• Published 26th May 2016
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Sometimes They Call Me Super - KorenCZ11

My name is Jaquline Apple, but most ponies call me Applejack. However, that isn't my only name. Every now and again, ponies know me as Marevelous Red. Sometimes they call me Super, other times they call me a Hero.

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Harmony Stories II: All the other Kids


“Is everypony finished?” the impatientuni- er… whatever Twilight was asked. She sat at what Ah suppose was the head of this round table off ta the side of where our initial meetin' took place. It was above the rest of the room on a kind of raised platform unto itself, and it had a long booth seat ta it that followed the back wall. It looked like Ah was the only one left, so Ah gobbled up what was still on my plate and responded with a nod.

“Good. So whose next?” She stared directly at the pair of pink haired ponies ta my right, so the question was really up ta who was least ashamed of what they did. The light smiles that dinner brought quickly evaporated as the two looked from me, ta each other, ta Twilight, and finally, they settled on Rarity. Ah could have missed somethin', but Ah swore that Fluttershy said somethin' ta her. Whatever it was, Ah blinked and they seemed ta shift somehow.

Twilight must of caught it too. “What did you just do?” she asked, turnin' ta Rarity.

Rarity reeled back as if she'd been struck. “Whatever do you mean? I haven't moved from this spot in the past half hour, let alone 'do' anything,” she resolved, with air quotes.

Twilight narrowed her eyes at the smirking unicorn. “I see.” Ah'm not entirely sure what just happened, but Ah could guess it's happened before. “Did you come to a decision?” she directed at the pink maned ponies, this time in a much more civil way. Makes me wonder just what exactly their problem with each other is. Ah don't really know Rarity all that well, and Ah don't know Twilight at all, save fer the base personality traits Ah picked up on today.

How do they work together when they're always at each other's throats like this?

“I-I'll go,” said the butter cream colored pegasus from behind me. Ah was a little more than surprised ta hear it, so when my ears twitched, Ah looked at the pair. Pinkie had just about sunk under the table, and Fluttershy wasn't makin' eye contact with anypony in particular. Whatever it really meant, it made me think that Pinkie is afraid of whatever it is she has ta say. Between my fucked up life and Rarity's rape story, it couldn't be that bad, could it?

Without any further deliberation, the five of us got up and moved back to our chairs. As we did, Ah noticed somethin' about em that Ah didn't see before. At the top of each chair was some kind of colored gem. An orange one at the top of this chair, a green one above Rarity. The empty chair beside me had a red one, A pink one sat above Fluttershy, a blue one above Pinkie, and a violet one above Twilight.

Before Ah had a chance ta ask about em, Fluttershy started ta speak. “I-I, um... well, before I start this, I just want to say that... I-I'm happy to have you here.”

Ah was surprised more than anythin' so Ah just kinda stumbled until Ah could make words again. Where did that come from? “Oh, uh, sure. Ah mean, thanks, that is.” Ah faked a smile and hope that sounded genuine enough ta not raise any flags. She nodded and returned a more real one.

“W-well... I guess to start, I'll s-say that we don't really know w-what exactly my power is. E-ever since I can remember, I've always t-thought it was normal for me to b-be able to do what I can. M-my senses of touch, smell, and sight are on a l-level that most ponies would n-never know, and I... well, I can feel t-things before most ponies would see them. O-of course, you happen to um… w-well, get around this for some reason because, e-even as I talk to you, your… everything is a l-little off. B-but for the most part, I can s-see, smell, feel, and react to things that m-most ponies can't. Um… O-oh, how did I do this last time?”

My ‘everythin’’ is off? What's that supposed ta mean?

“It's alright Fluttershy, there's no need to be nervous here. Just start from the beginning. How did you come to be here?” Rarity asked.

“Oh… um, well, Twilight found me about a year ago and…” she began, but quickly stopped as she received a death stare from the pony in question.

Rarity interjected again. “Uh, further back than that. Ah, here we go, what made you want to be a hero? What drives you to help ponies?”

