• Published 1st Feb 2019
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The League of Sweetie Belles - GMBlackjack



A team of multiversal explorers comprised of alternate Sweetie Belles explore fanfic worlds and beyond!

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Critically Unique (Undead Robot Bug Crusaders)

“So, how has combat training been going?” Rarity asked Cinder on the other side of the line.

Cinder bit her lip. “Well… okay? I guess?”

Rarity raised an eyebrow. “You guess? Cinder, dear, you simply must elaborate.”

“Well…”

~~~

“Combat is all about fooling your opponent,” Blink said, standing delicately on one of her back hooves. “Make it seem like you’re going for the leg, but you’re really going for the head, or the neck. The moment the enemy can predict what you’re doing, you’ve lost.”

“Uh… okay!” Cinder said, taking mental notes.

“Now, try to come at me.”

Cinder raised a hoof - and following Blink’s advice, cast a fire spark spell instead of actually connecting with the hoof.

Blink still blinked behind her and suplexed her like she was a feather.

“You choreographed heavily with the way you wrinkle your brow. We’re going to have to fix that…”

~~~

Rarity pursed her lips. “To be fair, that isn’t what Twilight taught me when she introduced me to the art of self-defense magics, but it could be different for you out there.”

“That’s where the problem kicks in…”

~~~

“She gave you the whole ‘deception’ spiel?” Squiddy laughed. “Please, you don’t have to be so careful. Fighting is all about acting on instinct in the heat of the moment while keeping just enough of your wits about you to keep from punching yourself in the face. Like so.”

Squiddy tossed her gun into Cinder’s face and pinned her to the ground before the unicorn even knew what was happening.

“Like anyone’s going to have time to predict that. Hah.”

~~~

“Oh, they all gave you different advice then?”

“Well, in some cases it was only sorta advice.”

~~~

“You need to tap the potential inside yourself that all people have,” Celia said. “Everypony is unique in the way they express themselves… For instance…” She touched a hoof to her forehead crystal, lighting it up as if it were a horn. A rod of light and a flat disc projected from the crystal and affixed together, shifting into a spinning top shape. Celia jumped onto the top, prompting spikes to shoot out of the edges. “...Most of my combat experience comes from atop this weapon of mine. You just have to f-”

“YOU CAN SUMMON A RAZOR TOP OUT OF THIN AIR?”

“Yes. It’s hardly the weirdest thing we Sweeties can do.”

~~~

“If you don’t have natural talent, there’s only really two ways to get better,” Suzie said, kneeling down so she’d be level with Cinder’s eyes. “I call them the easy way and the hard way.”

“...Can we go with the easy way?”

“Intense military-level training,” Suzie said. To demonstrate, she whipped her gun out and fired a hole directly between Blink’s hooves without even looking. “Took me three years to learn how to do that, and I was a natural sharpshooter.”

“...What’s the hard way?”

“Getting thrown in the heat of battle and being told to survive. I can give you a regimen for the easy way, but it’ll take a lot of work and dedication...”

~~~

“...and then I kinda zoned her out because I knew I wasn’t going through boot camp,” Cinder said with a huff.

“She is your captain, Cinder, she probably knows what she’s talking about.”

“Well, yeah, and I do have some stuff scheduled with her now. It’s just… well, I’m not sure I want to be that regimented and stuff.”

“She seemed perfectly amiable to me.”

“It’s like she has this switch inside her, Rarity. One moment I could swear she’s me, and the next she puts on the ‘serious face’ and hardly feels like the same person!” She shook her head. “...I guess I technically did learn something today…”

~~~

“Fireball!” Cinder cheered. “Fireball, fireball, fireball!”

“Quit charring my insides!” Swip complained.

“Awww, let her have her fun, she just learned a new spell!” Seren said, clapping her hands.

“Thanks Seren! None of the others showed me anything all that useful!”

“Oh, it was no big deal, a beginner combat spell isn’t hard to teach at all. But now that you’ve got that, you can move on to more advanced spells. I’ll need to run your horn through an acumen matrix to uncover the precise entry points for particular spells we can teach you quickly, perhaps introduce you to some quantum ring theory…”

~~~

“And I don’t think I need to tell you what happened next.”

“You fell asleep?”

“...Yeah.” Cinder blushed. “Seren was still the most helpful. After she apologized for being boring she gave me some beginner magic books, so I’m making some progress there.”

“See? They are helping you.”

“...Some of them are.”

~~~

Sweetaloo nervously rubbed the back of her head. “I don’t exactly… fight. Like, at all. Ever.”

“What.”

“I rarely need to actually go on missions, I’m just emotional support! Not that I wouldn’t kick some serious flank out there. ...Well, if I’m being honest, probably not. The athleticism of Scootaloo is drowned out by the other two, and Sweetie’s magic was never that great to begin with, and Apple Bloom’s strength is diluted. Sorry!”

~~~

“Hey, Nira!”

“No.”

Cinder paused. “Wha-”

“Of all the Sweeties on this ship, I am the one you least want to imitate. My power comes from inner rage, trauma, and immense pain in darkness. You do not want to go through the injuries, the nightmares, the pain, or the endless blood that comes with my line of specialty. I am not your role-model, Cinder. Don’t ever try to make me one.”

“Okay…” Cinder whispered, wishing Nira wouldn’t lean quite so close to her face.

~~~

“Burger,” Burgerbelle said.

“What?” Cinder asked.

The next thing Cinder knew she was on the ceiling with a cat that was watching her intently.

“WHAT!?”

~~~

“I still have no idea what Burgerbelle’s deal is,” Cinder admitted.

“I’m not sure anyone does,” Rarity said.

“Probably… but that’s how my day’s been. A lot of people giving me fighting advice ranging from helpful but contradictory to downright useless.” She sighed. “All of them but Sweetaloo have something big and special going for them, and even Sweetaloo has her empathic mind. What do I have?”

“A fresh start, new eyes, and your whole life ahead of you.”

Cinder chuckled. “Thanks.”

She was about to say something else when Suzie’s voice came over the intercom. “We’re gonna be sending out another expedition soon, everyone get ready. Well, everyone who’s going. You know who you are.”

“Looks like I gotta go! Talk to you later!” Cinder said, jumping up.

“Have fun and don’t get into any fights if you can help it.”

“I make no promises!” She hung up.

Rarity glanced at the device in her hooves with an annoyed expression. I wonder if I should be more worried about her…

~~~

Burgerbelle, Squiddy, Blink, and Cinder stepped out into a Ponyville street. The sun was high in the sky, reflecting brilliantly off Twilight’s castle.

“...And we have ourselves a near-baseline,” Blink said, tapping her hoof.

