• Published 7th Jun 2016
  • 4,984 Views, 137 Comments

Breaking Peeved - Bad Horse



After Zephyr finally gets a job, Dash points out that Fluttershy still hasn't got one. So where's her money coming from?

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2. Home Sweet Home

When she got home, Fluttershy went back into her bedroom. One corner was dominated by a cast-iron stove, the kind for heating rooms that you'd usually find in colder climates. It was dusty but otherwise looked new.

She turned the safety latch and pulled the heavy iron door open. Inside, light glittered off rows and rows of stacked golden bits. She had reached in and touched the nearest pile, and was letting her hoof rest lightly on it, when there was a knock on her door. She shut the stove door and hurried out to the front room.

“Rainbow Dash!” Fluttershy said, finding her friend on her doorstep.

“Hi, Fluttershy! Is Angel here?”

“I think so.” She called up the stairway. “Angel! Rainbow Dash is here to see you again!”

She turned back to Rainbow. “I heard you’re going away next week for another big competition. The Wonderbolts have really been on a winning streak ever since you joined them, haven’t they?”

“Sure. What else did you expect?”

“Even the races where you don’t compete.”

“I’m motivational,” Rainbow said. “They just had to learn to go the extra mile. Get every edge they can. Hey, here comes the little guy now.”

Angel peered down from the top of the stairs. He chittered down at Fluttershy.

“Angel says, if you have his, um, stuff, he has your stuff. Are you… trading something?”

“Oh, yeah. Yeah. Of course I’ve got his sports cards. I wouldn’t come without the sports cards he asked for. By the way, we’re going to have seven ponies competing next week. Seven,” Rainbow said, looking up at Angel. He looked over at Fluttershy. “Does he understand seven?”

“Angel?” Fluttershy asked. The rabbit chittered rapidly at her.

“Um, Angel says that you should have told him that sooner.”

“Oh, no,” Rainbow said. “No. Tell that little furball I get what I need, or I’ll take my sports cards and go home.”

“Angel?” Fluttershy asked, and Angel chittered again. “Oh, that’s not very nice, Angel. And she’s come all this way to see you.” She turned to Rainbow. “I’m afraid Angel says he doesn’t want to play with you anymore.”

“Wait, no, I’m sorry!” Dash said. “I’ll just trade for… whatever cards he has! It’s okay!”

“Did you hear that, Angel?” Fluttershy called up the stairs. “Rainbow’s sorry and wants to be friends. Now be nice.”

The rabbit wrinkled his nose, turned around, and hopped back into the upstairs bedroom.

“Go on up,” Fluttershy said. “He’ll be fine.”

Rainbow had barely closed the upstairs bedroom door behind him when there was another knock at the front door.

“Oh, hello, Rarity,” Fluttershy said. “Come in. Would you like some tea? I was just about to make some.”

“Darling! Wonderful to see you. You look lovely. Really, we should see each other more often. Is Angel here?”

“Why, yes. Angel is upstairs playing with Rainbow Dash,” Fluttershy said.

Rarity raised an eyebrow. “With Rainbow Dash? Really?”

“Yes. Would you like to join them?”

“No, no, that won’t be necessary. Only I wonder if you could give Angel a message for me. I’m going to have a little party for some gentleponies from Manehattan next week who are interested in helping me expand. You could call it a fundraiser. I thought Angel might help provide some… entertainment.”

“Of course, Rarity. But shouldn’t you ask Pinkie? She’s very good with parties.”

Rarity laughed. “Oh, well I don’t really mean a party party. More like a soirée. A salon, if you will.”

“If there’s going to be beer then I’m afraid I have to say no. Angel’s only four.”

“You’re thinking of a saloon, dear. Just pass the word along, will you? And ask him especially if Velvet Touch is available again.”

“Velvet Touch?” Fluttershy wrinkled her nose in confusion. “Is that a pony?”

“It’s a stage name, dear. Like Sunset Sparkle or… or Starlight Shimmer.”

