• Published 7th May 2012
  • 4,790 Views, 85 Comments

The Fraternal Brotherhood of Mann - Insert Pen Name

  • ...
9
 85
 4,790

The Fraternal Brotherhood of Mann Strikes Again

The Fraternal Brotherhood of Mann Strikes Again

A FiM fic by (Insert Pen Name)

A chill wind whistled harshly through the darkening streets of Ponyville, driving those few who remained outside to seek the warmth and shelter of their homes. The last feeble rays of Celestia’s sun peered over the western horizon as the street lamps sputtered to life, bathing the village in a warm light that belied the frigid autumn evening. Within moments, the streets of Ponyville were completely empty.

Just beyond the village, however, a figure stirred. A great mountain of a stallion, grim and imposing, though his slow gait was one of calm humility. His face and body were shrouded from view beneath a grey hooded robe, with only his red hooves and cropped tail visible to prying eyes. He walked along the main path that encircled the town, paying no heed to the cold, until at last he arrived at his destination; a small and unimpressive stone chapel, flanked by aging trees. The hooded stallion strode silently up to the building’s oaken double doors, then beat out a heavy four-note rhythm on one of the blackened iron knockers.

“It’s open,” called a voice from within.

The red stallion slowly let himself into the chapel, shutting the door carefully behind him before glancing past the rows of dusty pews to where a small group of stallions, hooded and robed like himself, stood huddled around the altar. Or rather, they stood huddled around the small portable radio that was sitting on the altar. As the red stallion approached, the crackling commentary of a hoofball game echoed down the aisle.

... And Tall Tree has the ball at the T of the K, he’s charging downfield, defence closing in-

A loud thumping noise elicited a chorus of pained “oohs” from the assembled stallions.

And that’s definitely going to need stitches. But he’s still got the ball, he’s still going! T.T. fakes left, doubles back, the right hook... GOAL!!!

Both the stallions and the radio erupted into a frenzy of fervent cheers and raucous warcries. At length, the roaring celebrations died down, and the commentator returned.

Unbelievable! For those of you who just tuned in too late and missed THAT AMAZING GOAL, I’m D.J. Pon-3, and you’re listening to Trottingham versus Ritterburg on Ponyville 800 EKLW! Trottingham’s now leading Ritterburg twenty-three-and-five-eighths to nineteen, and let me tell you, this game is really heating up! Seriously, there’s rioting throughout the lower stands and box twelve is now officially on fire, but the game must go on! So, Ritterburg takes the ball...

It was at this point that the great red stallion’s arrival was finally noted.

“Ah, Brother Macintosh, good to see you!” said an elderly grey pony in a distinctive white habit. “You haven’t perchance seen either of our two younger brothers, have you?”

“Nope,” answered Big Macintosh.

“Huh, I wonder what’s keeping them,” mused Mr. Waddle. “We don’t want to have to start late, after all, certainly not on such an important night as this.”

“I’m sure they’ll show,” said Doctor Whoof, turning down the radio volume for the time being. “Bear in mind, Spike is just a boy. And he lives with a mare! I daresay most of us have a hard enough time with that problem ourselves.”

“Tell me about it,” murmured Mr. Breezy. “I’m not sure what I’d tell Gale if I ever had to explain where I go on Monday nights.”

“What, she never notices that you leave the house?” asked Boxy Brown.

“Hardly. Mondays nights are when Gale goes to play cards with the rest of her chatty mare friends,” explained Breezy. “As far as she knows, I just sit in and listen to hoofball all evening.”

“So what, she’s gone all night?” asked Ace incredulously.

“Oh yeah,” said Breezy dismissively. “Doesn’t usually get home until the wee hours, drunk as a fish in a keg. From the sounds of it, she and the rest of those mares have some sort of ‘secret sisterhood’ thing going on, or some other such lunacy.”

“Mares,” scoffed Boxy.

“Never did understand them,” laughed Waddle. “You’d think age would bring experience, but no...”

Vraiment,” nodded Horte Cuisine. “Elles sont une enigme.

“Eeyup.”

