• 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 20 (Lesson Zero)

Twilight and I were going through our usual duties. The girls and I were going to have a picnic today. This was supposed to be when the events of “Lesson Zero” took place, but since Celestia was flexible on Twilight’s due date, I was sure the majority of Twilight’s meltdown wouldn’t happen.

Like in the show, Twilight and I were going through the checklist. I tried to make sure I didn’t get a writer’s cramp from all the checking. We went to Sugarcube Corner to pick up the cupcakes. One look at the box, and Twilight already knew something was wrong.

“Uh, I only ordered twelve,” Twilight said to Mrs. Cake.

“Oh, I know, dear,” Mrs. Cake said. “But I had an extra. So I thought I'd make it a baker's dozen.”

“That’s very nice of you,” I said. “Thanks.”

Twilight looked at the cupcakes again. “I agree, but it's just that some of the icing from the extra cupcake is getting all over the one next to it.”

“For crying out loud, Twilight. Does it matter?”

“These are for the picnic later, Spike, and I don't want anypony to feel like somepony else is getting more icing.”

“Nopony will care who gets more icing. The only pony who might complain would be Pinkie Pie, but she eats so much icing, she practically brushes her teeth with it.”

Twilight sighed. “Okay, but if you get mad because the girls argue over this, remember that you've brought this on yourself.”

“It won’t come to that.”

We returned to the library after doing everything else on the list. My hand started to hurt from all the checking.

"I'm just glad we don't have to send a friendship letter this week," I said as I went to grab some ice. "All this writing is giving me a cramp."

Twilight widened her eyes. "We haven't sent a letter to Princess Celestia this week?!"

"Well, no. We don't need to. Remember? The princess said you can send one anytime you learn a friendship lesson. There's no official due date."

"Yes, but we've gotten into the habit of sending one to her every week since we came to Ponyville."

I sighed. "Twilight, do you read books, or do you just skim through them?"

"What kind of random and ridiculous question is that? Of course I read books thoroughly!"

"Then tell me, what was the name of the book Dusty Pages gave you when she retired?"

"'Perfection: The Impossible…' Oh, I see what you're getting at."

"Twilight, the princess won't mind if you don't send a letter today. You've got nothing to worry about. Now let's prepare for this picnic."

The afternoon arrived so fast. Twilight and I were on our way to the fields where our friends were. Twilight thankfully hasn't gotten insane like in the show.

"Hey, Twilight," I said. "Can I tell you something?"

"Go ahead, Spike," Twilight said.

"Remember when I found those Elements in the guide and sent a letter to Princess Celestia?" I twiddled my thumbs. "Well...right after I sent the letter, Discord showed up."

Twilight stopped dead in her tracks. She almost dropped the cupcakes.

"Please tell me this is a bad joke." Twilight glared at me.

"No, it's not. Discord showed up, but he didn't come for the Elements. Instead he told me that no matter what I did, I couldn't change the future. I didn't believe him, obviously, but looking back at what I’ve done in the past, I’m starting to think that he’s telling the truth.” My eyeballs were glued to the ground. “I felt like things would’ve turned out the same way if I didn’t have any involvement.”

Twilight wrapped one of her arms around me. “Spike, Discord was trying to manipulate you. He wants you to think that way. You’ve been very helpful not just to me, but to everypony else. You’ve helped Applejack buck all of those apples, you’ve helped us show gratitude for others, you’ve helped us to not judge the cover of a book, and you’ve even helped us enjoy the Grand Galloping Gala. And that’s just scratching the surface. Without you, who knows what would’ve happened.”

“Probably the same thing?”

“But you don’t know that, Spike. Applejack for example might’ve been so exhausted from her applebucking, that she would have made a mess out of Ponyville. Or that parasprite might make a swarm out of itself and eat Ponyville right off the map. You did a great job so far, and you shouldn’t let some crazy villain tell you that you’ve done everything for naught. You are my #1 assistant.”

I sighed. “Thank you, Twilight. You’re right. Discord was trying to get to my head. But to be honest, I didn’t understand why he didn’t bother trying to take the Elements from me. Or replace them with fakes.”

“Yeah, I’m more concerned about that as well. After we gave the elements back to Princess Celestia, she checked and confirmed they were real. If Discord can access that room and move the Elements wherever he likes, why doesn’t he move them again after you found them?”