“Those sound like perfectly ordinary names to me.”

“Fluttershy!” Rarity said. “Really. You’ve been spending too much time with that rabbit. Well, I must be going. Do pass that message along for me, will you? Au revoir!” She glanced once more towards the closed door at the top of the stairway, then hurried out.

Moments later, the upstairs door opened and Dash trotted down the stairs carrying a duffel bag in her teeth.

“Hello again, Rainbow Dash,” Fluttershy said. “Would you like some tea?”

Rainbow set the bag down and spat out its handle. “Tea? Are you kidding? Save that stuff for the princesses. I gotta fly, Fluttershy.”

“Oh,” Fluttershy said, her ears drooping a little. She cocked her head and looked at Rainbow’s duffel bag.

“Oh, that? That’s for the… trading cards.”

“Oh,” Fluttershy said again.

Both ponies looked again at the enormous bag sitting on Fluttershy’s carpet.

“They’re life-sized,” Rainbow said.


Fluttershy’s next visitor was a small purple dragon.

“Spike!” she said. “Please come in. It’s nice to see Twilight’s let you out again.”

“Thanks, Fluttershy.” The little dragon came inside and shut the door behind himself. “I sure do wish I could spend more time here with you.”

Fluttershy laughed and nuzzled Spike with her nose. “Oh, you know how much I’d love that, Spike, but the answer is still no. Twilight is my friend! I can’t let you hide from her here.” She trotted to the back of the room and lay on her sofa. Angel Bunny immediately hopped up between her forehooves.

Fluttershy looked up at Spike and smiled, stroking Angel’s head absently with one hoof. “So what does Twilight want this time?”

“She’s going to see the Princess again soon. She’s supposed to assist her with some hocus-pocus and she’s worried her magic won’t be strong enough. You know how she gets.”

“Gee, I’d love to help, Spike, but don’t know how I can help.”

“Not you. Angel Bunny.”

“Angel?” Fluttershy stopped stroking the rabbit’s head and looked at him. “Angel doesn’t know any more about magic than I do!”

“But would you ask him?”

Fluttershy put her nose up close to the bunny’s. “Angel? Do you know how to help Twilight?”

The bunny’s ears flicked forward. He twitched his nose. Then he leaned forward and nibbled Fluttershy’s nose.

“Angel says he knows just what you mean,” Fluttershy said. “Tell Twilight he says it will cost fifteen bits.”

“Will he take carrots?”

“He says no.”

“You didn't even look at him!” Spike said.

“He used pheromones,” Fluttershy said. “Do you know what this is all about, Spike?”

“Naw, I’m just the messenger. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s not to ask Twilight questions.”

“Why? What happens if you do?”

Spike shuddered. “Answers.”

“Oh. I thought that was the point of asking questions.”

“Once I asked her why rainbows were those colors, and she spent the next two hours reading to me from Feynmare’s Lectures on Physics.”

“I’ve heard they’re very good,” Fluttershy said.

Spike made a face like he’d accidentally swallowed a bug. “From Twilight?”

“Um… yes, now that you mention it.”

“Yeah. Well, when she was finally done explaining rainbows, I said I just wanted to know why the ponies in the rainbow factory chose those colors. And then she was all ‘That’s what they want you to think!’ and ‘The truth is out there!’”

“Twilight is certainly passionate about physics.”

“Passionate? It’s like a disease! She has this book club with all these pale, nervous-looking unicorns. Once a month they come into the castle dragging their physics books behind them, lock all the doors, draw all the curtains, and sit in a dark room and whisper about gravity.”

“Gravity? What’s that?”

Spike shivered. “Something you should never, ever ask Twilight about.”


After Spike left carrying a small bag for Twilight, the cottage and the woods around it were once again quiet except for the rushing of the brook and the chirping of birds. It was almost evening when Applejack and three earth pony stallions pulled up to the door towing an empty wagon. Fluttershy went out to greet them.

“Hello, Applejack. How nice to see you. And you’ve brought friends!”