“Yeah, but enough of that,” said Pokey Pierce. “It’s getting late, and we can’t start without Spike and Caramel. Seriously, Spike I can understand, but Caramel’s got no excuse. Not since his girlfriend dumped his-”

At that moment, the chapel doors swung open, and a lone hooded stallion stepped in.

“Speak of the Nightmare,” muttered Waddle.

Caramel hobbled slowly up the aisle in silence, his face held low beneath the curious gazes of the other brothers. Waddle was the first to greet him.

“Ah, Brother Caramel, you’ve made it! You haven’t seen Novice Spike by any chance, have you?”

Caramel peered up at the other stallions, his face clear and dazed as though he had just been roused from deep contemplation. After a brief moment, he shook his head in response.

“I see,” murmured Waddle. “Whatever can be keeping him?”

* * *

Meanwhile, on the other side of Ponyville, Spike the magic dragon was being kept by a certain somepony's emotional dependency on academic excellence.

“C’mon, Twilight, can’t we do this later?” begged Spike.

“No, Spike, I have to study! You know how important this biology exam is,” answered the purple mare pacing before him.

“But it’s not ‘till next month,” protested Spike.

“Exactly!” declared Twilight. “I should have started studying weeks ago! We can’t waste any more time.”

“But the guys are expecting me!” whined Spike, before suddenly throwing his hands over his mouth in horror.

“You can hang out with Snips and Snails any other night,” replied Twilight without missing a beat. “Now let’s get started.”

Relieved that his potentially disastrous slip of the tongue hadn’t aroused suspicion, Spike let out a reluctant sigh and headed for the stairs.

“Fine, just give me a minute. I have to, uh, get... stuff...”

Twilight shrugged, then turned to direct her gaze to one of the library’s larger bookshelves. She always liked staring at books while she studied; she found it tended to help put her in the mood. Eventually, Spike’s voice spoke up from behind her.

“Okay, ready?” he asked, somewhat hoarsely, it seemed.

“Let’s do this,” said Twilight.

“Hydra,” recited Spike.

Hydra Lernaea,” answered Twilight.

“Phoenix”

Aquilla Inferna.”

“Diamond Dog.”

Canis Bowie.”

“Timber Wolf.”

“Trick question,” answered Twilight smugly. “Natural spirit defies taxonomic classification.”

“Manticore,” continued Spike.

“Uh... oh shoot, give me a second,” said Twilight.

“Minotaur.”

“Spike! I said give me a-”

Twilight turned around to admonish her impatient assistant, only to find herself staring at a battered old record player in his stead. Spike himself was nowhere to be seen.

“Quarray Eel,” said the record player.

Twilight narrowed her eyes in annoyance at the machine and the absence it represented, then, with an inferior shrug, reached out with her magic and reset the needle.

“Hydra,” said the record player.

Hydra Lernaea,” answered Twilight.

* * *

Spike ran blindly through the lamp-lit streets of Ponyville, pulling on his grey robe to ward against the chill. He was sure the others had already started without him, but if he hurried, he might still make it before they cracked open the first keg.

“Oh Mann, Brother Pokey is so going to chew me out,” worried Spike aloud. “Why does Twilight always have to be doing something on Mondays? Study this, save Equestria that, sheesh.”

So engrossed was Spike in his annoyed lamentations, that he did not notice the sinister figure perched upon the ridgepole of a nearby rooftop; not until the pink shadow gleefully launched herself out into the air above him with a cry that sounded suspiciously like “Party Pile!

* * *

“I’m sure he’ll show eventually,” reassured Doctor Whoof, as the rest of the brothers waited patiently about the altar. "Novice Spike would never miss a Brotherhood meeting.”

“Well he sure picked a heck of a time to start,” muttered Ace. “I mean, tonight of all meetings?”

“Now, now, it’s not like he knows that,” said Whoof. “Novices aren’t supposed to know ahead of time. Not that he’ll be a novice for much longer...”

“Eeyup.”

“Reminds me of when young Caramel here finally became a brother,” said Waddle fondly. “When was that, five, six years ago?”

