• Published 7th Aug 2015
  • 1,226 Views, 67 Comments

Civilization: The World on your Hooves - SterlingC

Button Mash starts a new kind of game he never intended to play. One that forces him to start from almost nothing. Thankfully, he's not alone.

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Chapter 3: Prelude to a Dinner

Making assumptions is one of the worst mistakes any civilization can make in any decision making. Assumptions can be made consciously, or unconsciously, without even knowing it. One must be very careful in any decision making process, ensuring that the interests of the most ponies is assured within their civilization. Should one ever forget this key rule… Well, the consequences could be small and few if they were hashed out easily. On the other hand, if the assumption ran deeper into the heart of a civilization... well let's say entire civilizations have been ruptured because of poor assumptions.

The trio of ponies trotted closer and closer to Diamond Tiara’s mansion. Soon after Diamond Tiara revealed her plans for Button Mash with Silver Spoon, Silver Spoon nodded happily in agreement. It was a brilliant idea to put the Cutie Mark Crusaders in their proper places: humiliation and futility. But after the plan was concocted, an awkward moment of silence descended upon the trio as they continued to walk. Desperate to grab Button Mash even further into her grasp, Diamond Tiara asked a perfectly innocent question:

“So Button Mash, what do you like to do anyway?” Diamond Tiara tried her best to sound like a legitimate friend as possible, even if it was difficult. She had no idea how rich or poor Button Mash was for starters. Plus, there was his love for video games… Admittedly, Diamond Tiara had her own video game console system, but that was only because her video-gaming cousin from Manehattan sent it to her as a Hearth’s Warming Eve gift. She hated video games and how… nerdy her cousin was. In fact, the console remained untouched ever since it was given to her last Hearth’s Warming Eve! Diamond Tiara considered her cousin a detriment to her chances of becoming an elite socialite in Manehattan and Canterlot. Button Mash, knowing little of Diamond Tiara and appreciating the fact she had batteries he could take for free, replied enthusiastically,

“Well I’m one for video games. I live and breathe video games. I’ve had so much fun with video games I’ve never thought about having a cutie mark for myself. Maybe my cutie mark will be related to video games, but I’ve never thought about it otherwise…” Diamond Tiara groaned inwardly at Button Mash’s nerdy voice. It was becoming tiresome just to hear him rambling on and on about video games, from the newest game he just got to old “classics” like Coltra and Doom. Button Mash’s continuous rambling left her wondering whether it was even a good idea to proceed with the plan. She soon changed her mind when Button Mash’s rambling reached the topic of Manehattan…

“… Then there’s PacColt. It’s such a simple game, yet it’s so addicting! There’s an unlimited amount of levels, so there’s no maximum score! Just before I moved here, I was playing in the regionals! I even beat Flare Volt’s best score of 500,340 to take the Manehattan PacColt regionals!” As soon as Button Mash mentioned Flare Volt, Diamond Tiara’s face lit up. It may have been her nerdy cousin Button Mash knew well, but it was a point of interest and something to grab Button Mash further away from any chance of friendship with the CMC. Diamond Tiara took the chance with stride.

“Flare Volt?! She’s my cousin! She told me how good you were with those video games! In fact, I own a video game console that you’re free to play with anytime you want! It’s certainly really strong, and it can play many more games than your GIZMO or anything else you have for playing!” Diamond Tiara then remembered the special feature about the Ponysone console and used it as her perfect bait:

“You see Button Mash… it’s a virtual reality console. You just put one of those helmet thingies on and you’re practically in the world.” Diamond Tiara tried to act as enthusiastic as possible about the system, even if she had little interest in such things. Button Mash’s mouth could only open wide at the thought of playing as the great Stallion Plumber himself or as Green Knight in ‘Legend of Zaneveld’…

“OH MY GOSH! REALLY?! VIRTUAL REALITY?! AND I CAN PLAY ON IT ANYTIME?!!” Button Mash hopped up and down with glee as his propeller beanie spun faster than before. Diamond Tiara could only chuckle at how easy it was to pull Button Mash in her grasp. He was that enthused and hypnotized with video games.