As if there were some kind of hypnotic trigger in that sentence, Fluttershy's demeanor... changed. Her whole presence seemed ta shift ta that determined pony Ah met when she was catchin' those knives. But... this time, it wasn't quite the same. Ah don't know if Ah could say that this was the case or not, but it almost felt like there was... blood lust in the air.

“O-oh, I get it now. Y-you want me to talk about… t-that, right?” she asked, her eyes now darkened.

Rarity bit inta her lip. “Well... only if you're comfortable with it...” Fluttershy nodded, and then looked up toward the ceilin'.

“V-very well. I-if that is the story you w-wish me to tell, then I will.”


“Years ago, I lived in Cloudsdale with my family. If you couldn't tell, I'm not quite the social butterfly my cutie mark would have you believe. I didn't have any friends, and the one I did have, I… lost a few years before. My little brother was entering middle school, and I was entering high school that year. My family was one of average income, my father worked at the weather factory as a cloud artisan, and my mother was a stay at home mom. We were quiet as a unit, my little brother being the most outspoken one of the four of us, and we were mostly normal. Well, save for me.

“My powers have always been present. While I knew her, my friend loved to pull pranks, but she could never prank me. I always knew what she had done, or sometimes, what she was going to do before she did it. I would later learn that my reaction speed is almost on par with how fast Pinkie moves, and I'm more perceptive than most magic can make a pony. My hearing is actually rather poor in comparison to an average pony, but my nose and eyes make up for it in that I can see in the dark and catch scents from miles away.

“So, I was… weird as a child. And that didn't change as a teen. When flight training came to be, it was quickly known that I wasn't very good at it. I can fly, but my family has a history of bad back muscles, and none of us can fly very well. So, I was bullied for that. But, as long as I had my friend, I didn't really care. At the end of middle school though, she attempted a stunt that would take her life during a race that was started because of… me.

“She was headed toward the ground. There was a ring they were supposed to pass through at an adult level altitude, but none of them cared. The mile high drop, they called it. Even dangerous for adults, but none of us really knew why. She was well ahead of the others, and at the same time, she was always trying to push her limits. She dove for the ring.

“She picked up more speed than most of knew possible. But then, something went wrong. In a bright red flash, the sky was stained crimson. To this day, we don't know what exactly happened, but all the same, we never saw her again.

“With my only friend gone, I withdrew into myself and made an effort to never be noticed again. With my senses as strong as they are, it worked for a good while, but ponies in high school are far more ruthless than they are in middle school.

“I never would have met her, if my first friend had never died. If I still had her, things wouldn't be the way they are now. I've done some terrible things in my life. Especially after that day. But this... this is what I regret most in my life.

“Her name was Scarlet Thread. I met her in the first week of class that year. She was just about as unassuming as I was, avoiding attention like a plague, keeping to her books and herself, and some how, we formed a bond because of it. Of the two of us, I was actually more outspoken. Well, at first that is…”

“H-hello,” I said as I approached her for the first time. I had seen her around, found her near all my hiding spots, and eventually I realized that she was the pony who had checked out all the um... eastern literature that I was trying to read from the library. I had finally worked up the courage to go talk to her when I saw her reading one of my favorites one day. I was unusually tall for my age, rivaling that of many of the teachers, but far more lanky and thin. Before all this happened, my teachers would sometimes ask if I was interested in modeling. As long as I could keep my mouth shut and make sure nopony knew about my stutter, I might've had a future there. If only I'd listened.

“Oh, um, hi?” She had bright stripes of Red and dark rouge in her mane while her coat was a much more muted red than either of the two tones in her mane and tail. Her eyes were bright violet and innocent, and back then, I really believed that. The lack of scents about her told me she was alone as often as I was, but even with all my senses, I never knew how broken she really was. Clearly, she was apprehensive of my approach. She was reading an eastern comic, and nopony that young could understand the work and detail that went into them, save for a select few.

