• Published 24th May 2015
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My Little Pony Bizarre Adventures - Part 1: Ponyville Central - LateBronyWriter



One Thousand years ago, the saints Celestia and Luna drew upon the power of the Red Stone of Aja to defeat the demon Discord. Now one thousand years later the Stone is destroyed, beginning the tale of six ponies and their quest to redeem the world.

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Chapter 13-Baltimare Tea Party- Take 1

Baltimare Tea Party-Take 1:


“Gravitational Upheaval….. Overdrive!!”

The floor of the Golden Oaks Library shudders as Applejack and Twilight test out the extent of their combined power, causing all the books in the library to flutter off their shelves and into the air. Even Twilight’s other four friends are not immune as they float into the air waving their hooves around in a vain attempt to gain traction. Rarity looks incredibly distressed as her mane’s normal curl begins to unravel with the lack of gravity.

“Um… Twilight, darling…” Rarity conjures her Stand into the shape of a brush and is frantically trying to put her mane back in shape. “I know that you are excited and all that to be trying out your little Gravity trick, but if it isn’t too much trouble could you LET US DOWN FROM HERE!?”

However, in their intense concentration the pair seems to be unable to hear the pleas of the ivory unicorn.

“Hello there!” Rarity shouts, “earth to Applejack!”

The two mares’ focus snaps back to the world of the living as they apologize simultaneously. “Sorry there…”

“….. Rarity. Ah guess that Ah was….”

“….. Just so caught up…..”

“…. In what Ah was doing…..”

“…. That I completely forgot….”

“….. That Ah had guests.”

Both of the mares close their eyes as their two combined Stands separate back into their individual halves, ending the gravitational effect and sending all the mares falling to the floor. Fluttershy and Rainbow, being pegasi, flutter to the floor with the gentle beat of their wings; and while it looks like Rarity and Pinkie would be in for a rough landing, Pinkie pulls out a red velvet couch at the last instant, placing it below them. Rarity and Pinkie land safely on the couch as the fashionista wipes the sweat off her brow. “Whew…. And you said that a fainting couch had no practical purpose, Pinkie!”

Pinkie shrugs. “What can I say? I guess that you proved me wrong!”

“Okay everypony!” Twilight says, “now that we…. Oh hold on a second….” Igniting her horn, all the books in the library glow with a faint magenta light and fly back to their shelves. “Whew, that was a mess. It’s a good thing that I enchanted all the books for automatic re-shelving! Anyways, with that little display we’ve successfully tested the extent of my Stand’s ability to boost your respective Stand powers through a mind link, as well as test some of the base abilities of your newfound Stands.”

With a flash Twilight teleports out a clip board and a pair of professional glasses, gazing at the fruits of a day’s successful experiments. “To start off, we tested Fluttershy’s ability which I have subsequently dubbed ‘Thousand Yard Stare’!”

Fluttershy shyly raises her hoof. “Um actually, Twilight…. I kind of thought since it was my Stand that I might be able to name it…… I mean….. I actually thought up a few good names…..”

Twilight however, being in full researcher mode, seems to ignore the butter-yellow pegasus. “Now the Stand itself seems to have powerful will-suppressing abilities that allow the user to subvert a living being’s will power, making them incredibly susceptible to suggestions. However it does not seem to be able to affect beings if the user can’t make eye contact with them; and though the user can affect ponies at a considerable distance, the user has to be within ear shot to give commands and do anything more than prevent a pony from moving…...”

“Um… Twilight, I actually had a name…. for my Stand, that is…..”

“However when I combine my Stand with Fluttershy’s Thousand Yard Stare…”

“Um…. the name I had…. I thought was really good……”

“By touching her eyes with my Stand……” Twilight continues.

“Um the name is……”

“I can boost the power of Thousand Yard Stare…...”

Suddenly the yellow pegasus shouts with a force that silences the lavender mare completely. “THE STARE!”

Twilight recoils from the sudden explosion of noise from the quiet pegasus. “Um…. What?”

Fluttershy clears her throat. “Um, I had actually thought of a name for my Stand already……”

Comprehension suddenly dawns on Twilight’s face as she rolls her eyes. “Fluttershy, we just finished this discussion via mind link! Now I respect your ideas, Fluttershy, but that’s just not a very good name and…..”

Fluttershy suddenly stares down the lavender mare with her newfound power. “Oh I’m so sorry miss I get to name everything because I’m in charge!” Fluttershy snaps with such assertiveness that Twilight finds it hard to believe she is the same mare. “I just let you name our group that ridiculous name, even though I’m more than one hundred percent sure that I’ve seen it somewhere before. So please since you’re soooo good at naming things please give my poor little Stand a name since I obviously lack the imagination to make up my own names! Go on! I DARE you!”

Twilight stutters at Fluttershy's sudden act of defiance. “But…. But……” Finally she relents. “Fine, you can keep the name…”

Fluttershy nods. “That’s better. Continue.”

Twilight clears her throat. “As I was saying…. by boosting Fluttershy’s Stand, The Stare, with my own, Fluttershy can command any pony within ear shot without having to make direct eye contact with them. All she has to do is look at them and they are under her complete control.”

“Whoa Whoa. Back up…..” Rainbow extends her hooves. “Seriously? The Stare? That’s not cool, Fluttershy, I mean Twilight’s suggestion wasn’t much better…..”

“HEY!”

“…But come on? The Stare? What kind of name is…..” Fluttershy uses The Stare on Dash, her eyes suddenly expanding to the size of dinner plates and her pupils contract to pin pricks, her entire vision consumed by the power of Fluttershy’s Stare.

“I’m sorry, Dashie? Did you have a problem with my name?” the yellow mare asks menacingly. “WELL?!”