“What’s she doin’ here?” a burly ocher-colored stallion demanded of Applejack.

“It’s okay, Stinky!” Applejack said. “She’s a friend.” She unhitched herself from the wagon and stepped up to the door. “Howdy, Fluttershy!”

“I never thought I’d see you carrying a briefcase, Applejack. What’s that strange shiny material it’s made out of?”

“Oh, this?” Applejack said, nosing the black leather briefcase sticking out of her right saddlebag. “That’s for Angel Bunny.”

“How nice! I think it’s too big for him, though. He needs one much smaller.”

“Oh, I think he’ll be pretty happy with that one.”

“If you say so. Would you like some tea?”

“Wish I could, Fluttershy, but we gotta move some crates right quick.” Applejack pointed her nose toward a stack of wooden crates and steel drums up against the cottage’s outer wall. Harry the bear sat on the grass in front of them watching her, along with same the four ferrets she’d seen in Sugarcube Corner, who were leaning against the wall, smoking cigarettes and looking very uneasy.

“Hey!” Applejack called. “Put out them cigarettes, you damn fools! You trying to get yourselves killed?”

Fluttershy frowned and walked over to the ferrets. “Applejack is right,” she said. “Smoking is very bad for you. I’ll give you something much nicer.” She pulled the cigarettes out of their mouths one by one, giving each a dog treat instead. The ferrets watched dumbly and chewed their treats as she ground each cigarette out under her hoof on the grass. “Good ferrets,” Fluttershy said.

Applejack trotted over to the crates. The bear lumbered out of the way, and Applejack began unstacking them. She lifted the lid off each after unstacking it and looked inside. When she’d looked in them all, she nodded, and pulled out the briefcase and set it on the ground. The ferrets immediately swarmed over it, sniffing it all over.

“Didn’t you say that was for Angel?” Fluttershy asked.

“Don’t worry, they’ll get it to him,” Applejack said. She turned back to the stallions waiting by the wagon. “Okay, boys, load ‘em up!” The stallions pulled the wagon up alongside the crates and drums, then began lifting them one at a time, setting each one down very gently inside. The wagon’s floor was covered with a thick layer of straw.

“Why do those crates say ‘DANGER’ in big block letters on every side?” Fluttershy asked.

“That’s so ponies know to be extra careful with them,” Applejack said.

“I guess it could be pretty dangerous if one fell on somepony,” Fluttershy said.

“Oh, yes,” Applejack agreed. “Yes it could.” She tugged at the brim of her Stetson. “Listen, Fluttershy, there’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about. It’s about that bunny.”

Fluttershy’s eyebrows raised in alarm. “About Angel? Oh, no. Has he been getting into your apples again?”

“No, nothing like that. I’m talking about—well, I never thought I’d say this—I’m talking about something bigger than apples.”

Fluttershy gasped. “Applejack! Are you feeling all right?”

“Righter than a radical Republican,” Applejack said. “Fluttershy, your bunny is involved with some bad ponies. Dangerous ponies.”

“Hey, AJ!” Stinky called. “There’s only five drums of Sarin. You said there’d be ten.”

“It’s all square!” Applejack called back. “These’re forty-gallon drums. Set ‘em between the boxes of 50 caliber rounds so they don’t roll.” She turned back to Fluttershy. “So as I was sayin’, your bunny’s running with some bad company.”

“Applejack,” Fluttershy said, “I’m disappointed in you. You know that everypony deserves a chance at friendship.”

“Oh, yes, I know that. And I’m not sayin’ what Angel’s doing is exactly wrong. I believe ponies have a right to make their own mistakes. Ain’t nopony else got a right to poke their nose in. What you do is your business.”

“Um… why? Who else’s would it be?”

“Exactly,” Applejack said. “Let the free market reign, is what I say."

"Except for import tariffs," Stinky called out from behind a crate.

"Well, of course, except for import tariffs. But other than import tariffs, let the free market reign."

"And grain subsidies," another stallion added.

