• Published 20th Aug 2016
  • 2,379 Views, 102 Comments

The Wrong Stuff - DashEight



The Wonderbolts are the greatest precision flying team in Equestria, admired by ponies worldwide and heroes to every colt and filly in Cloudsdale. They are also terrible, terrible ponies.

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Let's Get This Party Started

"Mhmmm..."

"Indubitably..."

Captain Spitfire lifted the highball glass sitting in front of her up to her muzzle. The light from the crystal chandelier shone through the bright amber liquid, showing off its exceptional clarity. High-end spirits, none of the contaminants a pony might find in cheaper booze. She regarded the drink for a moment. An elegant choice of refreshment, for civilized ponies to enjoy while discussing civilized topics.

Spitfire downed the cup in one swig. Her wing clunked the glass back to the table unceremoniously. "Nope, not feelin' it," she stated matter-of-factly, pulling off the top hat she wore with her other wing.

"It's a sipping whiskey. I don't think you're supposed to take it like a shooter." Captain Shining Armor remarked, levitating his own glass in front of him. He squinted at it through a monocle perched on his muzzle before taking an experimental taste. He winced at the burn.

"Told you. This is stupid, I don't feel any classier." Spitfire frowned at the blue-label bottle between the two of them. It had been recommended by Captain Roll Tide, commander of the airship Summer Sun and most senior captain present at this little shindig. The old Navy pony had assured them that "fine spirits, enjoyed whilst bedecked with fine accouterments, was only proper way to celebrate." Both junior captains, bored with their usual routine, had humored him and now more closely resembled Canterlot socialites than military ponies.

Said 'shindig' was the annual Captains' Conference, where serviceponies, skippers, and squadron leaders from Equestria's various military and emergency service branches could meet and discuss the newest innovations in leadership techniques. This round-table exchange of ideas often took the form of drinking, bragging, and complaining about their subordinates' screwups. The captains had near-unanimously decided that this year's Conference host should be Shining Armor, as he was the only pony among their number that held dual titles of 'Captain' and 'Prince'. (Prince Blueblood, in his youth, was declared medically unfit for service due to a bone spur in his hoof.) Shining was initially uncomfortable about holding a conference so vital to the defense of the nation in the home he shared with his wife and child, but soon changed his mind after the other captains declared him to be a "whipped little bitch" who "hit the trust-fund-princess jackpot and forgot who his real friends were" and likely had "no balls."

"Why don't we switch to something else then? I'm sure Roll Tide will polish off this one if he doesn't talk himself to death." Shining glanced around the room. Roll Tide was sitting on a duvet couch, puffing a cigar and boisterously sharing tales of adventuring with the other Navy captains about someplace called 'deepest Zebrica.' Two Royal Guard captains, Red Shirt and Meat Shield, were locked in a no-holds-barred match of cider pong on the other side of the room. Truthfully, Shining couldn't tell the two apart and he had served with both for years. His ears twitched at a commotion behind him as Captain Blue Line of the Manehattan Police Department and Captain Five Alarm of the Fire Department of Manehattan started shouting at each other, each enraged at the other over something inconsequential. Captain Evening Mist of the Night Guard cheered them on, encouraging them to 'kick each other's bucking heads off.'

"Hang on, I've got a bottle of Willy-Peg in here somewhere..." Spitfire rooted through her saddlebag with a wing for a few seconds. "Got it!" She pulled out a bottle of Wild Pegasus whiskey, slamming it down on the table. "Now we're talking, 100% guaranteed to take the edge off! It can also take the varnish off the countertop if you're not careful." She gazed lovingly at the bottle. "Oh, Willy-Peg, where would I be without you?"

"Probably not needing a new liver in a few years." Shining levitated over three glasses. He poured two, then filled a third with ice. Spitfire cocked an eyebrow over her sunglasses as she accepted her drink from his telekinesis.

"Shut up. I was going to say 'jail', because there's no way I wouldn't have murdered one of my idiot fliers if I had to deal with them sober." She drained the glass in one smooth motion before resting her head on the table. "Every fuckin' week, I swear. 'Spitfire, we're over budget!' 'Spitfire, we wrecked the training course!' 'Spitfire, Fleetfoot is sexually harassing the cadets again!' It just doesn't." She slammed her head against the table. "Fuckin." Another slam. "End!" A third slam, to emphasize her point.