Dash flies directly behind Twilight to avoid the enormous pressure of Fluttershy’s Stare. “NOPE! No problems here! In fact I think it’s a great name Flutters! So original!”

Abruptly the vengeful demon disappears, transforming into the face of a smiling beauty. “Good! I’m glad that you all like it, I thought really hard to come up with it…. And….. I just don’t know what I would have done it you didn’t like it.”

“Anyways!” Twilight says, “Moving on! Next we did a recap of Pinkie’s power, the ability to store an almost infinite number of objects by turning them into felt and sticking them to her Stand.” Twilight picks up her clipboard, flipping through the pages. “She can’t store living things in her Stand…”

“Except for Gummy!” the pink mare points out.

“….. Except for Gummy,” Twilight repeats, “and it seems to be covered in these eye-like things that Pinkie refuses to elaborate on…..” Twilight gives the pink mare a dirty look.

Pinkie giggles hysterically at Twilight’s glare. “That’s because it’s a surprise! I mean a surprise wouldn’t be much of a surprise if I told you what it was, would it? I mean you could try to forget what the surprise was if you tried really hard but you’d probably fail. I mean this one time someone spoiled the ending for Indiana Colt and the Malted Falcon to me before I even read it so I hit myself in the head really hard to try to forget! But It didn’t work so I decided to read the book backwards since I already knew the ending, that way the rest of the book would be a surprise!” The mare bounces up to Twilight, poking her barrel with a hoof. “And believe me, sister, you don’t want me to have to hit you in the head to make you forget the surprise that I’m going to surprise you with cause then I would have to hit you really really……”

“OKAY!” Twilight shouts, “I get it! It’s a surprise! Your Stand’s name is Surprise! It’s a joke!” Twilight groans heavily. “After trying to hold a serious conversation with you for more than five minutes I honestly don’t care anymore.”

Dismissing her blatant failure with Pinkie Pie, Twilight picks up her clipboard, fully prepared to move on. “Besides, with how Pinkie and my minds seem to be polar opposites, mind linking with her seems almost completely impossible at this point. Even attempting a mind link causes horrific backlash.”

“Really?” Pinkie cocks her head. “I just thought that we couldn’t do your whole fusion thing because your mind was all serious librarian stuff and mine was all super happy crazy fun stuff! I didn’t know it was because our minds were at the North Pole and South Pole! Wow, you learn something new every day!”

Twilight stares at Pinkie, then continues on, not willing to touch that conversation with a ten foot pole. Mentally, the mare makes a note to never use logic OR expressions around the pink mare ever again. “Alright, next we tested Dash’s power….”

Dash lands next to the lavender mare and hoof pumps. “All right! It’s about time!”

“…. Dash’s power….” Twilight flips through her notes on the clipboard looking for the exact page. “Dash’s power….. Ah ha, here it is: Valkyrie!” Twilight points to the page with the notes she was looking for. “Valkyrie…. Its power allows Dash to create a powerful vibrational shockwave with physical contact that is capable of incredible destructive feats.”

“Uh Twilight...” Dash taps on her shoulder. “Less nerd please?”

“Oh, Right! Basically Dash’s power charges her hooves or any part of her body with a latent energy that is instantly converted into kinetic energy the moment it contacts a physical object.” Twilight flips a page on her notepad. “The power of this explosion seems intrinsically linked to velocity as well. In other words, the faster Dash attacks the more powerful the explosion. Your Stand is most assuredly the most powerful Stand offensive-wise that I’ve seen so far. It could even blow over eight thousand gallons of water out of a lake in one attack!”

Dash leaps up in the air flaunting her obvious superiority. “Aw Yeah. Who’s the mare? It’s me! Rainbow Dash! Best Stand-user ever!”

Applejack sighs and tilts her hat over her eyes at Dash’s trademark arrogance and single mindedness. “Give me a break……. Dash, get off yer high horse, yawl might have a smidgen more power than another pony, but that’s no excuse fer thinking yer better.”

“Applejack is right, Rainbow.” Twilight flips another page. “Your Stand may be impressive offensively but it has two main weaknesses, well three really.”

“What!” The rainbow mare lands on her rump with a thud. “THREE?!”

“Yes Dash,” Twilight states, “three. First, your Stand is limited to your own reach; you can’t manifest your Stand in physical form like Applejack’s or Pinkie’s, meaning your Stand has a much shorter range.” Applejack holds her head high in the air as Twilight continues. “Second, like I said your Stand derives its power from your velocity, so if you’re not moving you can’t use it. It’s why you got trapped by Pinkie’s streamer attack; you weren’t able to build up enough velocity to tear through the streamers.”

“Hey! That’s not a weakness!” Dash complains. “Besides, I was able to break out of that straitjacket in ten seconds flat!”

“Only because you were lividly angry, which allowed you to move enough of your body to generate a velocity strong enough to break out of the cotton threaded bindings.” Twilight continues unfazed, “And finally at the issue of most concern, your Stand might be…. overly destructive.”

Dash dismisses Twilight with a wave of her hoof. “Pfftt! Twilight, I know that you are jealous that your Stand isn’t as awesome as mine. Ya know since your Stand is so weak that it can’t even swat a fly….”

“Hey! I’ll have you know that I was able to swat a fly with my Stand earlier this week!”

Rainbow Dash gives her friend her best ‘are you kidding me’ stare - one that she has used on Applejack for years. “Did it get back up?” Dash asks.

Twilight fumes. “What? I mean, what kind of….. I mean…..”

Rainbow Dash arches her eyebrow.

The defeated Twilight Sparkle hangs her head low. “….. Yes.”