"And the corn-oil heating fuel mandate," Stinky called. "Don't forget that."

"Right," Applejack said. "All this regulating of this and that and telling ponies their business is what we’re really against, except for import tariffs, grain subsidies, the corn-oil heating fuel mandate, prayer in schools, and a few other culturally important exceptions. We don’t hate unicorns and pegasi, you know.”

“I didn’t think you did, Applejack.”

“Course not!” Applejack said. “Well, Stinky there does. And Bushel. But most of us don’t really hate flappers and hornheads. Almost definitely less than half. Anyway, don’t you worry your pretty head about that, Sugarcube. You can be sure I’ll put in a good word for you on the day of reckoning.”

“I’m sure that’s very nice of you.”

Applejack moved closer to Fluttershy and lowered her voice. “What you should worry about is that bunny’s bitten off more than he can chew. His eyes are bigger than his head, is what I’m sayin’. He’s taken over too many markets of too many products, and pushed out too many small-timers. Sooner or later he’s gonna find himself holding the short end of the carrot sooner, and then there’ll be trouble. Royal trouble, if you catch my drift.”

“I don’t think I do,” Fluttershy said.

“What I mean is, speaking strictly as a business-pony, he should have stuck to his core competencies. Not stuck his furry little nose into this and that and the other thing so’s a pony can’t hardly turn around in this town without bumping into him.”

“Well, I’ll be sure to have a good long chat with him about it.”

Applejack’s eyes widened. “Don’t do any such fool-pony thing. And don’t mention my name. What I’m sayin’ is, you gotta put some distance between yourself and that bunny.”

Fluttershy shook her head sadly. “How can you say that, Applejack? You, the Element of Loyalty?”

“Honesty,” Applejack said. “I’m the Element of Honesty. You’re confusing me with Rainbow Dash again.”

“Oh! Sorry. I wonder why everypony keeps doing that.”

“I have no idea,” Applejack lied.


It was after dark when the last knock on Fluttershy’s cottage door came.

“Princess Celestia!” Fluttershy said. “What a surprise! Angel, look who’s here to see us. Princess Celestia and…” She peered into the darkness outside and counted. “… and twenty of her guards. Would you like some tea, Princess?”

“Forty guards,” Celestia corrected, stepping inside. “The others are in the back.” A dozen guards rushed in after her. Three clomped up the stairs, three ran back into the bedroom, and the rest took up positions all around the tiny front room’s walls.

“That’s probably just as well,” Fluttershy said. “I don’t think my house is big enough for forty guards. I don’t suppose Twilight is with you?”

Celestia snorted. “She’s at the hospital, getting her stomach pumped.”

“Oh, no. Again?”

“It seems to happen every time I ask for her assistance lately.”

“That’s very odd. Um… why are you all looking at Angel Bunny like that?”

Celestia and the guards still in the room were all staring at the little bunny, who cowered in the center of the room. He hopped over to Fluttershy and tried to hide underneath her.

“I’m sorry, Fluttershy, but Angel has been a very bad bunny. I’m afraid he needs to be punished.”

“Angel? Surely there’s some mistake. Angel is a sweet little bunny. Just look at him.”

“A sweet little bunny?” Celestia said. A cloud of her magic field dragged Angel out from under Fluttershy, kicking and squealing, to hang in the air facing Celestia. She held him there until he stopped kicking and hung limp, shivering. Then a small, clear crystal that looked like quartz floated up between the two of them.

“Recognize this, Angel? We intercepted twenty kilos of this headed for Vanhoover.”

The bunny leaned forward and sniffed at the crystal.

“Don’t act so innocent. We know your product.”

Fluttershy reached up one hoof to stroke the shivering rabbit’s back. “There, there,” she said. “Don’t worry, Angel. We’ll get this all straightened out in no time.”

“Oh, we will,” Celestia said, “we will.” She leaned in until she was eye-to-eye with the bunny. “I told you before, bunny: Vanhoover is Cadence’s territory.”