“Yes Button Mash… yes you can.” Diamond Tiara chuckled evilly, with Button Mash taking no notice at all at her intentions for him. Button Mash hopped the rest of the way to Diamond Tiara’s mansion of fun and riches, too excited to say anything else. He finally found a group of ponies who enjoyed video games. Best of all was that he personally knew a family member of the great Flare Volt. Sure he defeated her high score in PacColt, but Flare Volt was a video gaming machine. Button Mash looked up to her with such exultation and admiration, that anypony who knew Flare Volt was automatically someone he could look up towards and trust.

The three ponies eventually reached Diamond Tiara’s mansion, a large house that was surrounded by a large gate that beckoned the three ponies and barred their entrance.

“Wait here Button Mash. I’ll quickly grab the batteries for you.” Diamond Tiara then opened the gates and trotted into her house while Silver Spoon waited with Button Mash.

“Diamond Tiara’s a really nice mare don’t you think Silver Spoon? She’s got a huge mansion! Plus, she has a virtual machine where you can play as another character in a totally different world! It’s neat huh?!” Silver Spoon awkwardly chuckled, remembering the plans Diamond Tiara made for Button Mash too well. She thought it was fun to finally bring down the Cutie Mark Crusaders, but she already felt somewhat uncomfortable about using Button Mash to do it. To prevent any further moments of awkwardness, Silver Spoon shrugged and replied suavely,

“Oh yeah. Her virtual machine’s the greatest! I’ve played as many different characters on the machine!” Silver Spoon feigned excitement and interest as she mouthed her so-called experiences with the machine. Button Mash made a quick nod before Diamond Tiara quickly rushed out of the house with the PP batteries. Upon arrival, Diamond Tiara gave two pairs of PP batteries to Button Mash and spoke with as cute a voice she could make,

“There you go Button Mash. Enjoy your console thingy now! Let me know if you want to play! You’re always welcome here! Goodbye now my dear!” Button Mash thanked the two ponies and waved them goodbye. The fillies then trotted away into the house with smiles, while Button Mash quickly returned home, realizing that he made his first friends in Ponyville… or so he thought.

Sweetie Belle was growing more and more curious about the guests who would be eating dinner with her and Rarity tonight. Sweetie Belle arrived at and entered the Carousel Boutique where she and Rarity lived. Sweetie Belle, having had enough of not knowing who they were going to eat with for dinner, trotted upstairs to Rarity’s workshop. Sweetie Belle opened the door to see Rarity preparing a small white dress. Rarity jumped up in fright and gasped.

“Sweetie Belle! What are you doing back here so early?! You still have a little bit of time to be with your fellow Crusaders before it’s time for dinner!” Rarity said with exasperation. Sweetie Belle giggled.

“Rarity, I just wanted to get ready for the dinner that’s all! And…” Rarity scratched her chin, realizing that Sweetie Belle wanted something as usual.

“What is it dear? I’m trying to prepare a dress and I have very little time before I have to get it done. After all, it’s for you to wear tonight!” Rarity asked with urgency. Sweetie Belle turned her head towards the silky white dress that Rarity prepared. She oohed and ahhed at how pretty and bright the dress looked.

“Wow… that dress is for me?!” Sweetie Belle pointed at herself with her hooves. “So the guest we’re going to see must be really special…” Rarity nodded with a smile.

“Well of course my dear! I want you to be looking good for our guest!” Rarity declared with a wide smile. That reminded Sweetie Belle of the question she wanted to ask Rarity.

“So Rarity… who exactly are we meeting up with for dinner?” Rarity chuckled light-heartedly before she used her magic to transfer another ornament onto Sweetie Belle’s new dress.

“Oh I have an old friend from Manehattan who just moved to Ponyville. You see, her husband passed away a few years ago because of disease.” Rarity answered solemnly, while Sweetie Belle responded with a frown before Rarity continued.