“Ugh, this is going to be boring,” Squiddy muttered.

“Boring?” Cinder said, cocking her head. “Why? We get to make the same friends all over again!”

“At this point it’s like exhausting a dialogue tree,” Squiddy answered.

“...What?”

“Okay, let’s put it this way. Here’s how it’s going to go down.” Squiddy pointed at Burgerbelle. “Burgerbelle’s going to walk into Twilight’s castle with either Celia or Suzie and they’re going to make Twilight go ‘Twily-nanas’. Depending on how far into her reign she is, she’ll either hyperventilate until she passes out or take it somewhat in stride. They’ll get forwarded to Celestia, yada yada, blah blah…”

“That common, huh?”

“Yep,” Blink admitted. “Early explorers didn’t have to deal with this too often, since the dimensional devices jumped all over the place. We’re the after-team. We get a lot of these.”

Burgerbelle shrugged. “You guys just go have fun, do whatever won’t give Suzie the fury of a thousand hornets. I can handle the actual job.”

“...You’re not joking. You’re just going to let us wander around?” Squiddy gave a mock gasp. “No!

Burgerbelle smirked. “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Blink snickered. “Sure. So… In that case, why don’t we go mess with the heads of the local CMC? There’s around a ninety-percent chance they’re at the clubhouse.”

“Speaking in robot now, are we?” Squiddy ribbed.

Blink rolled her eyes, refusing to dignify the cephalopod with an answer. She set off toward Sweet Apple Acres, a skip in her step. Squiddy and Cinder followed behind without any complaints.

About twenty seconds later, Cinder noticed something. “Uh, Blink, it was normal for me to be weirded out by you, right?”

“Yes. Pretty standard response. Why?”

Cinder pointed at a verison of Carrot Top passing by. She glanced at them, rolled her eyes, and moved on.

“...What?” Blink checked herself to make sure she was visible. “I guess there may be duplicate ponies he- never mind, that doesn’t explain jack squat.”

“Thank you for remembering I exist,” Squiddy said, folding her arms.

“There’s no way inklings exist here…” Blink commented. “Hey, you!”

A Sparkler looked up. “...Me?”

“Yes, you, what do you think this… thing is?”

“I am now luggage,” Squiddy added.

“I probably could fit you in a suitcase,” Cinder said. “You’re just so squishy!

Sparkler looked between the three of them. “...I’d say she’s Sweetie, but… wetter? Not a pony?” She shrugged. “Why do you ask?”

“...No reason,” Blink said, trying to process the completely unfazed expression of the unicorn before her.

“Oh. Okay then!” Sparkler trotted off with a smile on her face.

“So is there some elaborate joke, or what?” Squiddy asked.

Cinder moved in front of them. “Let’s go find ourselves and find out.” She furrowed her brow. “Or is it ourself in this case? Eh, there could be more than one, so I’ll go with ourselves to be safe.”

It took all of five minutes to reach the clubhouse, which was more or less exactly as Cinder remembered it, though she noticed the window hadn’t been replaced yet. If it was ever going to be replaced in this world.

Squiddy cupped her hands to her mouth. “HEY! ANY LITTLE HORSES IN THERE?”

At first, Cinder thought there was nopony in the clubhouse - but then she realized she could hear hushed whispering.

“That sounded like you, Sweetie!”

“What should we do?”

“I don’t know! It could be another future thing for all we know!”

“You girls aren’t very good at being quiet!” Squiddy shouted. “We can hear everything!”

“EEP!”

Squiddy smirked. “So just come out and nobody has to get hurt.”

“Squiddy!” Cinder gasped. “Nopony has to get hurt even if they don’t come out!”

“You’ll be.”

Back in the clubhouse, the three bad-at-whispering fillies were at it again.

“It sounds like you’re arguin’ with yourself.”

“If that’s really me from the future…”

“Don’t think about it too hard, let’s just figure out what to do...”

“Oh for the…” Blink facehooved. She vanished from existence. A few seconds later, there were screams from inside the clubhouse followed quickly by hurried and panicked hoofsteps. The local Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom all tried to force themselves out of the clubhouse at the same time, getting rather stuck in the doorway. Upon a light prompting from Blink, the three of them flew out like a party popper, flopping onto the grass below.

Apple Bloom’s head popped off when this happened, rolling over to one side.

“...Aw, apples,” Apple Bloom’s head muttered as the rest of her body stumbled around, trying to locate the bow-wearing head. The body itself had turned black, looking almost burnt. “Over here, idjit.”

Scootaloo blinked. “That’s you you’re mocking.”

“Ah know. Ah just can’t see a thing! Can you maybe help meAUGH!”

Cinder levitated Apple Bloom’s disembodied head off the ground and placed it back on her body, returning her to a normal-looking filly. The unicorn was grinning. “You. Are. Awesome.”

Apple Bloom seemed slightly confused by this. “Uh. Thanks. Ah guess.”

“I have no idea what’s going on, and I love it,” Cinder tapped her hooves together happily. “What’s your story? Where’d you come from? Why are you different from normal Apple Blooms?”

“Normal… Apple what now?”

“Oh, well, see, there’s lots of versions of different ponies out there a-”

“CAN WE STOP PRETENDING LIKE EVERYTHING IS NORMAL!?” the local Sweetie shouted at the top of her lungs.

“No,” Squiddy deadpanned.

Scootaloo stood up and dusted herself off. “Really, Sweetie, this is pretty normal for us, isn’t it?”

The local Sweetie twitched. “You’re not the one talking to other versions of you!”

“I could be. If I wanted.”

“No, no transforming, we’re not doing that.”

“You’re a changeling?!” Cinder gasped. “I’ve never gotten to know a Changeling! I saw Thorax around town a few times, and then there was that Kevin guy who I never got, but wow, Changeling!?

Scootaloo raised an eyebrow. “Sweetie, are you going to grow up to be this excitable?”

“She isn’t already?” Apple Bloom asked.

Scootaloo shrugged, not having a satisfactory answer.

It was at this point Cinder’s brain put the pattern together. “Wait… if Apple Bloom’s a ghoul, and Scootaloo’s a Changeling…” She turned to her alternate self. “What are you?”

“Robot from the future.”

Stars appeared in Cinder’s eyes. “...Tell. Me. Everything.”

“You first,” Scootaloo said, looking closely at her eyes. “What are you, some kind of thestral demon thing?”

“Huh? No, I’m just a unicorn. I go by Cinder.” She smiled warmly. “Completely normal for a Sweetie.”

“But you have a cutie mark,” Sweetie pointed out.