“I-I, uh, I see that you're r-reading Prosthetic Magician… T-that's one of my favorite series.” She checked her book, then looked at me. Clearly, she was surprised that I had taken the time to even look at the title, let alone not scoff at her for it.

“I-it is?” she asked. I could see hope and the beginning of a smile on her face, so I took a seat next to her. We spent the rest of lunch together talking about it, discussing what we liked, where she was in the series since I'd already finished it a few times. My last friend never really liked my comics as much as I did, so it was really the first time I could get into a real conversation about it.

As the day went on, we figured out that we had nearly all of our classes together, and we were quick to become friends. We'd spend days after school reading our comics or watching the animations that mirrored them, discussing what we wish we could do like our fantastical characters could. Scarlet wished she was a Power Pony a lot of the time, making remarks every now and again about the things she could do if she had powers like them. I almost wished I’d payed more attention to the games we played. If life were a game the way she talked about other ponies and getting ‘justice’ would’ve been big, obvious red flags. No help for the oblivious, or maybe… I just wanted to look away.

Time went on, and soon enough we became the targets of the popular crowd. Weebs, nerds, freaks, losers. The list went on and on, and eventually Scarlet couldn't take it anymore so she started cutting school. We didn't talk for a while. I was ashamed that I couldn't stand up to the bullies like my friend did before, but… I wasn’t her, and I didn’t think I could be her, even to protect Scarlet. I was depressed, and Scarlet only ever showing up once as week just made it all harder to endure alone. One day, she just disappeared and weeks went by before she finally showed up again.

“Hey, Fluttershy,” said a familiar voice from behind me. I turned around and was surprised and overjoyed to see her again.

“O-oh Scarlet, I'm so glad you c-came back!” I said after hugging her. But then I noticed that she had changed. There were all these new, foreign scents on her, most I didn’t recognize, and some I found… particularly foul. She had three new piercings in her left ear, a small scar just under her right eye, she was wearing eyeshadow and violet lipstick, she’d dyed her mane black. This was Scarlet... but not the one I knew.

“Um… you look… different?” I attempted to sound enthused by it, but really, I was a little afraid of her.

“Oh, this? I uh… made some new friends… while I was away. Um… can we talk?” I didn't know what she meant.

“O-okay, talk about what? Ooh! D-did you see the new Unearth game is coming out? I-I read that this time, they-”

She cut me off. “I mean, in private. Just you and me. And… not here.” I tilted my head.

“B-but, class is about to start, d-do we really-”

She put a wing around me. “Please? Just this once?”

I trusted Scarlet and decided that one day of class wasn't too big a deal. You would think that with all the stories I had read up to this point, that I might've caught the warning signs. Like, 'What's that I smell on her?' and 'She was always afraid of piercings, who could have gotten her to get one?' or maybe 'Doesn't she look like that kid who betrays his best friend in the ninja manga?' We always used to joke about that, how the story went south after that kid became so edgy it hurt, but here she was… reminding me of him.

Reluctantly, I agreed to cut class, and without a beat gone by, she took me away from the school and back to her place. Both her parents worked during the day, and she was an only child, so we had the house to ourselves. We talked, played games, watched anime. It was… just like it used to be, but without all the pressures and horrible ponies from school to bother us. What was supposed to be a one day thing turned into a week and I loved every second of it. But… at the same time, I didn't notice something that was happening right in front of me.

At the end of that week, both of our parents found out that we'd been skipping and forced us back into school. It was... awful, to say the least, but I had Scarlet with me again, so I thought I could endure it all. We spent every weekend together, we learned to draw together, even made our own stories to tell each other. It was fun, being outside of the system and cursing it at the same time. We were together and we could do anything.

Then, Scarlet introduced me to her 'new' friends. Without knowing it, she'd joined a gang who had… well, ‘less than legal’ activities that Scarlet participated in. I knew better than to do it with them, but that didn't stop me from joining in anyways. We stole, tagged buildings, I smoked for the first and last time. And all the while, I couldn't help but get this nagging feeling out of my mind.

