• Published 24th Feb 2020
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Spike The Brony Dragon - red4567

A human in Spike's body will do whatever he can to change the future for the better.

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Chapter 18 (Stare Master and The Show Stoppers)

“So, what did it feel like, Twilight?”

“What did what feel like, Spike?”

“Turning into stone,” I replied. “Was it painful?”

“Well...no. It...It made my body really stiff, though. Like I couldn’t move at all. It was almost scary.”

I bet it was. Given how Discord had to endure it for over a millennium, being stuck in one place while the world passes before your eyes must not be a pleasant experience.

Yesterday was the events of “Stare Master.” Twilight was going to Zecora’s to have tea with her, but ended up getting stoned by that cockatrice. If it weren’t for Fluttershy, Twilight would’ve been a lawn ornament for a very long time. I’ll have to thank her when I get the chance.

I would’ve helped Fluttershy take care of the CMC, but Twilight wouldn’t let me. She said that Fluttershy already has three kids to worry about, and she doesn’t need a fourth. I would’ve pressed further, but I decided to obey her. I didn’t want Twilight to lose her trust in me. Besides, the last time I tried reasoning with one of the fillies, they wouldn’t listen to me.

The cockatrice was actually the reason why the Ursa Minor showed up that night when Trixie was in town performing. Zecora told Twilight that the cockatrice had been causing trouble in the forest for the past couple of months. It must’ve scared the Ursa awake, and it couldn’t stone it in time before the Ursa ran out of the cave. Why the cockatrice didn’t try to stone the Ursa Major was beyond me. Snips and Snails didn’t encounter it in the show either.

Maybe it was scared off or something?

The next event to come up was “The Show Stoppers.” That’s when the CMC sign up for the upcoming talent show. To put it simply, the intended show was a disaster, but at least the girls won first place in the comedy section. I decided I didn’t need to change anything for this event.

I was organizing books in the library. I feel like it’s the only thing I do when I’m not reading comics or hanging out with Twilight. The sound of the door slamming open almost made me drop some of the books I was carrying. I turned to see the CMC at the front door.

“Is there anything you girls need?” I asked.

“Hey, Spike,” Sweetie Belle greeted. “That looks hard. Do you need any help?”

“I’m able to sort these fine on my...”

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS LIBRARIANS!” The filly trio shouted. “YAY!”

When the fillies tried to organize the books, the library ended up being way messier than before. By the time Twilight and Cheerilee, the CMC’s teacher, showed up, the girls were in a pile of books.

“Twilight, before you say anything, I had nothing to do with this,” I pleaded.

“Well, we sure aren't getting our cutie marks for being librarians,” Scootaloo said as she read one of the books.

I should think not.

“Girls, I think you're going about this the wrong way,” Twilight said to the CMC. “Instead of trying to do things in areas you're not familiar with, why not try doing things in areas that you already like?”

“Yeah, like singing or stunting?” I added.

“Well...having a natural singing voice runs in the family.” Sweetie Belle rubbed the back of her head. “Plus, you’ve probably already seen how well some ponies sing during random musical numbers.”

“And I’ve been practicing stunts since I was a foal.” Scootaloo looked at her wings. “It was to make up for...another lacking talent.”

“And I’ve already mentioned I learned how to use tools at a young age," Applebloom said. "If we didn’t get our cutie marks for our talents then, why would we get ‘em now?”

“Well, if you girls are looking for some areas to try, I have the perfect place to start.” Cheerilee pulled out a poster that talked about the upcoming talent show.

One look at the poster was all it took for the CMC’s faces to light up. The CMC thought about what talents they could learn.



“Magic tricks!”

“Square dancing!”

“Tightrope walking!”

“Tiger taming!”

“My little ponies!” Twilight called out. “You’re missing the point.”

Dear Celestia, Twilight. That sounded forced.

Twilight continued, “Think about the things you already enjoy doing. Think about what you're already good at. Your previous skills might help you find your special talent.”

The CMC agreed to sign up for the talent show. I was worried that their act was going to end up like in the show, but I wasn’t going to stop it.

I decided to pay a visit to two colts who also haven’t gotten their cutie marks yet: Button Mash and Rumble. Button Mash was into video games and toy trains, while Rumble was into flying and cooking. I’ve interacted with them before in the past, but it was usually just small conversations. I felt like I should interact with them more.

I saw Button and Rumble sitting on a picnic table. Button was playing on his Game Colt, and Rumble was watching him.

"Hey, guys," I greeted. "It's good to see you again."

"Oh, hey, Spike," Rumble said. He sounded much more like a little colt than a bratty teenager.

Button Mash waved at me while still keeping his eyes glued to the screen.

I sat down next to Rumble. "So, I've heard about the talent show coming up. Are either of you participating?"

"Not really." Rumble shook his head. "I do have a knack for flying, but I don't think it's good enough for the talent show."

"And I doubt ponies would want to see me speedrun one of my games," Button added.

"That's a shame," I said. "I'd participate, but I don't even go to that school. I heard the Cutie Mark Crusaders were gonna sign up though."