“Yeah, that’s normal too. The standard ‘helping others with destiny and identity’ cutie mark most Crusaders get.”

“Guess we were right about somethin’, at least,” Apple Bloom commented.

“Squiddy over there’s an inkling though,” Cinder continued. “Part squid, part kid.”

“I told you never to say that in front of me,” Squiddy seethed.

Cinder shrugged. “So I guess that’s something she is. Blink’s not weird either, she’s just got magic Void powers. That’s how she got inside your clubhouse.”

“Oh. Just normal magic.” Sweetie paused for a moment. “I’m kind of disappointed.”

“Fillies and other me’s, prepare to have your disappointment erased!” Blink said, appearing in the middle of them all with a laugh. “For you all think I am but a humble unicorn - no, no, I am so much more!” She glanced at Cinder with a smirk. “I am going to blow your tiny little mind.”

Blink removed her sunglasses for the first time since Cinder had met her, revealing her eyes. Or, rather, her lack of eyes. She had no pupils or irises, merely blank white orbs that seemed to stare at nothing. The filly of Void let everyone have a good long look at her creepy orbs.

“...Whoah,” Cinder said, mouth open. “What…?”

“I’m a ghost!” Blink said with a chuckle, returning her sunglasses to her face. “Should be self-explanatory.”

“You’re dead?

“Yep!” Blink confirmed. “Long story, don’t ask. And I just thought of something…” she turned to Apple Bloom. “You’re dead too, right?”

“Uh… yeah? Undead.”

“Then I’m going to check…” She examined the bracelets on her four legs closely.

“Blink, don’t be stupid,” Squiddy warned.

Blink was stupid. She removed all four of her bracelets at once. Squiddy tensed as if something disastrous was going to happen.

A breeze blew through the air, ruffling all their manes.

Blink laughed, stretching her legs out. “This feels so good! Do you have any idea how rare universes that will accept me are? Do you?”

“Accept you…?” Scootaloo said, looking to Cinder for help deciphering what the heck was going on.

“I’m just as much in the dark as you are,” Cinder admitted.

“Most universes don’t allow ghosts of her type,” Squiddy explained, eyebrow twitching. “She needs those reality anchor bracelets to keep from dissipating into nothing. Taking them off is stupid, even if the universe allows it, because she could be thrown somewhere and be killed at the drop of a hat.”

“You don’t know how to have fun,” Blink teased, floating into the air and doing a few loopdeloops, a wild grin on her face.

The local Sweetie shook her head. “...While I’m happy for you, ‘Blink’, I think we could all stand to have a bit of an explanation.”

“Oh, sure!” Cinder cleared her throat. “Hello, we are the League of Sweetie Belles, a bunch of multiversal explorers comprised almost entirely out of different versions of Sweetie Belle! We’ve come to your world seeking friendship and adventure!”

“...That it?” Apple Bloom asked.

Cinder flushed. “Uh, well, there’s a lot of political and governmental stuff that your Twilight is probably hearing right now. And we sometimes like saving the day from evil monsters? I think? I’m pretty new, so uh… Yeah.”

“You have a lot of weird Sweeties?” the local Sweetie asked.

“We have a space ship who is also a Sweetie,” Blink said.

Sweetie stared at Blink with wide eyes.

“I take it you want a tour?”