“Your parents wouldn't approve of this. Your friend would have slapped you for this. This is wrong. You know better,” the voice in my head said. I never knew I had the courage to do it, but eventually I couldn't stand the thought of my own inner voice, so I left her gang. Scarlet begged me to come back, but I had learned how to be firm with her from that experience. I told her what I thought and somehow, she listened to me. Scarlet left her gang for me. It was then that I realized I had some power over the decisions she made, and I couldn't figure out why.

I started to notice it after that. The way she looked at me, the things she would do around me. Something wasn't right, and it bugged me. It wasn't just your average friends being friends thing. She was touchy, more so than I remembered at first. I thought that maybe we'd just become more comfortable with each other, but looking back, that wasn't too far off. From this point, there is a week until it all goes wrong.

It was Friday. I was excited because my new PonyStation game was releasing, and I had bought one for Scarlet with my allowance and um… the extra money I… found… and was going to give it to her as an early birthday present. We got together after school, and I wanted to get to the Game Place store as soon as possible, but Scarlet had something else in mind.

“Hey, do you think we could go to my place today?” she asked. I didn't know what to make of it. We normally just went back to my house and played games since one of my parents was always home to feed us at some point, but I figured it didn't matter.

“Oh, okay. We're still going to Game Place first though, right?” I could tell something was on her mind. She wouldn't look me in the eye for whatever reason, and I knew from experience that she wanted to tell me something.

“Oh, yeah, sure. Just so long as we get to my place before five.”

Before five? Her parents get home at six… why does she want to be there without them? I didn't press on the subject though, I was excited to get my new game and that was more on my mind than anything else.

We made our way to the store, and I gushed about all the new features this Unearth game was supposed to have, how cool it looked, how cute the characters were, what the story was going to be about, but Scarlet… remained quiet. I would get a 'Yeah,' an 'Uh huh,' or even an 'Oh, really?' out of her, but never more than that. When I presented her with her new game, she lit up for a moment, but then went back to being just as quiet as she was before then.

We finally made it back to her house, but she still didn't say anything more than one or two word responses. We made our way to her room, I loaded up the game, and it was everything I wanted it to be. Scarlet however, didn't look like she was having fun, so I finally asked.

“Scarlet?” It looked like I had pulled her out of a dream. She shook her head and replied.

“Oh, y-yeah Fluttershy?”

Why is she nervous? What does she have to be nervous about? It's just us, her parents aren't even home. I decided that I would stop and really pay attention to her. I could feel that her pulse was much faster than usual, and she had this… strangely sweet smell about her. Back then, I didn't know this, but these days, I can even detect different pheromones in the air when I concentrate. Something was off, and now I knew that it was more than just me being paranoid.

“I-is there… something you wanna talk about? Y-you've been acting… well, strange.” It had been about half an hour since we started playing, and I noticed that she would glance at the clock every now and again, like she was waiting for something.

“Me? S-strange? What makes you say that?” she stuttered. I frowned. Scarlet hardly ever stuttered around me anymore, that was her nervous tick.

“S-scarlet, we've known each other for months now. W-what do you need to say that you c-can't say to me? A-aren't we… I mean, I'm your b-best friend right?” I'd only ever been called best friend once before, so those words held a lot of meaning to me.

She looked a little panicked now. “Of course! You're my best friend, there's nopony else I would ever call that, it's just that… I… I…” She kept flicking her eyes at and away from me.

“S-scarlet, it's me. S-spit it out already!” I don't know that I'd ever raised my voice at her before, but if I had, I might not have regretted it as much as I do now.

“Okay, fine! I… I love you.” And then she kissed me.

More than anything, I was confused. For once in my life, I didn't know how to react. I'd never been close to anypony but my last friend, and I'd never been this close to anyone before. In the span of what could have been maybe a minute or two, I probably had a thousand questions run through my head, and I didn't move. My body responded on it's own, my tongue chasing hers around in our mouths. When hooves started to get involved, that's when I was finally able to take back control. I practically threw her off, and I felt awful about it as soon as I did.

