• Published 29th Aug 2017
  • 449 Views, 0 Comments

Preparing for the new derby - Blast

The Cutie Mark Crusaders are set to defend their titles from the previous Applewood Derby — only this time, they and their sisters are taking notes

  • ...

The meet

The Castle of Friendship was humming with activity and anticipation.

They weren’t using the private throne room for the discussion — that area, with the Cutie Map, was for the Elements of Harmony. Instead, they were in a windowless room just off the side of the main reception hall.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders had specifically asked for this location because there was enough room to accommodate a smaller herd of ponies at once without disturbing the private chambers where the Elements congregated for Equestria-wide matters. Twilight Sparkle, who was their private instructor for what became known as Twilight Time, consented on the spot. Their older relations agreed to the arrangements, for their own reasons.

The medium-sized table had six equilateral sides for six seats, the exact quantity needed for whom this assembly would impact. The Crusaders took three connected sides – Scootaloo at the left, Apple Bloom in the middle, and Sweetie Belle on the right – while their older counterparts sat directly opposite each of them.

“So, we’re all here?” Scootaloo piped up, verifying the heads on her side.

“Yes, I’d say we are,” Rarity answered, counting the heads on her own end.

“OK, then, everypony,” Sweetie Belle began, guiding a binder out of her saddlebag with her aura. “The reason for this arrangement is because we needed to be all together, at one table, on one page. As we know firsthoof, the last Applewood Derby was an absolute chaotic mess.”

There was no arguing that, as they all had a flashback to the crash in the center of the track.

“In the past year,” Apple Bloom added, “there’s been considerable discussion, much of it contentious, as to how to go about this upcoming race and any future races. Fortunately, everypony was able to compromise on the key component.”

“Being?” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Our new location,” Scootaloo answered. “It’s not going to be on that eight-way intersection anymore. That roadway has since undergone a restructuring. We’re having it on a designated track with a single intersection, for less overlap. The rule about the older pony sitting out the actual race was also made official.”

“An’ this time,” Apple Bloom chimed in, “we get more than a day to design the cart. We also got Cheerilee to convince the committee overseein’ the race to let us have this grouplike consultation.”

There were nods all around.

“Yeah, I figured as much,” Applejack muttered.

“So as we see it, we need to be clear on at least four points,” Sweetie Belle continued. “First one is, which category to compete in and thus which pony to have helping us out with the design and development of the cart?”

“Well, last time around, you all wanted something outside what we’d normally expect,” Rarity answered. “If I recall correctly, all of you won in your chosen category. I take it you want to do that again?”

“Yeah, we made sure to discuss that among ourselves first, before anything else,” Scootaloo piped up. “I’m going for another creative cart, while Apple Bloom wants another speedster and Sweetie Belle is trying for another antique replica. To our second point: mobility. What effect is the decor of the cart going to have on its accessibility?”

“Well, that ain’t gonna be a problem for me, sugarcube,” Applejack said bluntly. “The Apples don’t exactly have a history of bein’ the most creative lot in the land. Shoulda said it earlier, but oh, well — Apple Bloom wasn’t the only one of us tryin’ for somethin’ outside a traditional cart. Nopony who was an Apple ever failed to win in the traditional category or git any higher than a distant second in anythin’ else, which even they found annoyin’ after a few runs. And the last time I tried for a fast thing, two foals done wound up in the emergency ward. Wasn’t gonna chance it again.”

“Good ya brought that up, sis,” Apple Bloom chimed in. “That leads to our third point: safety measures. What’s gonna simplify entry and departure from the cart? What’s gonna minimize the risks we have to take? And what else is gonna be useful for the category we’re competin’ in and what ain’t?”

“Well,” Rarity answered, “as Scootaloo’s redone entry clearly showed, a fast cart can be incredibly creative done correctly. Sweetie Belle’s cart won the traditional ribbon easily and put up quite the fight in the creative department. And as I recall, the only embellishment on Apple Bloom’s speedster was an apple motif.”

Applejack shot her little sister a knowing wink.

“That brings us to our final point,” Scootaloo continued. “Foundations. What add-ons are going to be beneficial to the category in which we’re competing? Speed is still a necessity no matter what, so it can’t be ignored.”

“Well, I don’t think I’ll have much of a problem with that,” Rainbow Dash answered. “Applejack might, but I won’t.”

“And we also learned this nugget when we’d inherited Applejack’s old clubhouse,” Apple Bloom noted. “It was while we were workin’ on our show number. Since you guys are always off fightin’ for Equestria, you know enough about each other to know their specialties. Same thing here: if you’re havin’ issues with the design and construction of the cart, don’t just ask us; ask the pony specializin’ in that category. In fact, I’ll start us off right here. Rainbow Dash, ya got the plans to your cart design?”

Rainbow Dash was already leafing through her saddle bag. “Right here, Bloomsy.”

“And I think Scootaloo should spend some time in Carousel Boutique, so she can get a feel for how Rarity rolls,” Sweetie Belle proposed. “Warning you now, sis, she might have a different concept of generosity than you expect. I don’t think she would have been too happy with the ornate and elaborate design of the swan cart.”

Scootaloo sighed and nodded. “I know. I’ve got a much less complicated design in mind… with a speed theme, of course. And no blocking wings.”

“And since I’ve already spent plenty of time at Sweet Apple Acres, especially preparing for the Sisterhooves Social, I don’t think Applejack will have much of a problem having me there again.”

“’Course not,” replied Applejack. “And y’all might wanna have a hot-air balloon or Pegasus chariot ready, just in case Apple Bloom has to head up to Rainbow Dash’s joint.”

“I told her as much when I was preparing my friendship report,” Scootaloo piped up, dismounting her seat and shooting Apple Bloom a warning glare. “So we’re all set?”

“We shall see,” Rarity replied, dismounting her own seat. “For now, I think it’s safe to say we are adjourned.”

The ponies snatched up their saddlebags and left the chamber.

Comments ( 0 )
Login or register to comment