“Yes please,” Sweetie breathed, barely loud enough to hear.

~~~

“I say we take them to Engineering first,” Blink said - she had put her bracelets back on. They were standing in Swip’s ring room.

“Who wants to see engineering besides Seren?” Squiddy retorted. “Nobody, that’s who! We should show them Nira’s room.”

“Do you want Nira to explode?”

“Kind of.”

“I could just give my own tour of myself,” Swip commented.

“Nobody asked you,” Squiddy muttered.

“Hey, Squiddy, that was mean!”

“I’m not gonna…”

Cinder started tuning them out. She found herself looking at the local CMC. They had decided the argument was just as pointless as she had and were examining the interdimensional ring. The ghoul, the changeling, and the robot from the future. They were all so… unique. So full of secrets. And then there was Blink, who was apparently a ghost. She’d had a secret, and Cinder hadn’t even noticed. Did the others have secrets?

She knew hardly anything about any of their backgrounds… For all she knew Squiddy was some kind of assassin. Nira definitely had secrets… Celia was decidedly mysterious… Burgerbelle was inscrutable to begin with… Did even innocent little Seren have something she kept hidden? Possibly even without knowing it?

Cinder shook her head - there was nothing wrong with that. She didn’t need to feel betrayed - Blink clearly wasn’t trying to keep it a secret, it just hadn’t come up. All Cinder had to do was prepare herself for future revelations about her new friends. It shouldn’t be too hard - after all, they would probably give her the same benefit of the doubt.

If she had some special secret.

Which she didn’t.

I don’t care about being normal, she told herself, huffing. I don’t care about it one bit.

She pushed the thoughts out of her mind just in time - because Sweetaloo had walked into the already crowded room.

“All right, break it up!” She shouted, tearing Blink and Squiddy away from each other. “I swear, you two are worse than Rainbow Dash and Applejack!”

“Their puny rivalry is dust compared to ours,” Squiddy said.

Blink just rolled her eyes. “I’m only arguing because she won’t stop.”

Sweetaloo fixed her with a ‘seriously?’ glare.

“...Agh, fine, right, I’m being just as much of a stick in the mud as she is, I get it, I’m sorry.”

“Good. Now apologize to your guests.” Sweetaloo pushed the two of them toward the CMC.

Blink rubbed the back of her head. “Eh… Sorry.”

“...Sorry,” Squiddy muttered, much quieter.

“It’s okay,” Apple Bloom said. “Ah know all about arguments and rivalries. Plus, you were arguin’ about the best way to show us around the place!”

“And ignoring me completely,” Swip muttered. “As always. I’m an afterthought even when I’m involved.”

“Swip, you’ll just want to show them everything in excruciating detail,” Sweetaloo pointed out. “While you certainly know yourself the best, you’re not the greatest at portraying yourself to others.”

Swip didn’t respond to this.

Sweetaloo rolled her eyes. “Something for the next session. Hey, everypony, out of the room, it’s cramped. We have couches for pete’s sake, let’s use them!”

They quickly moved to the lounge and sat down. Hardly a second passed before Scootaloo pointed at Sweetaloo. “What’s your deal?”

Sweetaloo smirked. “I am a combination of all three Crusaders, Sweetaloo Blume. It is quite a treat to see all of me on Swip at once.”

“...Combination?”

“Teleportation accident,” Sweetaloo explained.

“So, you’re like the three of us fused together?” Apple Bloom pondered this. “What if something like that happened to us?”

Scootaloo thought about this. “We’d probably become some kind of undead… robot… bug thing.”

“Welp, there’s my nightmare fuel for the night,” Sweetie deadpanned.

“I’m sure you three would be something beautiful regardless,” Sweetaloo said with a smile. “Let me guess, Sweetie’s the robot?”

“Uh… yep,” Sweetie said. “That obvious?”

“Oh no, robotic Sweeties are just somewhat common in the multiverse. One of the League’s founders was like you. Calls herself Sweetie Bot.”

“...Of course she does.”

Sweetaloo leaned in. “I could call her, if you want. Assuming she’s not busy, I’m sure she’d love to talk to you. In that… synthetic tone of hers.”

Sweetie grinned. “Yes!”

“This day just keeps getting better for you, don’t it?” Apple Bloom asked.

Sweeetie nodded. “I don’t know what’s happening and I don’t care anymore!”

“Before the day is out you will be one of us,” Cinder said, ominously.

“Aren’t I already a Sweetie?”

“...Yes. Yes you are.”

“Then the day doesn’t even need to end, does it?”

Cinder pursed her lips. She couldn’t help but feel like she’d been cheated out of something there.

“Swip, can you call Sweetie Bot?” Sweetaloo asked.

“I don’t know, can I?” Swip beeped.

“Swip…”

“I mean, apparently I don’t know how to portray myself to others and can’t give my own tour. So who knows what other stuff might be locked up in here?”

Sweetaloo had a retort ready - but the visiting Sweetie got to it first. “Maybe you shouldn’t be so standoffish? That might be what makes you bad at tours, or whatever else they were talking about.”

Everyone felt like Swip was staring at them with a death glare in the following silence.

“...Calling Sweetie Bot… Connection made, placing on screen now.”

A version of Sweetie Belle slightly younger than the visiting Sweetie appeared on screen. “Hello everyone!” she said, speaking in a highly synthetic voice. “Greetings concluded - what brings you to the inner screens of my eyes?”

“Got another Sweetie Bot of sorts,” Sweetaloo said, gesturing for Sweetie to say something.

“This screen is so cool and futuristic,” she said, blinking. “Are you from the future!?”

Bot paused. “I do not think so. Analysis says there is only a 12% chance my origin is based in temporal phenomenon.”

“Wait, you don’t know?”

“I was never able to uncover my exact origins. Equis Smooze is decidedly inhospitable to us, and any robots questioned go on rampages.”

“We’re pretty sure you were built by a mad, evil scientist!” another Sweetie called from off screen.

“Only 74% chance, Allure!” Bot shouted back.

“Occam’s razor, Bot!”

“I have enough razors built in, they are sufficient.”

“You also have missile bays, are those sufficient?”

“Affirmative!”

Allure was apparently done shouting across the room, since she didn’t respond.

“Missile bays?” Sweetie asked, concern crossing her face.

Bot grinned. “This unit is equipped with dozens of high-end weapons for use in the field! Missiles, lasers, and even a microwave! The third option doubles as a food cooking utensil. Rarity loves my hot pockets!”

“So some robots do get lasers,” Scootaloo said, nudging Sweetie. “Guess you just got unlucky.”

“I’m not sure I want lasers…” Sweetie said.

“You don’t have lasers!?” Bot gasped. “Pity levels at maximum! We will install more right away!”

“Nononononono!” Sweetie said, waving her hooves. “I like me the way I am!”

“Healthy attitude detected!” Bot’s grin returned. “You are amazing, just like all Sweeties. This is why we come together! Because we are adorable! Because we are cute! Because we are silly! And because we have awesome sisters!”

“...You have a mantra?” Apple Bloom asked Cinder.

“...I think Bot’s just making this up as she goes along,” Cinder responded.

“And because the objects of fun are… Uh…” Bot blinked. “Sentence coherence lost. Initiating embarrassed apology sequence.”

“Objects of fun…?” Sweetie said, cocking her head.

~~~

“I have all the objects of fun!” Bot declared.

“You need to reexamine the definition of ‘fun’,” Thrackerzod commented, picking up a ping-pong paddle with her magic. “This requires significantly more mutations to be truly ‘fun’.”

Bot pressed a button on the ping-pong paddle and it started slapping Thrackerzod in the face. “See? Fun!”

Thrackerzod was not amused.

~~~

“I was created and not told about it,” Bot started her life story. “All my life I thought I was just a pony. But then I was told and I went on a maximum-murder rampage until the other Sweeties got my sister to stop me! And then the League of Sweetie Belles was formed.”

“She’s oversimplifying,” Squiddy muttered.

“...How could you have thought you were a pony?” Sweetie asked. “You don’t even sound like one!”

“An error has occurred, please resubmit query at a later time.”

Sweetie facehooved. “Ugh… Is this what it was like talking to me in full robot mode?”

“Yes,” Apple Bloom and Scootaloo said in unison.

“I detect that I missed something,” Bot said.

“You know full well what happened,” Squiddy muttered.

“An error has occurred. Please resubmit query at a later time.”

“That wasn’t even a query!”

“An error ha-”

Allure called from off screen. “Bot! We’ve got to go! The Sparkle Census has challenged us again!”

“Leaving is required! Goodbye - it was great talking!” Bot cut the feed.

“...Sparkle Census?” Apple Bloom asked.

“It’s made out of Twilights, isn’t it?” Sweetie added.

“Yes, it is,” Sweetaloo admitted. “Regardless, was that everything you thought it would be, Sweetie?”

“No,” Sweetie admitted. “But you knew that.”

Sweetaloo smirked. “Now you know a bit about how much variety there is in us. Puts some things in perspective, huh?”

“I still don’t have any idea of this League’s scale. Not sure if I can have perspective.”

“Let’s take her for a spin!” Blink said, grinning. “Swip, dial someplace cool!”

“We can’t just take Crusaders from their worlds willy-nilly!” Sweetaloo chided. “That’s kidnapping. We’re not taking them on a joyride for something so frivolous.”

“Awwww…” the CMC said, dropping their heads.

“That doesn’t mean the day has to be over,” Sweetaloo said. “Why don’t you three change things up a bit? I’m sure your world has interesting things to show Squiddy, Blink, and Cinder.”

Squiddy groaned. “Ugh, but their world is so standard!

Scootaloo corked a brow. “Have you been in a Changeling hive before?”

“Yes! Numerous times!”

“I haven’t,” Cinder said. “...I wanna see the hive.”

“Then we’ll go see the hive!” Blink declared. “Lead the way, Crusaders!”