“I wanted to make it clear that you need to be on your best behaviour. She’s actually one of my best friends you know? And I want you to meet her colt as well.” Sweetie Belle began wondering who this colt was going to be. Sweetie Belle wondered whether the colt was going to be handsome, or whether he was a true stallion in his mannerisms. After all, she knew that Rarity wanted only the best for her, especially when it came to stallions.

“And no, you will not know who this colt will be until the dinner tonight. I want to keep it a surprise darling.” Rarity suavely spoke as she always did. Sweetie Belle only pouted at her secret on the colt. Maybe he really was a handsome young colt who she could befriend and welcome to the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Perhaps he was like the other colts… friendly but dorky at best. None of them were very bright after all.

Just as Sweetie Belle was about to trot away into her room to reminiscence about the mother and son, Rarity called Sweetie Belle back after completing the final touches to her simple, yet glistening dress.

“Your dress is ready Sweetie Belle! Give it a try!” Sweetie Belle excitedly trotted back to Rarity and eagerly let Rarity put the dress on for her. Sweetie Belle became so excited that Rarity had to motion Sweetie Belle to stand still as Rarity helped her with her dress. After Sweetie Belle put her dress on, Sweetie Belle trotted excitedly to the nearby mirror.

“Oh my Sweetie Belle darling! You look fabulous! You’ll be sure to impress tonight my darling!” Sweetie Belle jumped up and down gleefully and shouted back at Rarity,

“YES! This dress is AMAZING!” Sweetie Belle happily squeaked as she ran around the room happily. Rarity made sure to stop Sweetie Belle from outdoing herself when she saw how excited Sweetie Belle was!

“Sweetie Belle! You need to keep yourself composed for tonight! We can’t have your dress soiled can’t we?!” Rarity and Sweetie Belle chuckled together before they slowly trotted out the door and towards their dinner meetup with the unknown guest…

Back at the Cutie Mark Crusaders treehouse, Applebloom was putting her efforts in constructing a simple birdhouse for herself as Twilight recommended. At the same time, Scootaloo spent some time preparing a simple fitness regime for herself to improve her endurance and eventually her boarding skills. While they were performing their respective activities, both fillies couldn’t help but wonder about Sweetie Belle and their run in with the weird pony with brain freeze.

“Hey Applebloom. Who do you think Sweetie Belle’s going to meet for dinner tonight? Sweetie Belle seemed pretty excited about the dinner.” Scootaloo asked to begin the conversation.

“Ah have no idea. For all we know, it could be a really handsome colt who Sweetie Belle could end up befriendin’.” Applebloom replied as she began to screw a wooden board into place.

“Well, if that’s the case, it would be really cool! He’d provide us with his own take on getting a cutie mark, and he could help us with our own cutie marks!” Scootaloo exclaimed with excitement.

“Yeah! He’d be an ‘onorary member of this ‘ere club! And he’d be welcome to visit us anytime!” Applebloom chuckled happily. Scootaloo chuckled along too, but realized that they couldn’t get carried away since she realized something…

“Hey… something just hit me… What if Sweetie Belle were to meet up with a weird pony? You know, like the one we saw earlier today at Sugarcube Corner?” Scootaloo felt shivers up her spine at the thought.

“Well that type of dinner Sweetie Belle probably wouldn’t enjoy very much then. Ah can imagine it being torture for her!” Applebloom and Scootaloo paused, creating an awkward moment of silence before Applebloom broke it. “Well, let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that. If it came to that, Ah hope her weird “friend” doesn’t end up being part of our club.” Applebloom and Scootaloo nodded together.

“Yeah, that colt at Sugarcube might be nice, but he’s just weird. Can you imagine anypony reacting that badly to a simple brain freeze? It’s like he’s never drunk a chocolate milkshake before!” Scootaloo and Applebloom chuckled together.

“Yeah Ah don’t think he’d be much help, especially since he gave us a false alarm.” Applebloom replied. Scootaloo nodded in full agreement and the ponies got back to work, hoping that Sweetie Belle’s guests would be coolest and friendliest they’d ever meet…

Author's Note:

Last chapter for this week! I'll get things set up for romance and conflict soon enough.

Glad to see lots of readers are enjoying my first even fimfic as well, so thank you all!

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