“… As I was saying,” the rainbow mare resumes, “there’s no such thing as too destructive! I mean, my Sonic Rainbooms never hurt me! And our fusion is hooves-down the most awesome!” Dash waves her hoof over to a large gaping hole in the library proper. “I mean look at what it did to the library! Is that cool or what!?”

Twilight internally cringes at the hole, rueing the fact that she’ll have to repair it later that day. “Yes…. Impressive.” Twilight scribbles away on her board. “Nevertheless, be careful Dash. A Stand-user needs to control their power, not the other way around. Meaning if you accidently blow me to pieces with your Stand I’m going to haunt you for the rest of my un-life.”

Rainbow looks her friend in the eye. “Twilight, I know you’re concerned but I’ve got this. I’m all through going commando and going out of control. Trust me, I’ve learned my lesson.”

Twilight smiles back as the rainbow mare lands on the ground again. “Good, Dash, as long as you’re careful. That’s all I ask.”

Twilight flips to her next page in her notebook. “And now we just finished analyzing Applejack’s power: the ability to strengthen or nullify gravitational forces on objects. It seems that her power works by strengthening an object’s gravitational attachment so an object cannot move, or weakening it to a point that it loses its hold on the earth and falls over immediately. And with our boost in power it allows her to use that ability over a radius of no less than twenty meters. Overall it’s a very strong and resilient Stand with a flexible power.”

Applejack, having the manners not to interrupt a mare when she is talking, only tips her hat in thanks for Twilight’s praise. “Much obliged, Twilight.”

However one mare has an objection to this. “Hold It!” Dash yells. “Twilight, what’s’ the big idea? You couldn’t stop talking about my Stand’s weaknesses! What about Applejack’s? I bet it’s something really lame.”

Applejack suddenly turns to face her rival, nearly getting in her face. “Now Dash… just cause yer Stand is as wild as a bull at a rodeo doesn’t mean ya should be poking into….”

“Oh right, Applejack’s weaknesses,” the lavender mare says without removing her eyes from the clipboard. “Well Applejack’s Stand is enormously strong, but in exchange it needs a lot of time to bring that power to bear; in other words the faster Applejack attacks the weaker her blows become. That’s why her power is so important; not only does it allow her Stand to withstand more powerful blows by making her stationary, but it also prevents her opponents from moving so she can wind up for a powerful attack.”

Applejack cringes as Dash snickers. “And second, her power only works if a pony is standing on a physical object, so it would have no effect on a pegasus or any object that wasn’t tied to the ground.” As if forgetting something, Twilight flips a page. “Oh and the Stand is only about as fast as Applejack is, which though impressive is only about half as fast as my Stand and a third as fast as Pinkie’s……”

“HA!” Dash laughs in her rival’s face. “See? Against my Stand you wouldn’t have stood a chance! You can’t hit an object in midair so I would win hooves….”

“….. However when combined with my Stand, Applejack’s ability to control gravity compensates for her Stand’s lack of range by allowing it to control gravity at a distance as well as boosting her mental reflexes.”

“….down.” Dash finishes.

Flipping through the notebook Twilight comes to a blank page. “All right, all that is left is Rarity, her power seems to be the most flexible of all of us. Her Stand has no real form but seems to be able to take almost any form that the user imagines. In addition, the user seems to take no damage when the Stand is attacked - unlike normal Stands - allowing the user to defend with it, constantly reforming the Stand whenever it’s damaged.”

Rarity nods affirmatively at Twilight’s observations. “Thank you, darling, though what I can do is nothing special and I still have difficulties with, how do you say….. ‘manifesting’ and ‘controlling’ my Stand, and it can’t take a pony like shape like yours can…..”

Twilight places her hoof reassuringly on Rarity. “That’s because your Stand is an object-type Stand; you’re just selling yourself short, Rarity. your Stand might not be able to take pony shape, but it is virtually indestructible and has no real weaknesses. In my opinion it’s an amazing power.”

Rarity nods her head. “I guess you are right, Twilight, I got so caught up in….” The ivory mare stops. “… Come again, Twilight? What did you mean by ‘object-type Stand’?”

Twilight grins, excitedly teleporting out a set of notecards. “I’m glad you brought that up, Rarity! Because I was prepared especially for that!” THe librarians clears her throat. “You see there are three types of Stand forms: there are ‘creature’, ‘object’, and ‘body’ Stand types which basically depend upon how the Stand chooses to manifest itself.”

Closing her eyes Twilight manifests her Stand, striking a simple pose with it. “Creature-type Stands, or pony-shaped Stands as you call them, take the form of a creature that is itself capable of movement. It can extend a distance from its user’s body and perform physical actions on the owner’s behalf like attacking or picking up an object.”

Teleporting next to Fluttershy, Twilight wraps her arm around the yellow pegasus who meeps in surprise. “Now Fluttershy, here, has a body-type Stand. The Stand doesn’t manifest apart from the user’s body. Instead the Stand grants the user a powerful magical ability that usually involves augmenting the user’s body like Dash’s does, or granting special powers like Fluttershy’s does.”

Twilight points her hoof towards Rarity. “Your Stand is an object-type Stand. Object Stands take the form of an object and have unique powers and - notably - their users suffer no damage if their object Stands are damaged.” The lavender mare continues. “However, they usually have limited or non-existent movement powers, and often require special conditions or actions from the user to manifest their power properly. Your Stand for example can’t move itself, meaning you have to move it with your telekinesis if it’s not attached to the ground.”

Peeling her eyes from the clipboard Twilight takes a long look outside. “Technically, Lyra’s Thousand Hoof Crutch is an object-type Stand as well because, even though it possesses a limited degree of movement, it has to spring from a physical object and Lyra herself suffers no damage if it is destroyed.”