Then Celestia marched out the door, dragging a wide-eyed Angel along behind her.

“Wait!” Fluttershy called. “Will you bring him back tomorrow?”

Celestia paused. “Do you have a winter hat, Fluttershy?”

Fluttershy blinked. “Y…yes. A very nice one that Rarity made for me.”

“Then I don’t think there’d be much point to it,” she said before marching off into the night.

Soon the little cottage was quiet again. Fluttershy looked around the empty room, then opened the front door and stepped outside.

She took two steps and stumbled in the dark on what should have been her front lawn. She got up slowly and saw that the turf all around the cottage was torn and trampled by iron-shod hoofs.

She walked around to the back of the cottage. All around in the darkness were pairs of bright spots, some high up, some low along the ground. They drew toward her, blinking, until she could see the dark outlines that went with each pair of moonlit eyes.

Fluttershy sighed. “We’re going to have to move again,” she said.

She stood looking up at the stars, feeling the chill night air on her fur. Animals pressed around her in the dark, leaning against her legs, giving support, taking support.

She reached out one hoof to scratch the neck of a muskrat. It chittered quietly back.

“You know,” she said, “at times like these, I wish you guys really could talk.”

Author's Note:

A lot of folks have commented that they're not sure what happened. I'll post a detailed explanation on my blog in a few days.

Comments ( 102 )

... You've been sampling the rabbit's product, haven't you?

(how much per kilo? For, uh, research porpoises)

Reading this story is like walking on thin ice. I have take every step carefully or my suspension of disbelief will shatter completely, and then it'll be a race to see if I die of drowning or hypothermia. Or something along those lines. My point is that I have to keep reminding myself that OOC comedy is the point here. When I can bear that in mind, it's fun. The trick is bearing it in mind.

That ending.

In other thoughts, I wonder why "a vicious streak a mile wide!" does not come up in relation to Angel more often.

7287045
Harry can help.

I must be dumb, because after reading this, all I understood was that Twilight is an abusive parent, Applejack is an Earth pony supremacist, and Angel is the fall guy.

7287292 ... what were you expecting? :applejackunsure:

7287378 Nothing, I just couldn't understand what was going on.

Delightfully demented. Although I'm not quite sure where you move to when you have offended Equestria's Capo di tutti Capi. [1]

(You know, I can actually imagine Twilight using magic performance enhancing drugs, but she'd make them herself, no doubt).

{1} Yak dealer: NOT PURE ENOUGH!!!!

I wasn't really sold on this until the very end.

Then I laughed.

Appreciated the hints throughout the story about what was really going on.

How very bizarre...

So let's recapitulate:

-Spike it's essentially the princess slave.

-Angel Bunny is running illegal businesses implied to include drugs, prostitution, gambling, and weapon trafficking. Operating in resemblance to the stereotypical mafia.

-Applejack and the earth pony farmers are portrayed to be the equivalent of your stereotypical rednecks wrapped with prejudice and small government ideals.

-Cadence is implied to have a monopoly of the drug market in at least Vanhoover.

-Pinky Pie puts drugs into SugarCube Corner products to make ponies addicted to them.

-The Wonderbolts have been fixing their events.

-Twilight it's part of a fanatic group devoted to uncover the supposed conspiracy of covering up for physics laws.

she was all ‘That’s what they want you to think!’ and ‘The truth is out there!’”

“Twilight is certainly passionate about physics.”

“Passionate? It’s like a disease! She has this book club with all these pale, nervous-looking unicorns. Once a month they come into the castle dragging their physics books behind them, lock all the doors, draw all the curtains, and sit in a dark room and whisper about gravity.”

media.giphy.com/media/5aLrlDiJPMPFS/giphy.gif

Did I miss anything?

All and all a very interesting and creative story,

~Leonzilla

PS: This fic is very subtle at times, it's the kind of fic that makes you want to reread things once you know what's going on to be able to appreciate the details.

7287666 Yes, considering that Fluttershy is actually the one behind it all

7287733 No, Fluttershy is at most technically the one behind it all.

Angel is actually the one behind it all.