“O-oh my goodness, I'm so sorry! A-are you okay?” My mind was still having trouble processing that I'd just had my first kiss with my best friend, who was also a mare.

“Yeah, I'm fine… Did… did you not… do you not want… don't you want to go further?” She asked. Suddenly, everything was beginning to make sense. The way she looked at me, she loved me. The way she moved, how she would brush against me, she wanted to feel me. The reason I could ask her to do something was because she wanted to please me. She wanted to be with me, and I… I didn't want to be with her. Not like that. Not in love. I made a promise that I had to keep, I couldn't… not with Scarlet.

“S-scarlet…” Now I was the one that couldn't look her in the eye. She got close to me, and I had become afraid of what she might do. I stood up.

“Fluttershy?” If I would have said anything else, anything other than what I did, maybe… maybe it would have turned out differently.

“Scarlet… I… I can't be with… you…” I grabbed my things as quickly as I could and I ran out of her house. I was afraid of being around her, I didn't want to destroy any more of the ruined friendship we still might've had. I just wanted to be her friend, I didn't love her, but… she loved me.

Monday came around, and I didn't see Scarlet. I figured I wouldn't, but I hoped that I would have. I managed to sort my feelings out, and came to the conclusion that I still wanted to be her friend, but she never showed up. From then on… it only got worse. Somehow, in someway, somepony found out what had happened at Scarlet's house that day, and a rumor about it started to spread. At the same time, Scarlet came back to school the next day, only to leave crying.

We never got to talk, and she didn't show up again Wednesday. Thursday came, and once again, Scarlet was gone. At this point, I'd decided that I needed to see her no matter what, so I was going to go to her house after school ended. In a twist of fate, she came to me. As soon as I exited the school building, Scarlet was standing outside, waiting for me. I was excited when I saw her, but then I realized she dyed her mane again and put all her piercings back in.

With caution, I approached her. “Scarlet?” She looked at me, then started to walk away, motioning for me to follow. When I finally caught up with her, she was waiting for me in an alleyway between the supermarket and the liquor store just down the road. Cloudsdale is a big city for a city in the sky, but even in the air there were still dark places to hide.

“Fluttershy…” she started, avoiding looking at me again.

“Scarlet, we need to talk,” I said, hoping I'd catch her eyes again.

“I… I still love you. And that… that will never change,” she said, finally looking at me. Sincerity and warmth in her violet eyes. But at the same time, there was a hint of sadness. I could feel there was something wrong. I could smell it. There was fear in there.

“Scarlet, I just…” She cut me off.

“Look, will you do me one last favor before… I never see you again?” She asked

Never see me again? What is that supposed to mean?

“Scarlet? What are you talking about? I… I can't be your lover, but I don't want to lose you as a friend. Can't things just go back to the way they were? Who cares if those ponies tease us, it doesn't matter to me. It's us against the them, right?” Scarlet shook her head.

She moved closer, I took a step back. I hated myself for doing it. “You see? We can never be the same as we were. Not if you do that. Not like this. And them… I hate them. I hate them all so much. I can't stand it here. I don't want to be here anymore, and I never want to see any of them ever again. I… I'm not gonna be around much longer, so the last thing I want you to do, and not for anypony's sake but mine, will you stay home tomorrow? Just don't go to school. Pretend to be sick, or something, any excuse you can think of.” I wasn't sure why she was pushing this so hard.

“Scarlet, we skipped a lot of days… I might get held back if-”

She came closer and hugged me. “Please. Just don't go. Please, Fluttershy.”

I could feel her warmth up close again, the beat of her heart, the scent of my dear friend. I gave in and hugged her back. “Okay. I promise.”

She let go of me and held one last look. She looked like she was about to cry. She turned away and wiped her eyes. “You were… my one and only.” And then, she bolted around the corner. I stood there until she was out of the radius in which I could still feel her presence.