"That little fillies' group?" Button asked. "I thought you were supposed to have a special talent before signing up.”

“The girls think that they'll find theirs if they participate. Also, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are not a ‘little fillies’ group. They’re around the same age as you two.”

“I’m just saying, going to a talent show without knowing your talent is like going to a gym battle without knowing your moves.”

“Have either of you considered what your future cutie mark might be?”

“Well...” Rumble looked at his flank. “It’s...something I don’t care much for.”

“Why not?” I asked him. “Are you afraid it won’t let you do other stuff?”

Rumble nodded.

“Rumble, a cutie mark won’t restrict you to just one talent. It’s like the difference between a job and a hobby. You may have a special talent in something, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do other stuff. Like Twilight, for example. Her special talent is casting magic, but she likes reading books all the time. A cutie mark is just there to say what your special talent is. You can have one in cooking and still become a Wonderbolt. Heck, if you’re lucky, you could become the head chef at the Wonderbolts’ mess hall.”

Rumble chuckled. “I guess you're right. I was worried about nothing.”

At least he won’t try to take over the summer camp during “Marks and Recreation.”

“What about you, Button Mash?” I asked. “Any ideas what your cutie mark might look like?”

“Probably train or video game-related. I’m hoping it's on the video game side.”

“Right. I should’ve figured that out.”

The talent show was right around the corner. I was helping Applejack buck apples at Sweet Apple Acres.

“Do you think the CMC will get their cutie marks after the talent show?” I asked.

“The See-um-who?” Applejack asked after bucking a tree.

“The Cutie Mark Crusaders. Applebloom and her friends. Do you think they’ll get their cutie marks?”

“I don’t know, Spike. Gettin’ a cutie mark shouldn’t be forced.”

“But they’re not forcing their cutie marks to appear. They’re just trying to find a talent they like in order to get them to appear. Why don’t we check on them to see what they’re up to?”

“Good idea, Spike.”

Applejack and I headed to the CMC’s clubhouse. Like in the show, we watched the CMC practice, and they weren’t very good at it. We both made our way down the steps.

“Well, gosh,” Applejack said. “Sure wasn’t expectin’ that.”

“I’m...sure they’ll improve by the talent show,” I said.

We tried our best to sneak out without the fillies noticing, but we were too late.

“Hey!” Scootaloo called out. “Did you see us practicing?”

“Uh...yeah?” Applejack replied.

“Well? How’d we do? How’d we do?” Applebloom replied.

“Uh...” Applejack wasn’t the best at lying. Hence why she’s the element of honesty.

“You’re all on the right track,” I said. “You just need a few tweaks.”

“Don’t worry,” Scootaloo said. “Once the talent show shows up, we’ll leave everypony speechless!”

“YAY!!” The CMC cheered.

“Speechless is right,” Applejack said under her breath.

The night of the talent show couldn’t come soon enough. Cheerilee assigned me the role of handing out the rewards. There was supposed to be another pony helping her, but they called in sick at the last minute. It was a shame, really. I wanted to sit with Rumble and Button Mash during the show and see their reactions.

The talent show went on as normal. Each filly and colt who were on stage did their respective talents. Some weren’t too bad, while others made me cringe a bit. I did like those two fillies who performed a poem on roller skates.

“My little ponies,” Twilight said. I turned to see her talking to the CMC, who were in hoods. “How are you doing?”

Geeze, Twilight. It was bad enough the first time…

“Nervous,” the CMC replied.

“Don’t worry,” Twilight said. “You’re gonna be amazing. Just stick to what you know best.”

Unfortunately, they wouldn’t. Sweetie Belle did the props and costumes, Applebloom did the choreography, and Scootaloo did the singing. I feel like they should’ve done what they were good at, but it was too late now.

“Cutie Mark Crusaders, you're on next,” Cheerilee said.

“Break a leg!” I called out to the girls.

“Break a...Good luck,” Twilight said.

“Twilight! It’s bad luck to say ‘good luck’ on stage!”

I don’t think it would matter, though. I took a deep breath and prepared myself for one of the cringiest yet funniest songs of Season 1.

The “song” played out like in the show. Scootaloo sung off-key, Sweetie Belle messed up the props, and Applebloom’s “kung fu dancing” looked like she had two left feet. After their feeble performance, the audience did nothing but laugh. The look of depression on the girls' faces indicated they took it as an insult, but I knew it wasn’t.

After Cheerilee called all the fillies back on stage, I handed out the rewards. Snips and Snails had the best magic act, the two skating fillies won best dramatic performance, and the CMC won best comedy act. At least the audience assumed it was what the girls intended.

Even though the CMC didn't get their cutie marks yet, they learned they shouldn't force themselves to do things they aren't good at. The girls decided to work on what they assumed they were good at: comedy.

"One day," Twilight said.

After sending the friendship letter, I went to see Rumble and Button Mash. I asked them how they liked the talent show. They both thought it was alright, but it was the CMC's act that really got the duo’s attention.

"It was the only time Button Mash looked up from his Game Colt for more than two minutes," Rumble joked.

Button wasn't amused.

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