Rarity manifests her Stand, watching it intently as it forms and moves in the air. “Well it is quite impressive, though I never knew that there were so many types and forms of Stand to begin with.”

Twilight puts her hoof over Rarity’s. “And that’s the fun part: your Stand is already a flexible object-type Stand that can take any shape the user imagines. When we combine our powers using my FRIENDS Stand I bet its flexibility and control will improve dramatically. I mean its basic mental physics, with two minds working together at once I’m sure that we….”

“NO!” Rarity recoils as if visibly struck, ripping herself free from Twilight’s grasp. Panting heavily, Rarity looks around to see the entire group staring at her strange behavior. Realizing her situation, the ivory fashionista works quickly to calm herself. “I mean….. I understand where you’re coming from, Twilight darling, but I just don’t feel ready to, as you say, ‘kick it up a notch.’ It’s like you said, my Stand requires a great deal of control so…… I feel that I should learn better control of it.”

Twilight looks at her friend with concern in her eyes. “But Rarity…. Everypony else has…”

“Now Twilight,” Rarity firmly states, “you said to Fluttershy that you wouldn’t force her to do anything that she was uncomfortable with, and I feel that applies to all of us as well. And the fact remains that I am simply not comfortable with boosting my power when I can’t fully control it. Besides….. We wouldn’t want an accident, now would we?”

Twilight looks on as Rarity curls her Stand around herself, subconsciously trying to protect herself from Twilight’s judgmental eyes. In Twilight’s opinion, Rarity already had great control over her own Stand, control that she wished Rainbow Dash possessed. Yet her reaction to her offer to mind link…. It was true she had a problem earlier when she tried to boost both Fluttershy’s and Dash’s powers simultaneously, but that had just given her a major headache and confirmed that she could only boost one Stand at a time. So why was Rarity so concerned? Then again Rarity had two good points: she had only had her Stand for a short time, and she was uncomfortable with the idea of a mind link…… So, as a good friend she should respect Rarity’s decision regardless of the subtext behind it.

Twilight sighs.“You’re right, Rarity… I wouldn’t want to force you to do anything. If you feel uncomfortable with it then I’ll respect that.”

Rarity nods her head in thanks. “Thank you, Twilight, I knew that you would understand.”

Twilight turns to address the rest of the group. “Alright everypony, take five! We’ll work on controlling our Stands individually for an hour before going out on patrol for more of the Red Stones.” All the mares break off into groups and begin to talk amongst themselves, save one. “Not you, Applejack, we need to talk…”

All the mares look at the orange farm mare, who appears as though she has no idea what is going on.

“OOOOOOOOO!” Dash snickers, “looks like somepony’s in trouble with the teacher! What happened, Applejack? Forget to do your homework?”

Applejack groans. “Honestly, Dash, yawl can be worse than a foal sometimes.” Quickly and without a trace of nervousness the orange mare trots up to Twilight, a curious look in her eyes. “Alright Twi, we’re out of earshot now. Now what’s up? Is there a problem?”

Twilight shakes her head. “Not really, Applejack. It’s not a really big problem if that’s what you’re asking. I’m just worried.”

“Worried?” Applejack blinks. “Worried bout what?”

Twilight puts her hoof on Applejack’s chest. “I’m worried about you being worried, Applejack. I didn’t mean to pry while we were… linked… I know that you don’t like that, but your worries about Applebloom were so strong I almost lost control of the fusion.”

Now Applejack looks nervous. With her cover blown, her cracked façade slowly bleeds through with worry. Not for herself, but for her little sister. “Oh. Ah kind of fergot ya had that whole mind thing going there, Twi. Sorry, Ah know that it can be difficult ta keep it together when a pony’s… not stable an everything. Not ta say that Pinkie’s not stable er anything…. no offense, Pinkie?”

The pink pony pops up from under Applejack’s hat, this time barely surprising the farm mare. “None taken!” The hat falls back on Applejack’s head causing the pink mare to disappear.

“That’s not what I’m worried about, Applejack,” Twilight says. “I mean if we can’t fuse properly that would be bad, but I’m more concerned about you and how you are doing. Not the status of your Stand power.”

Applejack shifts her weight back and forth between her hooves, prancing nervously in place. “Ah know Twi. It’s just…. Oh Twilight. Ah know Ah’m probably just bein silly, but Ah know Ah’d feel a heap better if Ah could just check on Applebloom one last time….”

“Applejack…..”

“Ah’m worried about her! Ah can’t help it! She just got of the hospital! What if..… Mmmmph!!”

Applejack’s runaway train of thought is stopped by Twilight placing her hoof on her mouth. “Applejack, it’s okay to be worried, but Applebloom’s out of danger! Her life is safe and she’s out of harm’s way. And from here on out she’s never going to get involved in the dangerous world of Stands.”

“Besides, Applejack….” Twilight places her hoof on her friend’s shoulder. “Applebloom is at school, watched over by an attentive, responsible adult! I mean, what could possibly happen at school? Paper cuts? Not turning in an assignment? Pop Quiz? Face it Applejack, Applebloom is safe and out of trouble.”

Applejack looks at her friend then back out the window as if she could see her sister from miles away. Suddenly she smiles and looks back at her friend. “Ya know what, Twi? Yer right! Ah just got so plumb tuckered out woryin about her that Ah didn’t realize how funny it was. Ah mean, school? Not even Applebloom could get into any trouble there. She’s as safe as a prairie dog in a four foot deep hole on a hot summer’s day!”

“Southernisms, Applejack,” the unamused unicorn reminds her.

“Heh sorry, Twi….” Applejack tips her hat. “Ah just meant ya were right, ta not worry bout bloom. Ah mean school of all places! What could possibly go wrong?”