“Maybe he wanted to be turned to stone again. Maybe he’s a death seeker?”

“SPIKE! Watch your mouth!”


“Do not say the D-word. It’s a very sensitive subject.”

“S-sorry, Twilight. I didn’t know that.”

“Spike, saying words like the S-word or the D-word makes others believe that you’re rude or impolite, or as Rarity puts it, ‘uncouth.’”

“I-I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. Say, I remember I heard somepony say not to use ‘the F-word.’ Is there such a thing?”

Twilight quickly looked away. “Uh...Hey look! It’s the girls!”

Twilight and I waved to the others. The picnic went on pretty smoothly. There were no fights about the cupcakes, thankfully. We all chatted with each other about our day. Earlier, Fluttershy massaged Harry the Bear, one of her animal friends. Rarity almost lost an important ribbon for her dress. Applejack and Rainbow Dash demolished an old barn to make room for a new one.

“You all should’ve seen the finishing blow,” Rainbow Dash said. “I completely vaporized the entire barn.”

“Oh, so that would explain the sudden rumble earlier today,” Pinkie said. “I knew it wasn’t my Pinkie Sense going crazy.”

“That kind of reminds me,” I said as I wiped some of the pink frosting off my lips. “Do you guys ever believe in psychic powers, besides Pinkie Sense?”

“You mean, like predicting the future?” Twilight asked. I nodded. “Well, I’ve heard that there are some spells that can do so, but their reliability is questionable.”

“Oh. I don’t know about learning about the future,” Fluttershy said. “I’m still worried about the present.”

Applejack shrugged. “Meh, I don’t care too much for it. Some ponies use it to check their crops, but I rarely do. It just takes hard work, and the right conditions to get them perfect crops.”

“What’s to know about the future?” Rainbow Dash asked. “Ten, twenty, fifty years, I don’t care. I’m still gonna be awesome!” I rolled my eyes.

“I supposed learning about the future would be worth dabbling in, but I wouldn’t make a habit out of it,” Rarity said.

“I’ve got my Pinkie Sense,” Pinkie said as she munched on her fourth cupcake. “I don’t need anything else.”

“What about you, Spike? Do you believe in psychic powers?” Twilight asked as she grabbed another sandwich.

That’s when I had an idea. “Oh, I think it’s possible. In fact, I think it’s very easy to do once you know how. I bet I can predict all of your futures right now just by looking at your hooves.”

“You? Predicting our futures?” Rainbow Dash tried not to chuckle. “Now that I gotta see.”

“Hold out your hooves, then.” I placed my hands under Rainbow’s hooves and closed my eyes. “Let’s see...I can see you. You’re an awesome pony.”

“Hah! See? You don’t need to be a psychic to know that.”

“Wait, hold on. I’m seeing another pony. She’s...you?”

“What? Another me? Impossible!”

“It looks like...she’s a different fur color than you. Her mane’s all grey, too. Maybe an older Rainbow Dash? No..she looks rather young. Almost the same age as you.”

“Oh, I get it. I’m gonna meet my biggest fan, and she wants to look just like me.” Rainbow removed her hooves. “Sorry, future fan, but you should be yourself. I’m already taken.”

“Oh! Oh! Me next! Me next!” Pinkie called out.

“Alright.” I held Pinkie hooves. “Well, I can already tell that your hooves will be cleaned very soon.”

“Ooh, what a prediction!”

“Not exactly, darling,” Rarity said as she handed Pinkie a napkin. “He’s telling you to clean your frosted-covered hooves.”

Pinkie giggled nervously as she wiped her hooves and gave them back to me.

I closed my eyes again. “Okay, I see two cakes. They’re very small...and very cute.”

“Pinkie’s prediction is about eating cake?” Applejack asked. “I’d say it’s a random prediction, but this is Pinkie we’re talkin’ about.”

“Why do they have to be small?” Pinkie asked. “Can’t they be bigger?”

“There’s something else...I see...an accordion-playing sandwich. And a...small block of cheese?” I quickly pulled my arms back. “I think your randomness is rubbing off on me, Pinkie.”