Just trying to be accurate here. :twilightblush:

~Leonzilla

7287666
...Are we sure this isn't the plot for an episode of Friendship Is Witchcraft?

7287666 Really, that's not the impression I got from the story. The impression I got, from the last comment Fluttershy made, is that Fluttershy was the ring leader all along, pretending to translate for an animal that can't actually speak (Angel Bunny), so that she could use this animal as her fall guy, which clearly happened.

7288005 hum... That's an intriguing interpretation, it is plausible, but I can see some issues, how do you explain the animals not only doing the work but also profiting from it with drugs for the ducks and cigarettes for the ferrets?

And why would Bad Horse bother showing Fluttershy at the beginning of the chapter counting her personal bits in private, twice, if she was just pretending to be inquisitive about her finances in public?

“You know,” she said, “at times like these, I wish you guys really could talk.”

:rainbowlaugh:

The idea I got from the story was that Angel Bunny was doing some sort of drug dealing behind Fluttershy's back and that was how she earned money. She didn't know where the money came from, just that it came from somewhere and Angel Bunny was earning the money for her. A noble cause, making him kinder than he appeared even if it was... drugs.

But then I read the comments. And that blew my mind and made me rethink everything.

What the hell is this?? Is Angel some type of drug dealer or something like that? I couldn't finish this.:pinkiesick:

7288391 I can respect that. :eeyup:

7288431 Breaking Bad.

Does that end sentence mean Fluttershy is the kingpin, not Angel?

I never know whether I should answer these questions, because what I meant isn't always what the story says. :applejackconfused:

7288629 Yes.

7288005 That was my impression, too. But 7288045 makes some good points. I don't remember any ducks, but here's the deal with the money and the ferrets: I wrote both those early on, in a version where Angel was the mastermind. When I changed the ending, I left the money-counting in, but changed it (and everything else in the story) to external POV, so the reader wouldn't know what Fluttershy was thinking. I knew both those scenes would suggest at first that Fluttershy wasn't behind things, but I changed them each to have a valid explanation for happening when Fluttershy was behind things.

For the money-counting, I was thinking of how Walter White has so many scenes counting his money in the first season of Breaking Bad. So she counts it just for normal I'm-counting-my-money reasons, but it misleads the reader into thinking she's counting it because of the conversation she just had. Maybe that was too misleading.

For the ferrets, I rewrote the descriptions of what they do to suggest that they don't understand what they're doing--they forget about the pot of money for a moment, they don't enjoy smoking, they don't complain about having their cigarettes taken away, they don't open the briefcase or carry it anywhere--and instead that Fluttershy has trained them using the doggy treats she gives them in both scenes. Again, that might not have worked as well as I wanted it to.

7288713 Which is why I didn't answer Leonzillas questions right away. It occurred to me that either I was wrong, or that is was meant to be ambiguous, as in, the reader has the right to decide for themselves which is true. That last line of dialogue is what sold me on Fluttershy being a mastermind. That was pretty damning, but in retrospect, what REALLY sold it for me was her saying, "We're going to have to move again."

It seems obvious, but that implies that this has happened before. Why is Fluttershy so painfully oblivious, why does she act so clueless to what is going on even when supposedly no one is watching? Because she's been caught doing this before, and the only way her protective camouflage will work is if she completely sells that she is innocent, even to the point of all of her friends thinking she's an idiot. That's what really sold me on it being what the author meant.

That, and the chilling realization that she's going to do it again. Some brass balls on that mare.

7288713 The main reason that I like my interpretation is because of the strange sort of justice that Fluttershy has created for herself, in that situation. Here you have a mastermind, a balls to the wall sociopath who has used her talent in the worst way possible to turn her charges into little better than hands to get dirty for her, and camouflage to take the heat for her. She has to lie to everyone, constantly, so completely that she probably half-believes it herself sometimes, and just like Walter White, she probably does it because on some level, she's proving that she's smarter than every one else, smarter than Twilight, smarter than even the Princesses. She can't stop, because that would mean admitting that she's afraid someone will finally out-clever her.