“Four,” answered Big Macintosh.

“Ah yes, how time flies, isn’t that right, Brother Caramel?”

Caramel didn’t answer. Not until Boxy Brown reached over and poked him roughly in the shoulder.

“Huh? Oh, right, whatever,” mumbled the young stallion.

“You okay there, Caramel?” asked Ace. “You’ve been quiet all evening. Everything alright?”

“Oh yeah,” said Caramel with a sudden grin. “Better than alright, actually. It's just... Me and Wind Whistler got back together.”

There was a round of confused stares from the other stallions.

“Wind Whistler?” repeated Boxy. “That mare who dumped you?”

“Yeah, she just showed up at my house this afternoon, threw herself on the couch, and begged me to take her...” recounted Caramel.

“And you actually took her back?!” cried Horte?

“You weren’t there,” retorted Caramel. “Dude, we did things today that I’ve only ever seen in nature films.”

Waddle let out a low whistle.

“Watch it now, Brother, you’re liable to damage the old coot’s delicate sensibilities!” joked Ace. “He is a pony of the collar, after all!”

“Oh grow up,” laughed Waddle. “I’ll have you know I’m no stranger to that sort of business. Oh, the stories I could tell you...”

“We’d appreciate if you didn’t,” said Doctor Whoof bluntly.

“Eeyup.”

“But hold up now,” said Breezy to Caramel. “If she was so gung-ho to have you back, then why the heck did she break up with you in the first place?”

“That’s the weird part, actually,” said Caramel. “It’s what I was trying to figure out when I came in.”

“What, she didn’t tell you?”

“Oh no, she told me straight up, it’s just...”

“It’s just what?” asked Ace.

“She thought I was gay.”

There was a long and very perplexed pause.

“Eh?” asked Horte.

“Windie thought I was a coltcuddler. That’s why she broke up with me,” explained Caramel. “Figured I was using her to ‘live the lie’ or something like that.”

“Well, hopefully she knows better by now,” sneered Horte.

“Where the heck did she get an idea like that?!” asked Boxy.

“Not a clue,” replied Caramel with an uneasy shrug. “Hey, uh, guys? Do I... do I seem gay at all?”

There was a long and deathly silent pause.

“Nope,” Big Macintosh said at last.

“Nope?”

“Nope.”

“And that’s all you guys have to say?” asked Caramel weakly.

“Eeyup.”

“Oh. Okay, then. So, uh, who are we still missing?”

“Spike,” answered Pokey bitterly. “And he’d better have a good excuse...”

* * *

Spike was in way over his head, and he knew it. Everywhere he turned, the brightly decorated hall of Sugarcube Corner was filled with scores upon scores of party-going mares. Mares everywhere; dancing to the music, chatting in the corners, playing various party games, or getting drunk and fighting over the food. Off to Spike’s left, a certain mulberry earth-mare was exerting heavy-hoofed dominance over the punch bowl (pun very much intended), and was clearly having a terrific evening, even as the others openly conspired to remove her from her place of power.

It was, in short, a true Pinkie Pie party. And Spike was stranded right in the thick of it, still clad in his Brotherhood robes, no less.

His early attempts to leave/escape were swiftly thwarted by Pinkie Pie herself, who would ply the young dragon with snacks, games, and heaps of good old-fashioned guilt in order to buy his continued attendance. It wasn’t that Pinkie was targeting him specifically; anypony who even so much as looked at the door the wrong way became a priority target. As far as Pinkie was concerned, nopony was leaving until the party was over, and with her in charge, it likely wouldn’t be over until the fat lady had broken down and passed out from lack of oxygen. Spike simply couldn’t wait that long.

“Ah, Spikey-Wikey! How good to see you!” cooed a sudden voice that sent wonderful chills up Spike’s spine.

“Rarity...” he replied dreamily, turning to face the mare of his dreams.

“Oh, don’t tell me you’re drunk like the rest of them,” said Rarity in disgust.

“What? No, sorry, I was just, uh, thinking, that’s all,” stammered Spike. “So, uh, great party, eh?”