~~~

“Welcome to the Cloudsdale Hive,” Scootaloo said, holding a hoof out to show them all the underground complex that housed all sorts of changelings. It was a decidedly expansive location with several large tunnels leading deeper into the hive, the main cavern had dozens of platforms sitting at various levels, each acting as a sort of building. There were a few elevators here and there made of wood that carried ponies and other non-winged beings to and from the various locations, but the vast majority of changelings who lived here just used their bussing wings to get around.

“You don’t look like old or reformed Changelings,” Cinder observed.

“Huh?” Scootaloo said, glancing at her in confusion.

“Well, where I’m from, all Changelings were black and full of holes…”

“That only happens when we’re malnourished.”

“Really? So all Changelings in my world were malnourished until the defeat of Chrysalis?”

All Changelings!?”

“Yeah. Actually, come to think of it, I think there was only one big hive like this in my home…” She put a hoof to her chin. “Guess things really are different here.”

“Do you mean to tell me that only Chrysalis’ hive existed!?”

“Yep! Well, she doesn’t run it anymore. Thorax does, and they’ve all gotten nice shiny beetle-like carapaces. They don’t look like you though. You look…” She narrowed her eyes. “Somewhere in the middle ground.” Her curious expression started to drift. “Unique…”

“Are we?” Scootaloo asked.

Blink nodded in confirmation. “This is not a standard baseline Changeling hive. Not even close. Your walls aren’t changing with changeling magic, you’re significantly more organized, and the whole deal with the mirrors is new.”

“Why would you bother transmitting sunlight all the way down here?” Squiddy asked, waving her hand in front of one of the giant mirrors. “You have magic, just make sunlamps.”

“We like having the sun, you know?” Scootaloo said.

Squiddy shrugged. “Just seems like a lot of work.”

“I have a question,” Cinder said, suddenly. “Blink, are any of us Changelings?”

Blink thought about this. “Not anyone on Swip, though if Nira was one I wouldn’t know. Asking Nira about herself is just something you don’t do.”

“Ah.”

“But several Sweeties in the League as a whole are Changelings. Off the top of my head, Swuzz, Antlion, Ocelle, and Swissaliss. ...That last one really likes cheese puns.”

“Swissaliss!?” Apple Bloom burst into laughter.

“She really likes making others laugh.”

“Oh, like Scootaloo!” a Changeling said, dropping from the ceiling. He was slightly taller than Scootaloo and had a soft purple carapace. “Can’t help but just bring out the endless laughter with those floppy little wings of hers.”

The CMC let out audible groans as the Changeling made himself known. Scootaloo in particular gave him a rather nasty glare. “Everyone, say hello to Twitch, my brother.”

“Hello!” Blink said.

“Now say goodbye to Twitch, we won’t be dealing with him on this t-”

“Won’t be dealing with me?” Twitch smirked. “Little Scooter Crashbasket, I’m going to stick to you and your unimaginative white clones like glue. No amount of insignificant dead eyes, firecracker horns, or floppy ocean flotsam is going to change that.”

Squiddy’s expression went from ‘bored and disinterested’ to ‘unbelievably livid’ in a split second. “What the hell did you just say to me you gnat?

“I called those overglorified rowboat paddles ocean flotsam. Though in hindsight that was far too kind, I must be losing my touch. They look a lot more like you drowned some poor, defenseless animal and now wear it on your head for bragging rights.”

Squiddy let out an exaggerated gasp. “You dare! You, a lowly insect who couldn’t even pass anatomy class, think you can diss the squid? Let me tell you a few things about the squid: they’re strong, they’re full of ink, and they can slap stupid bitches like you across the face.”

“Oh look at you, using big words, showing your class to the entire hive. I hope you realize we have a minor-hive mind and that all your words are being broadcasted live. Everyone is laughing at them.”

“I bet they’re laughing at you and your oh-so ‘high and mighty’ words! Do you even hear yourself? What do you think you are, the King of France?”

“Prance doesn’t have a king.”

“This just proves your level of ignorance. I bet you don’t even know what a squib is.”

“I do not need to know random things, because I know enough about the world in front of me to know when people are trying to screw me over.”

“I bet you have a lot of first hand experience screwing people.”

“As a matter of fact…”

Scootaloo glanced to Blink. “I don’t think this is going to stop any time soon. Let’s just… leave them.”

“Agreed,” Blink said.

~~~

Blue Monarch, a princess of the Changeling hive, was not sure if she should be proud of Twitch for once or immensely embarrassed. On one hoof he was spouting out some of the most unspeakable and dirty insults she had ever heard come out of his mouth. On the other he had been at it for well over half an hour and neither him nor the inkling showed any sign of stopping.

Mom, you gonna stop them? one of her daughters asked.

At some point, definitely. At the moment I’m admittedly curious to see how long this goes on…

You’re the princess…

Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, Sweetie, Blink, and Cinder walked into the throne room at that point.

“Hi mom!” Scootaloo said, trotting up to the tall, blue Changeling. “Everyone, this is princess Blue Monarch. She’s not the queen, but she does a lot of stuff around here.”

Blue Monarch looked up from a scroll she had been reading. “Ah, the visitors. I am admittedly rather busy - your arrival has sent Equestria into a bit of a tizzy and I’m probably going to have to be part of dealing with that - but I want to thank you for showing interest in our hive.”

“Even though Squiddy’s currently shouting up a storm?” Blink asked.

“...I’ll figure out how I feel about that after it’s over.”

“That’s fair.”

“Regardless, I extend my greetings, welcome to our world. Perhaps at a later time you could introduce us to the other hives?”

“Sure thing!”

“Then I’ll put that on the list of things to consider in the future.” She made a few marks on the scroll and rolled it up, glancing at Cinder. “I’m sorry I can’t give you the tour you probably want, but I’m sure Scootaloo did just fine.”

“She did,” Cinder admitted. “Though I didn’t get to see the nursery…”

“Believe me when I tell you that sneaking down there was an extremely stupid thing to do.” She glared at Blink.

“I’m dead, princess. What exactly are the emotion-sucking babies gonna do to me?”

“I don’t know. And that should always be reason for caution.”

Blink shrugged. “At least nobody got hurt!”

~~~

A baby Changeling unleashed a magic laser and knocked a rock off the ceiling, flattening Blink under it.

“Ow…”

~~~

“It was merely a flesh wound!”

“Do you even technically have flesh?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Well, I’m solid. Sometimes. But I don’t have blood… Or, really, anything.” She furrowed her brow. “It wasn’t even a flesh wound!”

Blue Monarch rolled her eyes and chuckled. “Just don’t go back there. I do hope you enjoyed your trip to the hive.”

“We sure did!” Blink said.

Cinder kept silent.

“Anyway, now we’ve gotta go break Squiddy and Twitch up…”

“...Oh no,” Scootaloo groaned.