"Ugh, I understand completely," Shining reassured her, gulping back his own industrial solvent beverage that was completely fit for equine consumption. "The Crystal Guard has been a complete headache since I assumed command."

"I'd imagine," Spitfire replied, weakly raising her head off the table. "A military force that's been frozen in time for a thousand years? Must be a nightmare getting them up to modern standards."

"No, they actually sorted that out themselves in the first week or so," Shining waved a hoof. Spitfire stared at him. "They're just so eager, like creepily so. They don't have any off switch, they're always running around, asking me what I want done, what they could be doing better, proposing all these improvements for the Empire's defense. You've heard the phrase 'crack under pressure?' Well, these troopers will work themselves to the point where they actually do crack. It's a serious medical concern for crystal ponies. I hate to whine about excessive motivation, but I worry about them, and honestly? It's skeeving me out."

Spitfire's jaw worked soundlessly. Shining finished the rest of his whiskey. "Hmm, this isn't bad," he remarked, levitating the bottle. "Another round?"

"...please."

They dank in silence for a moment, listening to the soothing sounds of hooves smacking against flesh as the two Manehattan captains progressed from trading insults to trading blows. A shrill screech suddenly interrupted their silent contemplation of their lives. All ponies present at the party looked up as a small peregrine falcon swooped through one of the high windows. The raptor circled the room once before alighting on the table in front of Spitfire, dropping a scroll in front of her and giving her a friendly chirp.

"Radar! You came to visit mommy!" Spitfire's previously dreary mood upended itself completely at the sight of her pet. She nuzzled the bird affectionately. The little raptor puffed out his grey-and-cream plumage with pride as he returned the gesture, rubbing his beak along her coat. Radar hopped onto her head with a few flaps and perched in her mane, where he took a loving nibble from her ear. "Dawwwww! Who's my little predator!? You are! Yes you are! You even brought mommy a gift, and it's not a dead sparrow this time!"

"What's the letter say?" Shining asked, casually sipping his whiskey. The glass of ice still sat in front of him, untouched.

"Something terrible, I'm sure." Spitfire deadpanned, picking up the scroll with a hoof and turning it so Shining could see the Wonderbolts seal. She broke it and unrolled it, preferring to learn the bad news right away rather than let the anticipation build. It was a form letter, neatly printed with several blank spaces had been filled in with what appeared to be a foal's scribbles.

From the Desk of: 1LT Soarin
Wonderbolts 1st Demonstration Squadron
EUP Wonderbolts HQ, Prism Plateau

Address:
ROYAL CRYSTAL PALACE
1 CRYSTAL LANE
CRYSTAL EMPIRE

Attn: CAP Spitfire, Wonderbolts 1st Demonstration Squadron

Ma'am,

I regret to inform you that an urgent matter (check one: __is developing at Xhas developed at __has destroyed) Prism Plateau, due to unforeseen circumstances involving (__property damage [accidental] __property damage [arson] __a diplomatic incident __Fleetfoot Xother: A RIP IN THE FABRIC OF TIME AND SPACE.) I assure you that this matter is being handled with the professionalism and integrity exemplified by all Wonderbolts, however due to the (__serious __fatal Xapocalyptic) nature of the threat, I humbly request your assistance in preventing (__further embarrassment __further bloodshed Xother: TIME CLONES OH CELESTIA THERE'S SO MANY CLONES.) As your Executive Officer and ranking flier in your absence, I have ordered all on-duty Wonderbolts to (corrective action:COWER IN FEAR, WE ARE TO THE CLONES AS ANTS ARE TO PONIES AND PONIES ARE TO DRAGONS. THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO), which I am confident will mitigate the crisis until such a time as proper chain-of-command may be restored.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you as ranking officer, and humbly submit myself for any resulting (Xdisciplinary charges __gelding.) As squadron commander in absentia, this failure is mine and mine alone.