The hell of this is... and what she really means by that last comment, is that she can't share it with anyone. Her animals can't talk. Her friends believe her lie. She's trapped in a prison of lies she created around herself. She keeps massive amounts of money in jars because what would she spend it on that wouldn't alert someone, somewhere that she's not who she pretends to be. She doesn't even have family to be doing it for. She has turned her animals, her talent, into a corrupted, pointless, money making scheme, one she probably doesn't even consciously know why she's doing it for anymore. Somewhere, a poor mostly innocent rabbit is being murdered, in a very gruesome way, betrayed by the very mare who was supposed to protect her. She's directly responsible.

And she knows it. If she ISN'T a complete sociopath, can you imagine what that perversion of her talent must be doing to her?

I couldn't imagine a worse hell.

Comment posted by DustTraveller deleted Jun 9th, 2016

Well that went in an unexpected direction.

I half-expected from the first chapter that the product would be sugar. It may or may not be addictive, and it would have fit with what was seen in there.

...I haven't seen breaking bad, for what it's worth.

Fluttershy shook her head sadly. “How can you say that, Applejack? You, the Element of Loyalty?”

“Honesty,” Applejack said. “I’m the Element of Honesty. You’re confusing me with Rainbow Dash again.”

“Oh! Sorry. I wonder why everypony keeps doing that.”

I’m glad that our favourite orange background pony got a significant role in this story. :trollestia:

Kidding, kidding…

7288713 Thank you, when you put it all into perspective like that it all makes sense.

Now that I know exactly what was your intentions regarding each part of the story I accept your explanation. All the following text is basically just me explaining my perspective and thought process in case you were interested.

I might have been personally biased to see it in a way that Fluttershy is innocent. Although since I don't think anything in the story it's actually conclusive evidence that isn't the case I feel the story can be interpreted either way.

I personally have never watched Breaking Bad so the counting money scene seemed completely out there for me when assuming Fluttershy was the culprit, and a whole scene seemed to have more weight than a few lines at the end, but it did occur to me it might have been there to mislead the reader. For me it did blow suspension of disbelief too far and I felt like disregarding the last lines meaning was more appropiate than to be shocked at the revelation, but that was just my personal experience, independent from how other people felt.

For the ferrets, I rewrote the descriptions of what they do to suggest that they don't understand what they're doing--they forget about the pot of money for a moment, they don't enjoy smoking, they don't complain about having their cigarettes taken away, they don't open the briefcase or carry it anywhere--and instead that Fluttershy has trained them using the doggy treats she gives them in both scenes. Again, that might not have worked as well as I wanted it to.

That makes sense, but to comment on those changes the things "they don't do" could be interpreted as you just didn't feel the need to write those mundane details. Just because it wasn't there doesn't mean they didn't do it. In any story is always implied there is an endless amount of sensory details and description that isn't written because it would slow the reading too much and/or it isn't directly relevant to the plot so I never make conclusion based solely on what isn't there.

In addition I could see the dog threats being just a snack since Fluttershy is their care taker after all. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Tho, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar can just as easily be used to justify Fluttershy counting her money in that exact way at that exact time.

One explanation I thought might work to drive coherency is that the animals were in fact as smart as they seemed, I feel they would have to be to operate so many markets so well, and the last line only implying that the animals couldn't talk like ponies but they could still communicate, Though then the last line doesn't have any hidden meaning, that would allow everything to match for me regarding Fluttershy being the master mind, with the exception of the money counting of course. For better or for worse that scene is misleading.

I don't remember any ducks,

It was on the first chapter when Fluttershy was commenting on the bags of drugs Pinky had.

“That looks just like the bags that my duck feed comes in,” Fluttershy said.

~Leonzilla

I liked this, and I'm not sure why. It probably had to do with the winter hat joke that I finally got after rereading the sentences three times. You are seriously cracked—in a good way. And I would fear asking Twilight about gravity, too...