~~~

It turned out to not be all that hard. Just teleport one of them away and the argument stopped, problem solved.

The new problem was that, without a clear victory, neither Squiddy nor Twitch were particularly happy. Both of them complained a lot. Luckily for the CMC and the Sweeties, they only got to hear Squiddy’s complaints.

Well, except Scootaloo, she got Twitch’s from the hive mind, but that was just a fact of her life.

“It’s getting late,” Blink observed as they walked back into Ponyville. “Probably should get you three home.”

“Aww…” Sweetie said, looking at the ground. “But today was fun!”

“We should totally do this again sometime!” Apple Bloom said.

“We are pretty busy…” Blink said. “BUT! You are a Sweetie, Sweetie - yeah you really need to choose a name at some point - and you can join the League of Sweetie Belles completely for free, no charge at all!”

“REALLY!?”

“Yeah! Just have to get you signed up and we can get you one of those phones and th-”

It was at this point two decidedly unfortunate things happened at once.

One, a stallion with a suit that was just a little too fancy and smooth for Ponyville walked up to them.

Two, Ponyville’s only lawyer, Murphy Law, walked past them with a decidedly unhappy expression on his face.

The suited stallion cleared his throat. “Sweeties, CMC, I am an agent of T.I.M.E., and I am here to inform y-”

Murphy Law glanced at them. “What’s going on here?”

It was at this point a small device Blink kept tucked behind her mane started letting out sparks. She took the disc out and examined it. “What in Skaia’s name…?”

The disc-shaped device promptly exploded, surrounding the Sweeties, the CMC, and Murphy Law in a burst of interdimensional energy. A second later, they were gone.

The T.I.M.E. agent remained, staring at the spot Blink had been standing.

“...This is going to take a lot of paperwork…”

~~~

Seven ponies unceremoniously dropped out of the sky into another version of Ponyville. Squiddy ended up on the bottom of the precarious pony pile, flattening her squishy body into its floppier squid form. The rest of the League plopped onto her, followed by the CMC, and lastly punctuated by Murphy Law himself. His impact upon the various assortment of younger mares caused a nearby lamppost to fall over and hit Blink in the head.

“...Ow,” Blink muttered. She phased out of the pile and stood up - glaring right at Murphy Law. “Who are you and what did you do!?

“I am Murphy Law. What did I do? I just asked a question, that’s perfectly legal! Carrying around such dangerous magical devices is clearly in violation of arcane code 37-B, subsection eleven. You are going to pay dearly for this recklessness.”

“Dimensional law is in effect, bucko, which’ll overrule your native laws nine times out of ten, so you can just shut up because you don’t even know our legal system.”

He didn’t miss a beat. “According to our laws, any law broken by a foreigner is the same as if they were a citizen.”

“Oh for the love of…”

“HEY!” another Murphy Law shouted from the doorway of Sugarcube Corner. “You there! Stop defaming my image!”

“Me! Defaming your image? Hardly!”

“I will have you tried for slander!”

“I can do the same - you have my image as well!”

“This is my home and I have the advantage!”

The Murphy Law on the pony pile jumped off and glared at the other Murphy Law.

Squiddy’s eyes widened. “...Shit, there’s no way this is going to go well…”

A nearby building collapsed spontaneously.

“I was right, it’s disastrous!” Squiddy stood up tall. “Blink, we need to separate them now.”

“Agreed,” Blink said, horror on her face.

“...Why?” Applebloom asked.

“Their names are Murphy Law,” Squiddy said, grabbing one around the stomach. “What do you expect?”

“Ah don’t get what you’re sayin’.”

Blink wrestled the other Murphy Law to the ground and proceed to ignore his threats of legal action. “Do you know what Murphy’s Law is?

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong?” Sweetie suggested. “...That’s just a joke, right?”

“Maybe, but jokes have a habit of just becoming true, because ka freakin’ says so.”

“...What?”

“Really not a good time to explain it!” Bink said, struggling to keep the Murphy Law she had down. “Let’s just call it the ‘force of fate’ and leave it at that. Things go wrong because it’s funny, or whatever.”

“That’s ridiculous! It’ll never hold up in court!” the Murphys shouted.

“Where’s Celia when you need her?” Squiddy muttered.

The ponies heard a loud gasp, turning their heads to see the local Rarity. “What are you ruffians doing!?”

Cinder strode forward. “Uh, we’re trying to keep every building in the area from collapsing. Because, uh, two Murphy Laws are here?” She pointed at the Murphys.

Rarity put a hoof to her chin. “By the Stars, two Murphy Laws… I… I think I need a breather…” She took a few steps back, tripped over a rock, and popped her leg off. “AUGH!” She frantically stuck the leg back on and laughed nervously. “None of you saw that!”

Cinder’s expression darkened. “...What are you?”

“Uh, nothing o-”

“A buckin’ MANNEQUIN!” Apple Bloom shouted.

“Apple Bloom!” the local Applejack shouted, coming out from the wrecked building. “We don’t talk about those things in th-”

“You’re a dryad, ain’t cha!?” Apple Bloom shouted, sweat starting to drip down her face now. “Arne’t cha!?”

Applejack looked hurt. “Apple Bloom… Why would you…”

“She’s not your Apple Bloom!” Blink shouted - taking a kick to the face from Murphy Law without registering it. “Though I don’t know how she knows these secrets…”

“Yeah, how do you know?” Scootaloo asked.

“The dream,” Apple Bloom said, grabbing Scootaloo by the cheeks. “Don’t you see? That dream I had where every pony had some bizarre weird secret? Rarity’s a mannequin! Applejack’s a dryad! I bet Rainbow Dash is part rainbow, Bon Bon is a human, and Ruby Pinch is a buckin’ bottle of wine.

~~~

Ruby Pinch walked through the streets of Ponyville, tripped on a rock, and went tumbling end over end, the cyclic motion of the liquids inside of her ensuring she would keep rolling in as uneven of a path as possible. The erratic motions would make her wish she was physically able to puke. But no, the juices inside must be kept pure...

~~~

“A… A universe where everypony has something special…” Cinder muttered under her breath. “Everypony…”

“Oh, this is like that monster universe!” Blink said, brightening up - despite being kicked in the face again.

“Monster universe!?” Apple Bloom asked.

~~~

“Question,” Blink said, tapping her hooves together. “If Twilight’s a mist spirit, but her parents are a dark llama mystic and a literal mountain… how exactly does that work?”

Fluttershy the spider-pony crossed all her eyes trying to figure that one out. “I… I don’t know.”