…………………

Everything that could have gone wrong for Applebloom that day had gone wrong. Since she had attended school, her spirit high after defeating her hated enemy Diamond Tiara, she had thought that her life was looking up again. Now she was just counting the clock for the minutes to end so she could go to lunch and eat her meal in peace.

At first it had been nothing, spit wads launched at the back of her head from random locations. Initially she had suspected Diamond Tiara; however the sticky bolts had seemed to come from every direction and angle, as if the entire class was in on Applebloom’s torment. Eventually she had just tried to ignore it and that worked for a while, until they started to throw heavier objects, like erasers and textbooks. Eventually the bombardment had worn her down and she snapped behind her, demanding that anypony that had the guts to mock her do it to her face. Diamond whistled innocently as the rest of the class looked dumbstruck at the yellow filly, as if she had lost her mind. Cheerilee had reacted much harsher than the rest of the class did; demanding to know what she thought was so important she had to yell over her.

Applebloom blushed of course and apologized to the class for her disruption, as Diamond grinned behind her. Their teacher Cheerilee had then used Applebloom’s disruption to her advantage, giving them a pop quiz. All the class groaned as the teacher handed out her test, telling them it was just a simple recap quiz of things they should already know. And upon receiving the test, Applebloom was surprised to find out that she did already know the answers to all the questions; life was looking up for her again. Cheerilee gave them ten minutes and Applebloom buckled down, confident that she could ace this test easy. However something strange happened yet again: every time she tried to mark her answer her pencil, as if possessed of a mind of its own, would move randomly across the page. Applebloom tried to control it, however using too much force made her look crazy and using too little just created scribbles on the page. By the time that Cherilee called time, the only thing that Applebloom had managed to legibly write was her own name. When asked by the teacher why she had saw fit to fill her quiz with scribbles, Diamond had launched into a witty remark about her intelligence that the entire class had laughed at, and though Cheerilee had managed to calm the class down the damage had been done. Applebloom could only look behind her with a dirty look on her face as Diamond had grinned in triumph; now Applebloom knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Diamond had done something to sabotage her.

Cherilee the well-meaning teacher had tried to help Applebloom by allowing her to do an easy problem on the board. However the moment that Applebloom tried to get out of her desk she had her front hoof tugged out from under her, falling flat on her face. This earned another smart remark from Diamond and more ridicule for the yellow filly. Finally Applebloom had managed to get up to the board, despite tripping again, and began to solve the math problem Cheerilee had set out for her. Applebloom knew the answer yet, once again, when she grabbed the chalk to write the answer her hoof had been sharply pulled to the side, creating a ‘four’ on the board in place of the correct answer, ‘one’. Applebloom was forced to look in horror as Cherilee confirmed that the answer was wrong, earning more taunting from the class. This, for the third time that day, earned a sharp remark from Diamond to which the entire class, save Sweetie and Scootaloo, joined in on. The yellow mare had had enough of her ridicule, and though her sister was known for her patience and self-control, her younger sister had yet to master such virtues. In no small words, and using a word or two that fillies her age were not meant to hear, Applebloom displayed the brazen honesty of her sister by telling Diamond EXACTLY what she thought of her.

Now she was sitting in her desk nineteen minutes late for her fifty minute lunch break, watching as all the other fillies played outside without her. Applebloom looked at the clock again, willing time to move faster, if just to let her out of her prison of a desk. Finally by act of god or just good luck, the clock hit 12:45 and Cheerilee said the yellow filly was free to go. However, as Applebloom was about to leave the teacher made it very clear that further disruptions would not be tolerated, causing the filly to gulp in fear and hastily rush out into the fresh air outside. Now outside and free from the watchful eye of Cheerilee, Applebloom sighs in her despair, thinking upon the fact that she can’t afford to make another mistake and rueing what she thought would be her best day ever. However, as the yellow mare lowers her head in defeat, she finds that despite her embarrassment in class that she is not entirely forsaken….

“HEY APPLEBLOOM!” The yellow filly raises her head from the dirt, recognizing the voice of Scootaloo. “Come over here, we saved you a seat!” Scootaloo shouts over the din of the playground from a nearby wooden picnic table.

Smiling broadly that she has not yet been abandoned, the yellow filly trots up to the table where her two friends are sitting and takes a seat. “Thanks guys! Ah thought that little thing in the classroom had ruined mah chance at popularity. Good ta know that ya decided to stick by me!”

“Of course, Applebloom!” Sweetie Belle squeaks, “it’s one for all and all for one! Just because you messed up with problem on the board…. And you failed your quiz…. And you made a fool of yourself in class, it don’t meant that we’re any less your friends!”

Applebloom throws her arms up in exasperation. “I didn’t mess up! it wasn’t me!”

Sweetie tilts her head. “Um…… how is that possible? I mean unless you were replaced by a changeling in the middle of class then….”

“No, no Sweetie.” Applebloom shakes her head. “Ah mean that Ah was up there on the board and sitting down fer the test and Ah knew the answer but mah pencil and mah arm moved like they was possessed!”

Scootaloo shivers at the implications. “You mean…” She gulps heavily. “That the schoolhouse is…. HAUNTED?!”

Applebloom groans. “No, Scootaloo, Ah don’t think that the schoolhouse is haunted.”

Sweetie nods her head. “Yeah, Scootaloo. Ghosts don’t exist! There’s no reason to be scared!”

“I’m not scared of ghosts!” Scootaloo yells, “I mean…. I wasn’t scared at all…. Great story, Applebloom!”