“Indeed,” nodded Rarity. “Personally, I find it a bit... active for my tastes, but Pinkie Pie does have a way of keeping things entertaining. So, I see you’re wearing that robe I made.”

Spike nearly choked on his punch.

“Y-you made this?!”

“But of course. I make all the robes for that little club of yours,” chortled Rarity.

“C-c-club?! Y-you know?!”

“Oh of course I do,” scoffed Rarity. “It’s that all-stallions club with the silly name, what is it called...? Ah yes, the Equestrian Robe Club for Stallions, Ponyville Chapter, that’s it.”

Spike was so stunned that he forgot to breathe.

“Er, Spike?”

Then he remembered.

“Really Spike, it is considered quite rude to hyperventilate in the presence of a lady.”

* * *

“So, what’s new with you fellows lately?” asked Waddle brightly as the Doctor dealt them each a card. “Anything interesting?”

“Nope.”

“Nothing.”

“Nada.”

“Here’s something,” said Caramel with a mischievous grin. “Guess which scholarly stallion has been having his breakfast made for him all week by which endearing-eyed mare...”

There was a round of stares.

“I’m starting to see where Wind Whistler was coming from,” said Pokey bluntly.

“Shut up Pokey, nopony likes your style,” retorted Caramel.

“At least I have style!” snapped Pokey.

“Brothers, please!” cried Waddle as he moved to restrain an indignant Caramel. “Save your cattiness for the actual meeting.”

The two ponies glared at each other a moment, then sat back down.

“Whatever,” muttered Caramel as he looked at his card, the Ace of Clubs, and swapped it with Boxy. “But yeah, Derpy Hooves totally moved in with Doc last week.”

“Seriously?” laughed Boxy as he passed the ace on to Big Macintosh. “Damn, Doc, way to be subtle about it.”

“There’s nothing to be subtle about,” spluttered Whoof. “I’ve told you, Derpy is not my girlfriend!”

“Right, and Frere Macintosh is ‘not’ entertaining Madame Cheerilee,” smirked Horte as he traded cards with Big Macintosh.

“Eeyup.”

“Must we have this conversation every time?!” hissed Whoof.

“Hey, I’m just saying it like it is,” said Caramel defensively.

“So when did this happen anyway?” asked Boxy gruffly. “I haven’t even seen Derpy in a while. Not since that she went off on that job to Las Pegasus a while back...”

Las Pegasus? I thought it was Los Pegasus?” wondered Pokey aloud as Horte passed him the ace.

“You say potato, I say patata,” shrugged Boxy.

“Nopony says ‘patata’, Boxy,” said Pokey as he passed the ace on to Ace, who had never liked this game for reasons nopony could perceive.

“If you must know, she only got back last week,” explained Whoof. “She was quite a sight; her fur was all dusty, her hair was a mess, and she was dressed up like a security guard on laundry day.”

“Sorry, how’s that?” asked Ace as he passed his card to Waddle.

“Yeah, she was wearing this beat-up old security vest over a stitched white shirt,” said Whoof. “And she had a pocket calculator strapped to her wrist for some reason as well. I wanted to burn it, but she insisted it all held ‘sentimental value’.”

“Did she happen to mention what the heck she was doing all summer?” asked Boxy.

Whoof merely shrugged. Ace passed his ace on to Breezy.

“So, that’s another brother lost, eh?” he muttered.

“Eeyup.”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” demanded Whoof.

“First Breezy, then Caramel, then Spike, and now you and Big Mac,” said Ace bitterly. “For an order of strong, independent stallions, the mares seem to have a pretty good choke-hold on us.”

“That’s why I got out of it,” laughed Boxy.

“Yes, well, some of us don’t have the luxury of finding our wives in bed with another stallion,” huffed Breezy as he passed his card to Waddle.

“Be thankful of that,” said Waddle sternly. “Too many ponies forget that love is a fragile thing.”

“Eeyup.”