The next day arrived, and just as she'd asked, I pretended to be sick. I was hardly ever sick in reality, but since my mother knew I usually never tried to skip school on purpose, she believed me. My house was only a few blocks away from the school, and the only way to get there on hoof is by taking the bridge that leads to it. It was about the middle of the day, and I'd spend most of it grinding away the hours on my new game. That's when I could smell Scarlet near by.

But, it wasn’t just her, the rest of the gang members were near too. Something was wrong by the fact that they were all walking toward the school, or even near the place to begin with. Scarlet said I'd never see her again, and she and all the gang member hated the place. They were all dropouts that were bullied or failed out, and none of them ever wanted anything to do with the place anymore. I couldn't think of why they would even be here, and at eleven in the morning too. The only thing that was going on right now was probably lunch.

As they got closer, I started to really take in everything they were giving off. When I did, I discovered that when I started to separate all the smells out, I could sort of tell what emotions they were giving off too. Fear, Anger, Rage, Disgust, Sorrow, and most of all, Hatred. It was so overwhelmingly vile, I nearly threw up. As they passed the house, I decided that I should see what was going on.

They were covered in fog, hidden away under a wispy cloud so nopony could see them as anything but a drifting irregularity. I thought that was strange, and it was even more strange when I felt something drop on the ground. Of what sound I managed to hear, it was a metallic noise, like some kind of nail. Their cloud stopped, a hoof connected with the ground, and then they went back to moving slowly in their cloud.

Something was very wrong. Something awful was about to happen, and I didn't know it at the time, but I had the instinct to follow them at least. I snuck out of the house and took a patch of cloud myself, flying behind just high enough that they couldn't see me.

They had stopped in front of the door. I couldn't figure out why until I smelled something new. an overwhelming scent of hate and sorrow over came me, and this time, I did vomit. When I finally regained myself, it had started. Alarm bells started to ring, and all the students were driven from their classrooms by procedure. The moment everypony had started to file out of their classrooms, the cloud disappeared as several bullets flew through the glass doors.

The scent of blood bloomed into existence and death started to flow out of the building in waves and waves of nausiating aromas. The alarms had been shot and silenced, and now all that remained were screams of panic, and bullets finding targets. I felt a bullet coming toward me, and knocked it away with my hoof as a reaction. It was probably just a stray, but it showed me that I could dodge them if I needed to.

Scarlet was killing ponies, teenagers. Ponies who hadn't gotten the chance to experience life yet. Teachers, parents, fathers and mothers. She was silencing all these lives, and I got the bright idea that I could stop it. When I finally made it down to the school, there were about eight different scents left that weren't muddled by the stench of death. I stepped inside and the smell of blood bloomed into the air once more. I started to run toward the scent of life, and then two more spread death. I was confused, and then more blood permeated the air, then again. When I finally reached the scene after avoiding pools of blood and corpses, and all that remained was Scarlet.

I called out her name and she turned and looked at me. Tears were streaming down her face, she was covered in blood, and surrounded by the corpses of her friends, all of them with guns nearby and holes in their heads.

I couldn't hear what she said. But I could see her face and read her lips. Her eyes were full of fear and regret. I made out the words, “You weren't supposed to see me again…” before she pointed her own barrel at her temple and pulled the trigger.

“I was… broken after that. Because of how close I was to the tragedy, my parents elected to move us to Manehattan, to get away from it all. A year passed, I was the only survivor to witness what happened, and one of a hooful of other students that weren't at school for whatever reason that day. I was interrogated since I was the only one who knew Scarlet, the only one who cared to know her, the only one who could have… prevented it all.

“I wasn't a whole pony when I finally got back into school in Manehattan, and eventually things would spiral out of hoof even further. I dropped out, ran away from home, I couldn't stand anything that made me remember Scarlet and I’d… gained a new addiction. I... I went by another name. I joined another gang, my powers made me valuable and even more dangerous. I... I killed to keep living. They called me the Beast after a time because I was known to approach in the dead of night and never leave a whole body behind. I learned that there was more to my powers than I knew, but when it comes out of me… I lose all control.