Applebloom rolls her eyes at her orange friend’s efforts to conceal her fright. “Whatever… let’s just get to eatin our lunches…” Applebloom opens her lunch box with gusto. “Ah don’t know about yawl but Ah’ve been looking forward to this ….” The yellow mare’s eyes widen. “…oh no…”

Scootaloo takes a bite of her sandwich. “What’s up, Applebloom? Did your sister pack you a pear?”

Applebloom tears through her lunch pack. “MY APPLE FRITTER! It’s gone! Applejack packed that especially for me and it’s gone now! Applejack makes the best apple fritters in Ponyville and its gone!” Applebloom whines, “Ah was looking forward to that all day….”

“Aw… I’m sorry to hear that, Applebloom…” Sweetie’s ears lower but then perk up again a second later. “You can have some of my cookies that I made!” Sweetie opens up her lunch bag and offers a strange object to Applebloom with her outstretched hoof. And speaking of a ‘stretch’, to call the object Sweetie has just handed her friend a ‘cookie’ would be an insult to baked goods everywhere.

The thing that Sweetie offers to her friend is colored bright white with green splotches covering its flakey form, as if the entire pastry were covered in mold before baking it to a blackened crisp. The smell of the cookie itself is strong enough to kill rats and, if smell is any indication of taste, the taste alone would be able to kill an adult pony in seconds.

The filly shies away from the cookies as if from death itself. “Ummm… no thanks, Sweetie, the rest o mah lunch is fine. Thanks fer offerin though.”

Sweetie shrugs. “Suit yourself!” As Sweetie pops the ‘pastry’ into her mouth, every pony at the table can’t help but stare at her as if she had grown another head. “What?” Sweetie asks, “is it something that I said?”

“NO! It’s nothing! Right, Applebloom?”

“… Yeah…. Nothing…..” Applebloom looks to the other side of the playground at the privately-reserved table of her nemesis. “…. Ah bet you right now Diamond Tiara is laughing her little crown off at mah situation. And Ah don’t know how but somehow Ah know that she’s the one to blame for all this…..”

………..

“Nice apple fritter, Diamond! It looks really good!” Silver Spoon says to her indifferently-eating friend. “That looks like a Sweet Apple Acres fritter. Where did you get it? Did your butler get it for you?”

Diamond snaps out of her mental haze and gives her friend a surprised look, before answering in her normal indifferent way. “Oh, this? I just happened to get it from Applebloom. Think of it as a donation.”

Silver scratches her head. “but Applebloom hates you. She’d never give you one of her sister’s apple fritters, unless……” Silver’s eyes grow wide. “Diamond?! You didn’t…. you didn’t steal it from her? Did you?!”

Diamond looks at her friend with contempt. “And? What if I did? She’s just a nameless blank flank, who cares?”

Silver puffs up. “I care!”

“About that blank flank? I thought you loved picking on her?” Diamond barks. “What about our friendship? Do you want to be friends with Applebloom now?” Diamond glowers at Silver. “Are you TRYING to betray me?!”

“What? No! Diamond why would you….” Silver is obviously hurt from Diamond’s accusations; however, mastering her emotions quickly and logically, she calms herself down as she attacks the problem with poise and self-restraint. “Look, Diamond, picking on Applebloom cause she beat you up and defending yourself from the accusations of other ponies is one thing. You’re my friend and of course I’ll always defend you. That, and teasing ponies is really fun.” Silver giggles as Diamond stares on.

“But I’m more concerned about you, Diamond. You were sick for a few days with a really bad fever and now you seem even meaner than ever.” Silver looks across the playground, extending her hoof to accentuate all the happy, playful foals. “You teased Applebloom before, but now you seem to be deliberately insulting any pony just because you can. I mean, you always have a quick wit, Diamond, but this is taking it too far. It’s… It’s not like you, Diamond…”

Suddenly Diamond seems break free of her paranoia, thanks to the earnest words of her friend. True, ever since she got her power she has been a little meaner to everypony…. But that’s because she’s better than them, right?!

Diamond sighs. “You’re right, Silver, this is very unlike me…. I guess that I just let my emotions get to me. I mean stealing from a blank flank like this…” Diamond finishes the fritter, jumping off of the table with a quick leap. “…It’s like so low class. When have I ever needed to stoop to petty thievery?”

Silver breathes an immense sigh of relief as she jumps down from the table to join her friend. “I’m glad, Diamond. You know that I’ll always stick by you and all. I was just worried about you.”

Diamond smiles. “Of course; you wouldn’t be a good friend if you didn’t!” Diamond gives her friend a side hug. “And things will go back to normal, just as soon as I put that blank flank in her place.”

“That’s good, Diamond, cause I was getting… Wait? What!?”

Diamond takes an affirmative step towards the table Applebloom is sitting at, as if declaring war. “She embarrassed me, Silver. She ruined my reputation in front of the entire school. But most unforgivably, she attempted to throw me off the top rung of the social ladder. And treason like that cannot be so easily forgiven.”

“But Diamond…”

Diamond turns sharply towards Silver. “Once I put that troublemaker in her place everything will go back to normal. I’ll be at the top again and everypony will love and respect me.” Diamond twists her head to glare at her adversary from across the playground. “I promise, Silver, once I’ve put that blank flank in her place, everything will be as it was again.”

Silver breathes deeply and looks with worry at Diamond Tiara, realizing that her words will no longer reach her friend where she is right now. In her heart, Silver hopes that it will really be the end and that once Applebloom learns not to mess with Diamond, her friend will return to normal. However, something that has emerged from her friend’s psyche, a cruel streak that seems to delight in spreading misery, worries her far more than she cares to admit. It is as though an insidious shadow of power has taken residence in Diamond’s soul, stifling the light she once saw and nurtured. And in her mind Silver fears that Diamond Tiara will never stop, not as long as she has the will to crush those that would defy her……

…………….