“Besides, Brother Ace,” explained Waddle as he passed the ace on to Whoof. “The purpose of our order is not to avoid mares. We will forever be under the hoof of the fairer sex, history has seen to that, but through this Brotherhood, we may still practise the ancient virtues of masculinity, regardless of our girlfriends, wives, or mothers. And that is something no mare can take away.”

“Amen!” nodded Whoof as he noted the Ace of Clubs, split the deck with a shrug, and drew... the Ace of Hearts.

Tonight was simply not his night.

* * *

Spike stood leaning against the far wall of the party hall, nibbling on a cupcake (with extra hot-sauce), and casting a keen eye at his surroundings. He needed a way out. But for that, he needed to take care of Pinkie Pie, and given the pink party pony’s apparent immunity to all forms of conventional restraint, the only way to do that would be to distract her somehow...

A few paces ahead of him, three mares were huddled together, exchanging conspiratorial whispers amid the odd giggle. Intrigued, Spike sidled over, leaning in to catch their conversation. A group of mares is like a powder-keg, the Doctor had once advised him. When in doubt, simply find a spark...

“Pinkie Pie’s really outdone herself with this one,” stated Daisy.

“Yeah, I haven’t had this much fun since... since the last time she threw a party!” exclaimed Lily.

“She’s just all over the place tonight,” noted Roseluck.

“Oh! That reminds me, I heard the sweetest gossip on her the other day,” squealed Lily.

“Really? Tell us!” chirped Daisy.

“Okay, I heard that Pinkie Pie... has a girl-crush on Rainbow Dash!

“What? That’s not news,” said Daisy. “Ponies have been saying that for years.”

“Besides, you think everypony has a girl-crush on Rainbow Dash,” added Roseluck.

“And I’m bound to be right eventually,” said Lily triumphantly.

“Yeah, keep dreaming, Captain,” snorted Daisy.

Now this was interesting, thought Spike. Scanning the crowd, he quickly picked out Rainbow Dash standing by herself in a corner, trying her best to affect an image of cool. Her being Rainbow Dash, she was more or less successful in this endeavour.

“Hey, Dash,” said Spike, casually striding up to the prismatic pegasus. “How’s it hanging?”

“Hey Spike,” said Rainbow. “What’s with the dress?”

“It’s not a dress, it’s a robe,” said Spike defensively. “And for your information, Rarity made it for me.”

“Heh, you’d wear anything if Rarity made it for you,” laughed Rainbow.

“Yes, I would,” said Spike stoically and without shame. “So, how’re you enjoying Pinkie’s party?”

“It’s pretty cool,” shrugged Rainbow. “Kinda wish Pinkie would stick around, though. It’s no fun being cool by yourself all of the time.”

“I can relate,” lied Spike. “Speaking of, I heard Pinkie talking about you earlier...”

“You did?”

“Oh yeah,” soothed Spike. “She was going on and on about how cool you were, and how awesome you were, and how cute you were...”

“R-really?” asked Rainbow, blushing slightly.

“Yep,” nodded Spike. “and you know what else?”

Rainbow shook her head.

“She totally just bet Junebug ten bits that you could wipe the floor with Berry Punch in a fight!”

Nopony defeats the PUNCHMISTRESS!!!” came a shrill, unprovoked cry from across the room.

Rainbow grinned.

“Oh, she is ON!”

* * *

Waddle cast a worried eye around the room. The candles on the altar were half gone, as were the hooded stallions huddled around them. Every so often, one of the brothers would start to nod off, but eventually that problem was resolved when Boxy Brown fell asleep entirely and started to snore. Loudly.

Sacremain,” growled Horte. “Il resemble à deux trains dans un tunnel à vent.

“Eeyup.”

“I didn’t understand a word you said, and I still agree,” added Caramel.

“Seriously, where the crap is Spike?” demanded Pokey.

“Aye, running late I can understand, but it’s been what, an hour?” grumbled Breezy.

“Hour and seventeen,” stated Whoof.

“I’m sure he’ll show,” said Waddle placatively. “Give him time.”

“We have given him time,” said Ace. “We’ve given him over an hour!”

“Maybe he’s ill,” suggested Horte. “Like Waddle was.”