“The ponies of this world were… nothing but fuel to me then. Nopony was ever really a pony, just something that I could use to keep on living. It wasn't until last year that I met Twilight. I had… grown tired of the life I'd created. My sins were beginning to be too much to bear. I didn't think it was worth living in this nightmare anymore.

“I was getting ready to end it all when I... smelled something that I hadn't in a long time. A familiar scent that belonged to somepony I knew once upon a time. I had to see if it was real, so I moved quickly to follow. The smell lead me to this castle, and then… then I met Twilight.

“We made a contract, and now I… work here for her. Doing something with my life, helping ponies instead of hurting them. I turned my life around, like I was given some kind of second chance to make up for all the bad things I did in the past. It was my fault that Scarlet committed suicide, and that only broke me. But I'm still around, and I don't plan on ever letting that change.”


When she finished her story, there were just about two things that came ta mind. The first of which, Ah blurted out like some kinda idiot.

“You were the Beast!?” Ah slapped my hooves ta my mouth as soon as Ah realized that ah let it slip. Ah was immediately given looks of disapproval from the other three in the room, but what surprised me more was the answer Ah got from the one in question.

“W-well… yes. I… I can't p-prove it to you now, b-but that's the truth. I-I… I did horrible things. S-so, so many, awful, horrible things. I-I still see the faces of all of them s-some nights, all those ponies I… I-I don't sleep very long or very often a-anymore because the nightmares never stop. I-if it wasn't for her, I might never s-sleep at all. I… I'm a monster…” and then, Fluttershy started ta sob. Ah was havin' trouble believin' that this shy yellow pegasus could have ever been that monster, but somethin' about the way she just… turned off all the emotion in her voice earlier made me think it was true. However, Ah reacted ta her cryin' the same way Ah always did. In that sad little pony, Ah saw my sister, and Ah felt she should be treated the same way.

Ah got out of my chair, came ta hers and sat with her. “Hey now, there ain't no need fer that. The past is in the past. If… if ya say that yer a different pony now, well then Ah believe ya. There's no point in spillin' tears fer somepony who ain't around no more.” Somehow, this one was more genuine then when Ah used ta say it fer Applebloom. But then again, this time Ah wasn't talkin' about somepony who Ah spilled more than tears over myself. Ah suppose she felt my words because she buried herself in my chest until she was done.

“Are ya okay now?” She nodded and wiped at her eyes.

“Y-yes...” It seemed like she'd returned ta the pegasus Ah met earlier in the day, and ta be honest, it was a bit of a relief. Seein' her like that, in that sorta… Ah don't know how ta describe it, but the way she spoke earlier made me think Ah was listenin' ta some kinda serial killer. That alone would’ve made me believe her. She let go of me and Ah got out of her chair, makin' my way back ta my own. Ah still needed ta get my other question answered.

“Alright, now Ah have ta know. Why are y'all goin' around recruitin' ponies like this? And more importantly, why us? Based on what's been said so far, we've all killed somepony at one point or another in our lives. That don't seem like the go-to common trait when lookin' fer employees.” Twilight gritted her teeth.

“I… we… there are reasons behind all of her actions… I…” she paused and shook her head. “You know what? We still have another story to get to don't we? Pinkie?” She tried ta turn the attention away, but Ah wasn't havin' that. Ya don't just 'recruit' the Beast.

“Now hold on a minute, ya can't just ignore me like that! Who is this 'her' yer talkin' about? And every time somepony mentioned you in their stories, ya gave 'em the stink eye fer it. What's the deal? Why are y'all so special?” My temper was startin’ ta get the best of me. Ah was gettin' tired of her, and the fact that she kept hidin' behind legal documents was only irritatin' me more. Twilight bit inta her lip and turned away.