“How are any of you born!?

“...I don’t think we’re supposed to think too hard about that…”

~~~

Blink shrugged off another kick. “Yeah, everyone’s unique somehow even though it doesn’t make logical sense for everyone to be that way.”

“Ah’m psychic…” Apple Bloom said, pupils shrinking to pinpricks. “Ghouls aren’t supposed to be psychic!”

“I thought she was made of wood?” Rarity asked Applejack.

“Rarity!” Applejack chided.

“What? Everyone here already knows!”

“You're made of wood in this universe?” Scootaloo asked Apple Bloom.

“Ah didn’t dream about myself!”

“What am I?” Scootaloo asked Rarity. “Pleeeease?”

“I’m afraid I have no idea what you are, dearie.”

“Aw…”

“Sweetie’s an alien from the future, though.”

Sweetie blinked. “Yeah, okay, so much has happened today that doesn’t even faze me. I don’t think anything can anymore.”

Scootaloo put a hoof around Sweetie and grinned. “Hey, I know what’ll get your horn in a twist.”

“Hm?”

Scootaloo pointed at a pony standing a fair ways off, watching - Button Mash. “Wanna know what your boyfriend’s secret is?”

“HE IS NOT MY BOYFRIEND!” She looked to the other Sweeties. “Back me up here.”

Squiddly laughed. “Yeah, right.”

“Button Mash is actually one of our more common pairings,” Blink said. “Lots of Sweeties are married to their local version, actually.”

“WHAT?”

“Though, of our crew, only Suzie’s married. It is her Button Mash though.”

“WHAT!?” Cinder shouted.

~~~

Suzie kissed her husband. “You have to stop coming to the League like this, seeing you with me sends all my Sweeties into an existential crisis.”

“A, they need to grow up. B, I shouldn’t need an excuse to see you. X, I have a good reason for coming.”

Suzie giggled at his choice of letters.

“Railgun’s having difficulty in college…”

~~~

“I still have no idea why she named her kid Railgun,” Blink said. “Who does that?”

“Someone who knows how to game the system and garner my respect,” Squiddy responded.

At this moment the Murphy Laws both got the better of their captors and threw them off at long last. Instead of proceeding to threaten the Sweeties with legal action, they glared at each other again.

Button Mash’s house fell down. “My house!”

“All right, everyone’s going to Swip!” Blink said, tapping a button her dimensional device. Naturally, it was busted from overloading earlier. “...Screw Murphy.”

“Which one?” Rarity asked.

“Rarity!” Applejack gasped.

“The idea of Murphy,” Blink responded.

With the proximity of two Murphys, things just kept getting more and more ridiculous. Rainbow Dash showed up, sparking with impossible rainbow lights. Button ran around in a panic, his legs clicking like buttons. Lyra walked up and tripped, revealing a seapony tail. And Fluttershy showed up å˜∂ ˜ø∫ø∂¥ ®´µ´µ∫´®´∂ ∑˙å† ß˙´ ∑åß and then Derpy fell out of the sky on one of the Murphy Laws. “Hello clone!”

“I’ll sue you for defamation!”

Derpy popped like a bubble and reformed moments later.

Mayor Mare came out. “Now, now, everypony, let’s stop being so dramatic and argumentati-” the zipper in her suit failed, revealing the small gray alien inside. “...Ponyfeathers.”

“You’re ruining everyone’s secrets!” Sweetie shouted at the Murphy Laws. “Back off!”

“You’re all ridiculous!” the two Murphys shouted at once. “I don’t have some aura that destroys everything, and that definitely won’t hold up in court!”

“GAH!”

Apple Bloom grabbed her head. “Ah don’t know how but Ah feel like this is my fault.”

“INK FOR EVERYONE!” Squiddy shouted, showering everyone with a white ink grenade. This didn’t really stop them from shouting, but it did make Rarity pass out and break into numerous pieces.

“...Dammit,” Squiddy muttered, moving to put her back together.

The shouts kept rising and getting more confused and scared…

~~~

Cinder watched the chaos outside from the window of Sugarcube Corner. She sighed deeply every time a new amazing, spectacular secret was revealed.

“Something on your mind?” Pinkie asked, giving Cinder a milkshake.

“Yeah…” Cinder said, absent-mindedly putting the straw in her mouth. “I’m just too normal.”

“What’s wrong with being normal?”

“Everypony. Everyone has something special about them. Ghost, squid, undead, robot, bug, mother - but I’m just Sweetie Belle. The closest thing I’ve got to something special is a little spark of flame.” She summoned a small burst of fire at the tip of her horn and let it go out. “That’s nothing. When everyone else is so special, what do I offer? Why am I even allowed out here?” She held out her hooves. “Look at them, they’re different. None of them are normal. They all deserve to be out here, doing crazy stuff. I’m just out of place.”

Pinkie smiled. “Hey, want to know a secret?”

“Oh, I bet you have one as well, huh?”

“Nope!” Pinkie giggled. “My secret is that I don’t have one!”

Cinder blinked. “Wha…?”

“I’m just like most other Pinkie Pies. I know a thing or two I shouldn’t, I bounce around a lot, and I throw parties! In most other worlds I’m the crazy bizarre one. But here? I’m normal.” She tapped Cinder on the horn. “And that’s what makes me special. When everypony everywhere is filled with something inexplicable and bizarre, suddenly they are normal, and ponies like us are the freaky friday sideshow.”

“...Huh. I… I didn’t think about it like that before…”

“They need ponies like us,” Pinkie said with a giggle. “They need the normal ponies to tell them when they’re looking at things wrong! I mean, you haven’t been with them long, right? I bet you’ve already seen they have some pretty skewed ways of looking at things.”

Cinder nodded, her depressed expression slowly being replaced with something more… understanding.

“We’re here to make sure they don’t go off the rails.” Pinkie patted Cinder on the head.

The mare smiled. “I find it hard to believe you can be a source of stability.”

“I’m what this world has, I make it work.”

Cinder nodded. Then she put the milkshake down and stood up. “Then I’m going to make it work too.” With purpose in her eyes, she marched out of Sugarcube Corner and glared at the crowd of panicking ponies.

“HEY!” she shouted at the top of your lungs. “GET A HOLD OF YOURSELVES! You’re all just letting your inner insecurities, fears, and need to understand get in the way of who you all are! You’re not like this! You’re the ponies of Ponyville and, secrets or not, you’re still each other’s friends!”

She looked at the crowd hopefully.

They were still yelling at each other.

“...You know, in hindsight, I should have known that wasn’t going to work,” Cinder admitted - but she still had a big smile on her face anyway.