“Yes, and we all know how that turned out,” muttered the aged cleric. “You boys seriously never told him about me, all that time?”

“Never came up,” shrugged Ace. “We had a lot of other priorities going.”

“Yes, like blowing all the Brotherhood’s beer money on a freakin’ jetski!” snapped Pokey.

“I said I was sorry,” said Caramel.

“Shut up!” yelled Boxy, suddenly awake again. “Honestly, if I wanted to listen to ponies b*** all evening, I’d have stayed with my ex-wife.”

“‘Sides, did it ever occur to anypony to go out and look for Spike?” asked Big Macintosh.

There was a glum silence.

“You didn’t,” Pokey pointed out.

“Nope, but I am now.”

“I’ll go,” said Whoof. “I brought him into this Brotherhood, I may as well finish what I started...”

As the Doctor made for the doors, a great flash of lightning suddenly lit the chapel, followed by a loud crash of thunder that made everypony’s hair try to jump clear out of their hides.

“What the hay?! The weatherpony promised clear skies tonight!” yelled Whoof.

“Looks like she was wrong,” said Boxy with a cynical smirk.

“But they make the weather! How can they get it wrong?”

“Having your head up your flank helps,” laughed Boxy. “Trust me, I used to work in weather. Organization’s a joke with those ponies.”

“Well, that’s reassuring,” said Whoof sardonically as he turned back to the door.

Before he could take another step, however, the door swung open, and a second bolt of lightning lit the sky, illuminating for a split second the miniature abomination standing on the threshold.

“Hey guys,” said Spike weakly, wiping a sodden chunk of cake from his brow. “Sorry I’m late.”

“What the- where have you been?!” cried Whoof, noting with confusion the punch stains and smears of frosting that adorned Spike’s rain-soaked habit.

“Long story,” said Spike. “I’ll tell you guys once we get the cider out.”

“Excellent!” chortled Waddle. “Now we may finally begin! Stand back, everypony!”

Waddle knelt before the wooden altar, running his hoof along the floor before finding a loose stone. Removing it revealed a simple button, which he then pressed with an audible *click*. There was a groan of aging machinery, and the altar swung back on an unseen pivot, exposing a narrow stairway leading to the cellar below.

“Woah,” said Spike.

“Yes, I had that put in about forty years ago, after I first settled in Ponyville,” said Waddle fondly.

“Why?” asked Spike.

“Just for fun,” said Waddle with a shrug. “This job tends to get a bit dull after a while, so I spiced things up wherever I could.”

“I can respect that,” shrugged Caramel.

“Eeyup.”

“So what’s down there?” asked Spike.

The Sanctum!” declared Pokey.

“The what?”

The Sanctum,” confirmed Horte.

“What’s the sanctum?”

“No no, it’s ‘Sanctum’,” corrected Ace.

“That’s what I said.”

“No, you said ‘sanctum’. It’s ‘Sanctum’!”

“... Seriously?”

“Eeyup.”

“Right, enough dallying, brothers,” chortled Waddle. “It is time. Let us descend into The Sanctum!

With Waddle in the lead, the brothers of Mann raised their hoods, and in single file slowly made their way down the steps to The Sanctum. Spike, being the novice, took up the rear, and as he stepped reverently down the cold stone steps, his mind raced at the thought of what hidden wonders lay within The Sanctum.

What he finally saw did not live up to his expectations.

The Sanctum, as it turned out, was a small, dusty, candlelit cellar. Dry, dusty floorboards creaked beneath his steps. Dusty, mouldering banners and tapestries, so old that they were now blank, hung upon the walls of dusty, rough-hewn stone alongside thick, dusty cobwebs. In the centre of the room was a plain, dusty table, surrounded by ten dusty chairs, and topped with a tarnished candelabra, also dusty. In fact, the only things in the room that weren’t dusty were the stallions, and even they were starting to attract errant motes.

“This is it?” asked Spike incredulously.

“This is The Sanctum!” said the Doctor. “This is the single most secretive place owned by our order. Brotherhood tradition mandates that it only be opened on occasions of great import!”