Where do you even come up with this shit?

7289048 Where do you get them avatars?
Oh wait, I know ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

So many twists at the end that I can't even :rainbowlaugh:

Quite an amusing story though!

Not bad heheh

“I told you before, bunny: Vanhoover is Cadence’s territory.”

And that's why it's called the CRYSTAL Empire! :rainbowlaugh:

Glorious, just glorious!

I don't pretend to understand this story. Still think it's funny, though.

7289731 :pinkiegasp: So Fluttershy is just a front? :pinkiegasp:

I reviewed this story as part of Read It Now #82.

My review can be found here.

I gotta admit, though: I've never actually seen Breaking Bad.

7289908 basically, fluttershy is a shady business dealer. she was using angel as a front, so that she could get off scot-free. the reason she was "I almost wish you guys really could talk." is that she was, again, using angel as a front.

if you don't understand, just say. :>

7289974 no angel is the front for flutters being the front for angel

Soooo..... Let me get this straight. Fluttershy is running a vast criminal empire, which started off as her making crystal pony candy. She uses Angel Bunny as a front/fall guy (i.e, she has made everyone think he is the kingpin, but no-one suspects her because she relays the messages in a code she supposedly doesn't understand - notice how every message for Angel Bunny in the chapter goes through her), but has gotten cocky and tried to muscle in on Cadance's criminal empire, which includes Vanhoover. Princess Celestia is Cadance's top hench, and the Royal Guard are her other henchponies, so when they intercept her goods going towards Vanhoover (part of Cadance's empire) they come to sort out the competition, which they think is Angel Bunny. Also, Rainbow Dash and the other Wonderbolts are doping/fixing their matches, Twilight is using magic-enhancing drugs, Rarity is getting high with her rich friends at parties, Pinkie Pie is running the operation in Ponyville, selling drugs through Sugarcube Corner, and Applejack is the shipper (of the drugs and other things). Did I miss anything?

7290028 Okay. I don't understand.

It seemed to me that Flutters was completely clueless through the whole thing.

7290113 Uh, Sarin, while a huffable substance, won't do anything but flat out kill you. That and the comment about 'the reckoning', .50 caliber rounds, and vaguely tribalist slurs, actually suggest that AJ is in on some sort of Earth Pony supremacist insurgency. I'd say 'terrorist', but since it's clearly in it's preparation phase, it doesn't really fit yet.

Also, well done Fluttershy, you are creepy good at this.

7290495
What is going on at the end (Spoilers!):

Fluttershy was well aware of what was going on the whole time. This was hinted at in the first chapter when she makes the ferrets pick back up the jar, and in the second chapter when she speaks on behalf of Angel Bunny even when Angel isn't actually talking (the pheromones claim being a particularly blatant one).

The final reveal at the end is that she can't actually talk to the animals at all (thus indicating everything "Angel" said was actually her) and that she was well aware of what was going on, thus having to move again after Celestia came knocking and ruined her business. Angel Bunny was just a front for her drug-dealing business, while Fluttershy herself pretended to be totally innocent.

7291115 Wow. I like to think I'm relatively intelligent but I didn't get it at all.

And was it just drugs? Because it sounded like there was some weapons and prostitution going on as well.

7287666
You might want to read 7291115 WRT: who the mastermind really was.

Though I have to admit that I totally missed that Twilight and her physics friends talking about gravity was either a conspiracy theorist group or a group secretly plotting to overthrow Celestia.

Also, it is somewhat ambiguous whether or not those "magic enhancements" are actually because Twilight is trying to live up to Celestia's expectations, or if Twilight is poisoning herself on purpose to avoid spending time with Celestia because she's onto Celestia, or if Celestia is poisoning Twilight.

Twilight and Rainbow buy drugs while Rarity needs prostitutes, lmao

Awesome read :pinkiecrazy:

Oh and the X-Files reference was excellent :twilightsmile:

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