“It was a good try,” Pinkie admitted, patting her on the head. “The good news is it’s about to be solved anyway.”

“Oh? By what?”

Suddenly, everybody except Cinder herself was frozen in time.

“...Oh, the time guy.” She was not surprised when the T.I.M.E. stallion walked out of a dimensional portal and trotted up to her. “Why’d you freeze everyone?”

“Because they’re not in a position to be talked to,” he muttered. “You seemed like a good contact. Which ponies do we need to take back to the other world?”

Cinder pointed out all six - including the correct Murphy Law. “...But if we just leave, what will happen to all these ponies?”

“They’re Ponyville ponies, secrets or not,” the agent said. “They’ll pull through. Have a little faith in them.”

Cinder took one look at all the squabbling, panicked ponies. She smiled. “Yeah, they’re Ponyville ponies all right…” She rolled her eyes. “Let’s go.”

It wasn’t hard to pick out the CMC, Squiddy, Blink, and Murphy Law from the crowd and return them to the previous universe, where there were decidedly less nonsensical secrets.

The agent allowed time to resume. Before Murphy Law could say anything, the agent shoved a legal document in his face. “By the order of Princess Celestia, T.I.M.E. has the authority to demand your cooperation in keeping all events that have happened over the last few hours a secret from all parties involved. No legal action of any sort can be taken relating to anything.”

Murphy Law sputtered, tried to come up with a response, failed miserably, and stormed off in a huff.

“Woohoo time guy!” Blink cheered.

“And you,” the T.I.M.E. agent said, turning his ire onto Blink. “You have caused so many ripples in time it’s triggering widespread panic in my organization.”

“...That tends to happen when we arrive,” Blink admitted. “I can put you in contact with the temporal division to see if we can find a timeline solution, perhaps create a dual-universe offset if there’s enough resources involved.”

“We have already spoken with your captain on the matter. Or will in an hour, take your pick. We have decided not to accept your offers of temporal interference.”

“Oh.” Blink’s ears drooped. “You’re going to make us go then?”

“Yes,” the agent confirmed. “Furthermore, you are not to encourage Sweetie to go exploring the multiverse. We ensured her survival so she could create the future T.I.M.E. lives in. As resilient as our timeline is, you are threatening to throw key events out of place that could destroy everything we’ve worked so hard to build.”

“Okay, geez, I get the picture, we’ll leave,” Blink said, holding up her hooves in mock surrender.

“It’s… that bad?” Sweetie asked.

“Yes,” the agent said, dusting off one of his legs. “I am sorry, Sweetie, but you cannot explore the multiverse. You need to fulfill your destiny.”

“Can’t she fulfill whatever destiny she wants to?” Apple Bloom retorted.

“In theory. But do you want to try to explain to the universe why a future that no longer exists created a robotic body to save her life?”

“Ah… uh…”

“We cou-” Blink began.

The stallion interrupted her. “As I said, we already listened to your offer. Splitting the timelines would erase a duplicate. It is not something we can condone, and the amount of destruction that would come in the revised timeline would be disastrous.”

“You do know we’d be willing to help, right?”

“Yes. Help has been denied.”

Blink’s indignant expression softened. “Oh. ...You’re scared of us.”

“T.I.M.E. is n-”

“It’s okay, I get it,” Blink said, shaking her head. “We’ll go. You’ll never have to talk to us again.”

For the first time the agent looked unsure. “I haven’t told you all the detail-”

“I know enough. I’m sorry your organization wasn’t able to move past that.” She turned to face Sweetie. “I’m sorry, looks like we won’t be taking you around the multiverse after all.”

“Oh…” Sweetie said, drooping.

“But hey, it looks like you’ve got some kind of amazing magical destiny to look forward to!” Cinder said with a grin. “Your life isn’t going to go back to being boring. You get to be a robot. Isn’t that cool?”

“Yes. Also terrifying.”

“I… I wouldn’t have any idea what that’s like,” Cinder admitted. “The point is, you don’t need to feel jealous or lost. There’s still plenty for you here. Got that?”

“Yep! And do you get that you’re just as important and special as the rest of them?”

“Bizarrely, yeah!”

“Yeah!”

The two of them embraced and chuckled.

Blink smiled. “Well, I would say ‘see ya’, but I doubt we’ll be back. So, goodbye. It was fun.”

“It was chaos is what it was,” Scootaloo said.

“But it was fun,” Apple Bloom admitted. “And pretty crazy. Ah mean, do Ah dream into other universes or somethin’?”

“Coincidence is a powerful tool,” Blink offered. “If you can think of something, it probably exists somewhere.” She took off her sunglasses and winked. “So it doesn’t really matter if you’re psychic or not.”

“...Not sure what to think of that.”

“Good.” She slid her shades back on. “Means I’m doing the cryptic farewell properly.”

Squiddy groaned.

“Oh, Squiddy, uh…” Scootaloo rubbed the back of her head. “For what it’s worth, I’ve never see anyone go toe to toe with Twitch like that before.”

Squiddy looked away, clenching her jaw. “...Thanks.”

“Goodbye!” Cinder said, waving. “Be true to yourselves and all that!”

“We will!” Sweetie said, waving back.

~~~

“...You’re unique because you’re normal,” Sweetaloo said.

“Yep!” Cinder beamed.

“Have to admit, I’ve never heard that one before,” she chuckled. “Maybe you’re more unique than you think, Cinder.”

Cinder shrugged. “I’m unique no matter what happens now, but I can’t go growing a second head or something - you all are going to need me. This little pony’s going to make sure you all don’t jump into a woodchipper one day.”

“We do not make the habit of jumping into woodchippers.”

“And the certainty with which you said that is why I’m here.” She threw her hooves into the air and laughed. “I’m normal! Woohoo!”

“You’ve certainly changed your attitude.”

“I just discovered that it’s something to be proud of, what do you expect me to do?”

~~~

“She won’t be coming back?” Blue Monarch asked.

Scootaloo shook her head. “Yeah, no, the T.I.M.E. guys told them to get out.”

“Such a shame. I was hoping to talk to Cinder before she left for good.”

“Why?”

“There was something… off about the feel of her love. Something I can’t quite put my hoof on…”

Author's Note:

Undead Robot Bug Crusaders is an interesting fic that focuses not on adventure, but a strange sort of slice-of-life where the CMC all have weird secrets. The talented Banjo64 is responsible for this madness - no small part of this chapter came about from his suggestions. Thanks for being a part of this, Banjo!

NEXT TIME ON THE LEAGUE OF SWEETIE BELLES:
Twilight vs Anime (time for something completely different)

((LSB Status Post))

-GM, master of T.I.M.E.

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