“How long has it been since you opened it last?” asked Spike, running a claw over the dusty table.

“A few years,” shrugged Boxy.

“Don’t you ever dust this place?”

“Again, only opened on occasions of great import,” repeated Whoof.

“Anyway, enough of that,” barked Ace. “The hour of initiation is upon us! Brother Macintosh, have you brought the initiation drum?”

“Eeyup,” nodded Big Macintosh, producing a large, flat drum from within his habit.

“Very well. Take your places brothers! Pokey, dim the lights; Horte, light the incense; Spike, on the table...”

Quivering slightly, Spike climbed atop the rickety old slab as Horte lit several sticks of cheap incense, and Pokey magically dimmed the candles until only a faint ruddiness remained within the room. For a moment there was only silence, until Big Macintosh began beating his drum, rapidly playing a dull, nimble rhythm with his hoof. The drum beats continued for a moment, and then, one by one, the other stallions began to hum deeply, firming a deep, rising cadence that echoed eerily off the walls of The Sanctum.

“Esteemed members of the Fraternal Brotherhood of Mann...” intoned the sepulchral voice of the Brotherhood’s ancient Keeper. “We are gathered here within The Sanctum to witness the initiation of the newest addition to our noble order.

“For untold centuries, we of the order of Mann have sought to uphold the ancient masculine values of those who came before us. Though we know not their name nor nature, we know their wisdom, and on this night we impart that wisdom to yet another worthy sta- er, male, so that he may see the light of Mann-ness that shines in the darkness of a mares’ world...”

“He’s still got it,” whispered Caramel cheekily.

“Spike the Dragon,” continued Waddle, unfazed by Caramel’s interruption. “A year ago, you were brought before us in recognition of your worthiness to our cause, and in our wisdom we made you a novice of our order. For a full year, you have lived and learned under the values of Mann, and now you shall finally be rewarded for your devotion.”

The music stopped. The lights flared slightly, revealing Waddle’s white cowled face.

“Novice Spike, do you swear to uphold the values of Mann, and to keep those values in your heart for as long as you live?”

“I swear,” said Spike softly.

“And do you swear never to abandon yourself to the will of mares, but to stand proud and indomitable as their righteous equal?”

“I swear,” said Spike, a little louder this time.

“Do you swear never to compromise our order, nor reveal its secrets, nor align yourself against the interests of Mann?”

“I swear!” said Spike proudly.

Waddle smiled.

“Then by the powers vested in me as Keeper of the Fraternal Brotherhood of Mann, I therefore declare you, Spike the Dragon, to be a full-fledged member of our order! Welcome, Brother Spike!”

There was a cacophony of raucous cheers, as the assembled stallions drummed their hooves upon the much-abused table. Grinning broadly, Spike descended the table, and took his place beside Doctor Whoof.

“So we can finally call you ‘brother’,” said Whoof tearily. “I’m sorry, I’ve become the proud Papa!”

“Congratulations, Brother Spike, I knew you were Mann material the moment I saw you,” said Ace proudly.

“Oh you guys,” chuckled Spike.

“Right, well, now that that’s over with, what say we get tanked?” suggested Boxy.

“I second that motion!” added Breezy.

“Thirded,” said Caramel.

“Nope.”

Dead silence fell upon The Sanctum.

“S-sorry?” stammered Pokey.

“Nope.”

“Whaddaya mean ‘nope’?!” asked Boxy angrily.

Big Macintosh said nothing, but merely ducked under the table, and re-emerged carrying a broad, flat wooden chest. The other stallions stared at the box as Big Macintosh laid it upon the table, first with confusion, and then with devious, conspiratorial grins.

Spike suddenly felt a chill run up his spines.

“W-what’s in the box?” he asked.

Horte chuckled softly.

Mon cher frere, do you not remember what I said to you a year ago?”

With a flick of the hoof, Big Macintosh flipped open the lid of the box, revealing eight precisely perforated pine paddles. Spike gulped.

He remembered.