The bell rung and class had continued like normal. However this time it became impossible for Applebloom to ignore her phantom bully. Spitwads became more numerous, her coat became pelted with various objects from every direction and she had even fallen out of her seat a couple of times. From that point on it became impossible for Applebloom to deny that Diamond Tiara was behind it all, as she would snicker and laugh at every one of Applebloom’s misfortunes. Diamond would react with surprising speed every time Applebloom stumbled and fell, responding with a quick joke every time Applebloom was embarrassed.

And worse yet it had been only thirty minutes since lunch.

Applebloom still has more than two hours to endure till school is out, and she is dead certain she will be unable to make it another two hours without either attacking Diamond Tiara or going crazy. Another spit wad hits her mane with enough force to send the filly jumping into the air in shock. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Cheerilee was too absorbed in her lecture to witness Applebloom’s plight, lecturing with her back to the class as she drew shapes and diagrams on the board.

With things only getting worse for her, Applebloom’s mind is forced into high gear as she struggles to think up any way to get away or get back at her tormenter. ‘If only Ah could lure Diamond some place and confront her, then Ah bet that Ah could get her ta stop,’ Applebloom ponders, looking at her teacher as she draws another pie chart. ‘But Cherilee would never let me leave unless it was a medical emergency or somethin. Aw! If only Ah was still sick then Ah….’ Applebloom suddenly shoots up in her desk ‘THAT'S IT! GET SICK!’

The yellow filly raises her hoof trying to look as sick as possible. “Uggggggg, Miss Cherilee…..”

The teacher turns around to address her student, a look of concern on her face. “Yes Applebloom? Is something the matter?”

Using all the skill that she possesses, the yellow filly attempts to do the one thing her sister could never succeed at doing: lie. “Uggggggghhhhhh! My stomach…. It hurts….. Can I… urp…… can I go to the nurse’s office?”

Fortunately for her, Applebloom was much better at lying than her sister. Unfortunately she was trying to lie to a middle school teacher. Despite the yellow filly’s best attempts at acting, Cherilee hadn’t gone through half a decade of college learning and accumulated years of classroom experience to be done in by a little filly’s excuse. “Honestly Applebloom? A stomach ache? Now I know that you haven’t been having the best of days today….”

“Uuuugggghhhhhh,” the filly groans louder.

“…. But you simply can’t make up a story like that in the middle of class and expect to get away with It.” The teacher looks at her compassionately. “What would Applejack say if she caught you lying like this?”

Applebloom groans again. “Ugggghhhhh…. It was… urp… Sweetie’s….. Urp…. It was her cookies……urrrrhhhhh…. Shouldn’t have…. Tried….”

Catching onto Applebloom’s plan, Scootaloo quickly plays along. “Oh no! You tried Sweetie Belle’s cookies, Applebloom?! No wonder you are so sick! You should really go to the nurse’s office before your stomach explodes!”

“Enough!” Cherilee shouts firmly but fairly. “Now I know that you want to get out of class early, Applebloom, but this is ridiculous!”

“Try one, Miss Cheerilee!” Scootaloo insists, “then you’ll see that Applebloom is telling the truth.”

Cherilee rolls her eyes. “Oh very well, if this will put a rest to this ridiculous moaning and fibbing then I suppose that I can give it a try. Sweetie, if you don’t mind….”

Throwing open her bag Sweetie pulls out a spare cookie with the speed of an assassin drawing a lethal weapon. “Of course, Miss Cherilee! As it so happens I have plenty of spares since nopony wanted any.”

Without opening an eyelid the teacher picks up the cookie with an outstretched hoof and raises it to her mouth. “Now let’s go on and end this…” Cherilee takes a bite, her eyes growing wider than dinner plates as her mouth is assaulted by a taste so powerful that it freezes her mind in place. The teacher chews once….. twice….. then spits the putrid pastry all over the floor. “GOOD SWEET CELESTIA!! WHAT IS THAT TARTARUS-FORSAKEN TASTE!?!?” Cherilee spits out as much of the poison as she possibly can, wretching from the taste.

“Oh that’s easy, Miss Cheerilee!” Sweetie responds, oblivious to her mentor’s suffering. “You see, ponies always add things like mustard and ketchup and mayonnaise to make things taste better right? So I thought if I cooked my cookies with some of them they would taste better! So how was it? Be brutally honest, should I have included more mustard or pepper?”

The teacher turns to Applebloom, her face turning whiter by the second. “How many of these…. these…..” The teacher holds up one of the half-chewed pastries up for the class to see. “THINGS, did you eat, Applebloom?”

“Um…. I don’t know, Miss Cherilee? Two?”

“GOOD EMPRESS! WHY WOULD YOU EAT MORE THAN ONE?!?!”

Applebloom fidgets in her chair. “Well… I didn’t want to seem rude to Sweetie Belle….” Applebloom points to the gently weeping white filly.

Sweetie Belle sniffles. “My… my cooking isn’t that bad….. Is it?”

Realizing the extent of her hysteric behavior, Cherilee takes a deep breath in and out before placing her hoof on the white filly shoulder. “Sweetie, I don’t mean to sound rude, but your cooking is Death itself. And there’s nothing wrong with that, some ponies are just better at things than others. And I assure you, Sweetie, you will find a talent that will make ponies very happy and get your cutie mark. But I can also assure you that cooking will never be that talent.”

Cherilee turns to face the yellow filly, tossing her a small yellow piece of wood. “As for you, Applebloom, you are a far braver pony than I am, here is the hall pass; nurse Long Sleeves is not in today, however you are free to spend as much time resting in the nurse’s office as you feel you need. If you are still feeling ill after school I will take you to the hospital myself, but until then I have to continue to teach class.”

