. Everypony in the Financial District knew who she was. She was the legend, the one who'd gone from peerless entrepreneur to one of the Financial Oversight Commission's most feared inspectors.

The Visible Hoof was in the building, and that was almost never a good thing.

"M-Ms. Seed!" Day yelped. "What brings you here?"

Seed smiled. "I'm here to see the Razzmatazz brothers."

Day's mind slipped into automatic. "I'm afraid you're going to need an appointment. Um. Ma'am."

Seed shook her head. "Surprise inspection. I believe they're currently available?"

Day could lie. She could say they were booked for the day. But the same sense that told her who to stonewall and who to rush in was currently screaming at her to tell the truth. "Y-yes, ma'am. End of the hall, ma'am."

"Excellent." Seed smiled, and Day was surprised to see no fangs. "Thank you, miss. And have a nice day."

As the commissioner walked away from the reception desk, Day Planner slumped into a boneless heap. "How?" she whispered to herself.


Babs sighed as she walked down the hall. She didn't like intimidating the undeserving, but she couldn't really help it. Heck, she'd managed to cow ponies more than once just by ordering coffee.

Cousin Applejack once told her how Princess Celestia hated being so freaking huge sometimes. She could certainly sympathize.

Babs shook herself as she reached the double doors. No time for regrets right now. Time to put on her game face. She didn't like coming down hard on the undeserving, but these two were anything but.

She opened the doors. The Razzmatazz brothers looked up from their paired desks. Razzle and Dazzle Razzmatazz were twins, both tall, lanky unicorns, their manes more mayonnaise than ketchup. The only distinguishing trait between them was Dazzle's drooping mustache, which was the sort of red that only came out of a bottle.

Babs gave a smile. "Good morning, gentlecolts."

Their faces were fascinating to watch, showing synchronized alertness, confusion, terror, and hastily erected cheer, all over the course of a few seconds. "Why if it isn't Barbara Seed!" said Razzle.

"This is quite surprise," added Dazzle.

She moved into the office, giving significant glances to their lit horns. "Don't exert yourselves on my behalf, gentlecolts. I put on my suit one leg at a time."

Dazzle chewed at his lip for a moment. "May I ask why you're here, Ms. Seed?"

Babs gave the sort of smile that wore away at ponies' bladder control. "Of late, your firm has shown truly remarkable returns."

"Well, thank you, Ms. Seed," said Razzle.

"But last we checked," added Dazzle, "success isn't a crime."

She nodded. "Oh, it certainly isn't. No more than your uncanny resemblance to two known violators of several trade laws, including the Food, Drug, and Potion Act; the Truth in Advertising Act, the Equestrian Artifice Accords..." She yawned. "Oh goodness, I'm boring myself. I can only imagine how dull it must be for you gentlecolts."

Razzle gave an oddly high chuckle. "Yes, well, it's a small world, as they say."

Babs nodded. "In any case, I'm here in a largely congratulatory capacity. Just about every truly stellar company gets a visit from the FOC: Hayburger, Barnyard Bargains, Blossom Innovations. Think of this as a rite of passage. For the most part, the inspection will be between a small team of auditors and your accounting department. I'm here as a formality more than anything."

"Just making the announcement, then?" Dazzle gave what might generously be called a smile.

"More or less. Though I do like to be a part of these sorts of things. You see, I went into government work because I have something of an unfair advantage when it comes to investment."

The brothers traded a look. "Oh?" asked Razzle.

Babs began to pace about the room "It stems from my special talent." She could see the brothers almost unconsciously glance at her cutie mark, a brown casing opening to reveal a seed of gold. "You could say it's literally a business sense. When I research a company, I get impressions much like another earth pony might get from inspecting soil. I can tell when I'm looking at fertile ground." She glared. "And I can tell when somepony has salted the earth."

"Ah."

"Well."

"Fascinating."

"You don't say."

"I do." She smiled. "So! This shouldn't impede with your day-to-day operations. However, if you had vacation plans, I strongly suggest postponing them. After all, if you were to leave the city prior to the end of the inspection, well, we'd be unable to congratulate you on your no-doubt impeccable business practices. And that would be a terrible, terrible tragedy." Babs nodded to the unicorns. "Have a nice day, gentlecolts."

Author's Note:


A bit of a stretch, I admit, but there are many forms of corruption.

This takes place about twenty-five years after the end of Season 4.

Babs Seed is interesting; unlike the other Crusaders, we don't really get a hint about her special talent. At least, not an obvious one. The recurring motif of a brown seed opening into a gold one in her villain song struck me, and lead me to my headcanon: Babs's special talent is knowing where to plant seed money. It seems just punny enough to work.

Also, I imagined adult Babs being voiced by a female Christopher Walken. Enjoy that mental image.