~FIN~

“Here’s to an entire year spent writing about magical talking cartoon horses. Let’s hope the next one’s just as good. You guys and gals make it all worthwhile.” -the author

Comments ( 29 )

I only have one thing to say and it isn't "FIRST!!" Though that is valid..

Brother spike, thou art royally screwed, also a question,

HOW IN THE BUCK HAS THE BROTHERHOOD LASTED SO LONG THAT LUNA WOULD KNOW!!

1667227

Considering Spike's a dragon, and thus covered in armor designed to withstand lava, I think he'll be fine. On the whole a fine ending to a nice little series.

Seriously dude? Leaving us on such a cruel cliffhanger?

Wow amazing and I could just imagine twilight trying to find out about it and thinking its a secret order to overthrow the princesses and Luna enjoying every minute of teilights freakouts.

:rainbowlaugh:
/)
:pinkiehappy:
...
:moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:
That is all.

Can't say I'm terribly pleased by the ending. I mean, Spike goes through a lot to reach this meeting, and then it just ends on a moment of dread and fear despite seemingly giving us a hope spot. It's just poor form to END a story on cliffhanger, you know? Just a little scene where Spike either feels no pain from the paddles due to his scales, or endures the initiation and is happy with his new status in the fraternity, or even chickens out and runs away, just some kind of closure! As it stands the whole thing just feels... dissapointing now.

Poor Caramel, but at least he got Windie back. And got the chance to prove his heterosexuality to her at great length. Wait, not sure why I'm saying poor Caramel.

That's the way Spike, can't escape from a party, start a fight.

Great chapter, I'm always glad to see an update to this story.

I kinda like that ends on an ambiguous cliffhanger. First comes the paddles then comes the drinking. I'm gonna assume that Spike is stronger than the paddles because he did belly flop into a pit of molten lava.

He has tough scales, so Spike will be alright.

It's....BEAUTIFUL

:eeyup: :moustache:

I may have to use something similar to this. It is seriously delightful

1671390 The thing about the eyes and that she be creepin' on everypony?

The paddles get stuck on his spines. Or shatter, maybe shatter.

Really great chapter.

1672044 Both Luna and Sombra(ero)

I need to read the new chapter. :fluttershysad:

1672614 Oh, O.K.. Yeah, it's pretty good.

I really like this series. This latest one especially. No idea if you ever plan to continue, but what you have written so far is excellent one way or another, and I laughed a lot.

By the way? I caught that MouseHunt reference.

wearysloth.com/Gallery/ActorsE/5407-23810.jpg

Fucking loved that movie.

Glad Caramel and Windy are back together. :twilightsmile:

I also liked the hint of RainbowPie and Spike's plan of escape, and the paddles were funny once I realized his scales would protect him. Will there be more? :pinkiehappy:

was Derpy's.. dissaperence and attire a refence to another fic or something?

Complete?
But why...?:fluttercry:

"Canis Bowie" :rainbowlaugh: nice, man, nice. Really wanted to see the fight between Rainbow and Berry Punch, though...

1711022 It wouldn't have ended well for R.D. Nopony defeats the Punchmistress...:rainbowderp:

Oh no...They're going to challenge him to a game of ping-pong! :rainbowwild:

This is one awesome and funny story:pinkiehappy: Nice idea giving overview on Mann part of the Ponyville :twilightsmile: I silently hope that it is not yet completed :moustache:

Ha, Fallout New Vagas reference, classic. Anyway I really enjoyed this story, it puts the males of Equestria in the spot light for a change.

Ok, the Spike-substitute record player scene had me in stitches! :rainbowlaugh:

Also, the quote “Really Spike, it is considered quite rude to hyperventilate in the presence of a lady.” was gold! :rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

“Nopony defeats the PUNCHMISTRESS!!!”
“So we can finally call you ‘brother’,” said Whoof tearily. “I’m sorry, I’ve become the proud Papa!”

:rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

This story was cute and very fun to read! My only suggestion is to consider changing the rating to a T since there’s mild alcohol references and innuendo. Then again, I’m not sure how this site works, so it’s up to you, it’s your story :raritywink:

Login or register to comment