Cherilee looks with a terrified expression at the pastry on her desk before promptly throwing it in the trash. “I understand after consuming….. THAT…. you might need more attention but I simply cannot leave these students unsupervised for any reason, so I’ll have to ask you to wait for a while until the lesson is done.”

Grabbing the hall pass in her mouth, the filly thanks the goddess for giving her friend super horrible cooking powers and bolts out the door before anything else can happen to jeopardize her plan. Running out into the hall the filly finally breathes a sigh of relief. “Whew…. Alright, that went pretty well if’n Ah do say so mahself. Ah’ll have ta thank Scootaloo and Sweetie later. But fer now step one is complete…..”

The yellow filly walks over to the door outside, throwing it open and letting in a subtle breeze. “….. Now it’s time fer step two.”

……………..

Diamond taps her hoof impatiently on her desk, listening to another boring lesson of another boring day of school. Surprisingly, Cheerilee was still at it, talking about something to do with integers or something that Diamond didn’t care about.

How can she possibly be expected to pay attention to a boring lesson when the object of her attention - or rather the object of her ire - has been able to evade her wrath thanks to a lame excuse from her blank-flanked friends? I mean, a stomach ache from Sweetie’s cooking? How lame can an excuse get? Then again, there was that one time she had gone to get a dress from Rarity and Sweetie had tried to prepare her tea… Diamond shakes her head, trying to purge her mind of that memory. She needed a whole new toilet after that day…

No, she needs something else to occupy her time, anything to distract her from that horrific memory.

However there is nothing. Her plan today was to crush the will of Applebloom, but she had coincidently fled her presence, meaning she has to wait until tomorrow to make a fool of her. Normally if class gets too boring she will pass notes with Silver or try to talk with her, if the teacher isn’t looking; after all, she is in the desk right next to her. However, ever since lunch Silver has seemed really downcast, like she doesn’t want to talk to her friend at all.

Diamond simmers inwardly. ‘Why can’t Sliver understand? It’s all Applebloom! She’s trying to make a fool of me! She’s the one at fault here!’ Diamond groans and decides to do something truly desperate: pay attention to Cheerilee's lesson. Diamond looks ahead to the front of the room, searching for anything there that can distract her from her boredom: the back of Sweetie’s rat’s nest of a mane; Cheerilee's crazy bar graphs representing numbers or something; Applebloom making a face at her from the window; Alula and her cute….. Diamond does an immediate double take to see none other than her rival making a ridiculous face at her from the window. Diamond stares as Applebloom stretches her smile in the creepiest way possible.

“MISS CHEERILEE!” Diamond yells, pointing out the window.

Cherilee sighs, muttering under her breath; how many more interruptions will happen today? “Yes, Diamond?”

“Applebloom’s making faces at me!”

Cherilee rolls her eyes. “Diamond, I know that you and Applebloom don’t get along but she’s in the nurse’s office right now.” A haunted look crosses Cheerilee's face. “… Any pony would be in need of medical attention after that.…”

“No, Miss Cherilee! She’s outside, look out...” Diamond looks out the window where Applebloom was just a second before to see that the yellow menace has disappeared.

Cherilee looks out the window where Diamond is pointing. “Diamond, that’s just your imagination. Now I have had enough interruptions today and I would like to finish this lesson on prime integers, if you would please. That means no more interrupting the class.”

“But Miss Cherilee!”

“Do you understand, Diamond Tiara?”

Cheerilee's stare silences any further protests from the pink filly as she slumps back into her seat, crossing her hooves in a pout while the ignorant teacher resumes her lesson. However just as Cherilee turns her back, Applebloom appears in the window again, this time with an even more insulting face. Diamond is about to call out to Cherilee again but stops, realizing that the same results will only occur: Cherilee will look, Applebloom will disappear, and Diamond will get in trouble. And worst of all her power can’t work on Applebloom from this range, not with her outside!

As Applebloom makes another mocking face that no one else in the class can see, Diamond stares forward at the board, realizing that now the horseshoe is on the other foot, and she has to endure Applebloom’s bullying. Diamond calms herself with a deep breath, steeling herself for the rest of the day. ‘Don’t worry, Diamond, you can do this, it’s just one day… tomorrow she won’t be able to use the same excuse and you can get her then. Yeah just wait it out and then you can….’

Diamond makes the mistake of looking out the window to see a sight that she wishes that she could forget. Apparently, Applebloom has grown tired of making faces and has just opted to wave her butt in Diamond’s face through the window. Diamond burns in anger and embarrassment as she tries to look away from the offensive, disgusting sight but finds herself completely unable to. Despite how much she tries, Diamond cannot tear her vision away from Applebloom as she waves her blank flank at her from the window, mocking her in a way that is visible to nopony else but her. Diamond blushes furiously in anger as she hopes, to no avail, that the blank flanked loser will switch back to her normal insulting-ugly face. However, despite her concerns the yellow filly continues at it, waving her curvy flank as if to mock Diamond’s integrity. Diamond gulps heavily, as it looks like she is stuck staring at the offensive posterior of her worst enemy: Applebloom. Yes, Diamond Tiara was stuck staring at Applebloom’s cutie petite…..

Diamond’s hoof snaps in the air. “Miss Cheerilee, I have to go. Bad.”

The teacher sighs deeply at the tenth interruption that day. “All right, Diamond, you can go, but TRY and make it fast…”

Diamond jumps from her chair and walks with calm malevolence towards the door. “Oh don’t worry, Miss Cherilee, it’ll be over quickly.” As she shuts the door behind her she swears under her breath, “One way or another, it all ends today..….”

Author's Note:

To Be Continued→

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