(__Hooah, __Aim High, __Sincerely, __Regretfully, XTearfully,)

SOARIN

1LT Soarin, XO, Wonderbolts 1st Demonstration Squadron

"Hmm," Spitfire thought aloud. "That's a new one. Sorry, Shining, duty calls."

Shining Armor looked up from his whiskey in interest. "What happened?"

"It appears somepony broke the laws of physics." Spitfire remarked without a note of interest in her voice as she rose from her seat, stretching her wings. Radar adjusted his grip on her mane, kneading his talons soothingly into the tangled windswept mess. (All Wonderbolts wore their manes in what was pretty much the same style. Not a uniform requirement, they just thought it looked cool.)

"Oh," Shining replied, disappointed. "That's it?"

"Looks like. If I'm reading this correctly, my deputy is saying somepony on base repeatedly traveled backwards through time and now there are multiple copies of them doing Celestia-knows-what." Spitfire let out a disappointed sigh, resigned to her lot in life. "Trashing the plateau, most likely."

"Really?" Shining raised his eyebrows in surprise. "I may know a pony that can help you out." He lit his horn, summoning a scroll and quill. He hastily scribbled out a note, signed and rolled it, and levitated it to Spitfire. "Swing by Ponyville on your way back and give this to my sister. She'll be able to make some arrangements for you."

Spitfire smiled at the unexpected ray of sunlight in what could only be described as the category-five shitstorm waiting for her back home. "Thanks, Shining. That really means a lot to me." She paused, looking around the party. Meat Shield and Red Shirt had managed to spill more cider than could physically fit into the red solo cups that now littered the table and floor. Blue Line had Five Alarm pinned to the floor, both of them still punching and kicking each other. Evening Mist was politely asking Roll Tide's group if they had any baby oil she could pour over the two Manehattan captains. "You want to come with? We can borrow a chariot from your guards, it'll be a nice excuse to see your sister. This party looks dead anyway."

"I'd love to, but I can't leave Cadance right now."

"Oh, is everything alright with her?" Spitfire asked. "It's not... postpartum, is it?"

"No, no she and the baby are both perfectly fine," Shining reassured her. "It's... its the sex. She's insatiable, won't let me out of the castle for more than a few hours." He levitated a cup of mostly-melted ice cubes up from under the table.

"...what..." Spitfire managed to blurt out.

"I thought it was just pregnancy hormones, but Flurry Heart was born months ago and her, er, appetite's only gone up. What did you think this ice was for?" Shining wrapped the new glass of ice in his magic, holding it up before lowering it below the table. He shuddered for a second, then relaxed, looking relieved. "Ahh, that's the stuff. It's getting ridiculous, she burned off the baby weight in like a day from all the, uh, physical activity. Except for a little bit around the flanks, but honestly, that really works for her and--"

"I get it." Spitfire hissed. "You know Shining, you're a great stallion and one hell of a soldier. But sometimes, I can't help but want to hoofpunch you in the face."

"You'd be surprised how often I hear that," Shining stated flatly. He stood, wincing as he pushed back his chair. Once on his hooves, he gave Spitfire a smart salute. "Good luck, Captain."

"And you, Captain." Spitfire returned the salute as she trotted over to the window, opening it and spreading her wings. She looked up at Radar, the little falcon still perched in between her ears. The little bird attempted to pull his talons free of her mane. When they would not come loose, he looked down at his owner and gave her an apologetic chirp.

"Daw, are you stuck?" Radar whistled an affirmative. "Do you want to ride home in mommy's mane, then?" He nuzzled her with his beak, then spread his own wings while still rooted to Spitfire's head. "Okay then, kiddo. Hang on!" She leaped out the window with her beloved pet, desperately hoping her whiskey buzz would last until she reached the loony bin she called home.

Author's Note:

Spitfire to the rescue! Time will tell if she is indeed getting "too old for this shit."

Shining tries to be a supportive friend, but inadvertently ends up reminding everypony how awesome his life is compared to theirs. He married the freaking Princess of Love and now has an entire kingdom at his beck and call, fathered an alicorn, and has a caring family and a sister who solves apocalyptic problems on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, Spitfire has... Soarin and Fleetfoot.

Also, good to see Evening Mist is doing well for herself since I made her up to help fill in the background of this other time-waster.