“I… I can't tell you. I… I just can't. There's more to this than you can imagine. If you would just sign the-”

Ah stomped my hoof inta the chair, surprised ta see that it wasn't broken after Ah did. “That ain't good enough! Ah'm not signin' a damn thing till Ah know the truth. Ah don't mean no offense by this Fluttershy, but ya don't just 'contract' somepony with a kill count as high as the Beast's was! That… damn it, that just doesn't make any sense at all! Who do ya work for that would even let ya do somethin' like that? It was yer decision, wasn't it?” Ah was yellin' at this point. Ah knew Ah needed ta calm down, but Ah couldn't. Ah was about ta get up from my chair when suddenly, color disappeared from the world. Ah paused at the sudden change, but then Ah felt a hoof on my foreleg.

“Applejack… you must calm down.” Rarity said. Ah was mad enough ta pull away at this point.

“Calm down!? She hired a goddess damned murder fer her friggen 'super hero' team! The Beast was responsible fer the murders of over fifty families alone, half of them belonged ta police officers, and the other half ta heroes who tried ta take her in! She didn't even leave any corpses behind, who in their right fuckin' mind hires a damn monster-” Then, Ah realized Ah'd touched a nerve. Rarity punched me in the face.

“Don't you EVER talk about Fluttershy that way! I don't care who she used to be, the pony that's sitting across from me wouldn't hurt a fly! She's tormented by the things she did, and half the time it was under the orders of somepony else! All she does now is try to make up for it with everything she has!” It was a good enough punch fer me ta feel it, at least a little, and that got me ta calm down, oddly enough.

“Fine, whatever. Ah'm not even mad about that as much as Ah am that bitch over there. What gives her the right ta just be as rude as she is and act like it ain't nothin' more than a necessary action? What makes her so damn important?” Ah asked, still angry. In the back of my mind, Ah knew that the Beast thing was really drivin' my anger, but it just didn't make sense that that sad pegasus could be the same... thing.

“More than you could ever know. Applejack, she's at the center of everything, and I can't even begin to tell you how important she actually is. She has so much pressure on her to be something more than who she is, you just wouldn't believe. The only mistake she ever made was being born. Just look at the poor thing. I know what Twilight's been through and she's just about in tears from you yelling at her.” Sure enough, the frozen lavender pega-corn or whatever she was, looked like she was about ta start cryin'. Ears down, eyes away, wobbly lip. Well, that's one way ta make me feel awful.

“Oh… oh Goddess, Ah didn't even look at her. Why is she…? What does she have ta say that could be… oh, who am Ah kiddin'. After all the things Ah've heard today, Ah have no idea what she's been through.” Shame was startin' ta creep up my back and Ah didn't want nothin' ta do with it.

“That's right. So you may continue to act like an ass if you wish, but I will not stand for you yelling at my friends. I know I've been having my little arguments with her, but that's just how we talk to each other sometimes. Our relationship is deeper than anypony else here, and I assure you, she's not as bad as she appears.” Ah wasn't really payin' attention though. Ah'd got a good look at Fluttershy, and Ah felt bad enough already. Ah think she might've been able ta tell what was really goin' on, and now Ah just hoped she couldn't.

“Look… Ah'm sorry.”

Rarity shook her head. “Don't tell that to me, tell her. When I let this go, I want you to do three things for me. Apologize first and foremost. Nopony deserved you yelling at them for whatever has gotten you so worked up. I want you to ask Pinkie to tell you what she's been through, and then sign the contract. If she didn't believe in you, then Twilight would have asked you to leave long before now.” Ah swallowed.

Is this what it feels like ta have a mother reprimand you? Ah nodded.

“Yeah, Ah guess yer right. Ah don't know what came over me.” But that was a lie. Killin' heroes… that's a sin that Ah just can't forgive.

“Well, you should be. Attempt to put yourself in the position you were before I froze time. I'd prefer that she doesn't notice it when I do this.” With nothin' else ta say, Ah did as Ah was told. Ah got worked up over somethin' Ah shouldn't have, and Ah deserved it when she hit me. Ah sat back down and waited fer the world ta come back.

“Okay. In three… two… one…”

Author's Note:

This chapter was heavily inspired by the song Pumped up Kicks by Foster the People.

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