“I’ll say,” Rarity said. “If you held on any longer, you might've seen Pinkie’s alligator become a philosopher.” She then got up from her fainting couch. “I supposed I can play along with this prediction game.”

I held Rarity’s hooves and closed my eyes. “Wow, your hooves are soft. Anyway. Let’s see...I see the Carousel Boutique. No, wait...I see two...three...six...it’s multiplying!”

“Oh, my. What about my significant other? Am I going to meet someone who’s handsome?”

“Hold on...Ah, I see someone...I can’t see their face, but they look familiar...wow, they’ve been really working out...”

“Ooh. I can’t wait to meet them.”

Applejack sighed. “If ya don’t mind, sugarcube, could I get a turn?”

“Go ahead,” I said. Applejack placed her hooves on my hands. “Hmm...I see your entire family...your brother, your sister, your granny, your parents...”

“Wait, my parents? But...ma and pa are...not at the farm anymore. How can that be?”

“Hmm...wait...I see your parents are whispering something to you...you’re acting shocked. Did they reveal a big secret to you?”

“The entire family was as open as a barn door. Keepin’ secrets from each other was like keepin’ a pond from gettin’ wet. Well...it was mostly like that.”

“Let’s move on. Fluttershy, it’s your turn,” I said.

“Oh...I don’t know,” Fluttershy whimpered. “Let Twilight go first.”

“It’s not a real hoof-reading,” Twilight assured her. “But if you wish, I’ll go before you.”

I did the same thing I did for the previous four ponies. “Okay...I see you in Canterlot. You’re wearing a dress. Wait a minute, there’s something on the dress. It’s...wings? You must’ve turned into a pegasus.”

“You see, Fluttershy? What are the odds that I’ll grow a pair of wings?”

You have no idea.

“O-okay...I guess it’s my turn?” Fluttershy asked as her trembling hooves sluggishly approached my hands.

“Don’t be nervous,” I said. “Now then. I see you with a bunch of animals. Looks like there’s a lot of them. Looks like one of them is friends with you. Close friends.”

“Who? Angel?”

“No, this one’s much taller. I...can’t tell what animal it’s supposed to be, but it seems to really like you. It appreciates everything you do for the other animals. It seems to like your cute and shy personality.”

Fluttershy couldn’t help but giggle.

“See how easy it is to be a psychic?” I asked the girls.

“Oh, Spike, I'm sure there’s much more to predicting the future than holding hooves and coming up with crazy theories,” said Twilight.

Time passed so quickly. The sun was already beginning to set. Twilight had a worried look on her face.

“What’s wrong, Sugarcube?” Applejack asked.

“It’s been a while since I sent a friendship letter to the Princess,” Twilight said.

“Twilight, darling, it’s nothing to worry about,” Rarity said. “Perhaps it could be a sign that you’ve learned every friendship lesson there is.”

“But it feels like I still have much more to learn. Some of you have taught me a thing or two about friendship. You’re practically my teachers.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that, sugarcube,” Applejack said as she adjusted her hat. “Even we learn new things about friendship. Like acceptin’ help from others, for example. If only we could write letters to the Princess just like you.”

“Hold on,” I said. “I think that could be arranged.”

I grabbed a quill and parchment and wrote a letter to Celestia. It was about asking her if it was okay to have Twilight’s friends send letters to her as well. I sent the scroll with my fire breath.

“Are you sure this will work?” Twilight asked. “The girls aren’t the Princess’s students. I don’t think she’ll accept their letters as much as mine.”

Suddenly, the sky grew brighter. What appeared was none other than Princess Celestia herself. We all bowed to her.

"Princess Celestia," Twilight said. "I guess you already got Spike's letter?"

"Yes, I have," Celestia replied. "I was a bit surprised that you haven't sent a friendship letter yet. It's not that there was a specific due date, it was that you are so organized that you would send a letter almost every week. But when I got Spike's letter, I realized that Twilight may not be the only one who should send friendship letters." Celestia cleared her throat. "From this day forth, I would like you all to report to me your findings on the magic of friendship. And just like Twilight, you can write them whenever you learn something."

The girls and I applauded at that. It was a good thing that Twilight didn't go crazy and try to hypnotize the entire town to fight over one doll. But, to be honest, Smarty Pants did have a good-looking mane.

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