• Member Since 2nd Jul, 2013
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River Road


Writing Comedy, Adventure and Slice Of Life. Desperately trying to keep up with all the crazy stories my brain comes up with.

T

This story is a sequel to Mr. and Mrs. S.M.I.L.E.


For centuries anything magic, alien and supernatural has been handled and covered up by the Supernatural and Magical Intelligence League of Earth and their agents. And sometimes this includes putting the latest magical menace to community service under the local branch of S.M.I.L.E.
Princess Twilight gets a visit from the people she least wants to see, offering to help her get rid of the people she most wants to see leave.

Written for FanOfMostEverything's Most Delightful Ponidox contest, sequel to a previous entry to a previous contest by him.

Preread by Saphroneth, who I don't believe has made a Loop out of this yet but statistically he probably has.

Chapters (3)
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Comments ( 54 )

One day of story outlining.
Six weeks of procrastination.
Twelve hours of writing crunch.
49 seconds submitted before the contest deadline.

#thisishowiwriteeverystory
#onthewikipediapagefor"horsemeat"at11pmwhilewritingmlpfiction

Reveal, Analysis, and then Future!

I didn't expect this result. :rainbowlaugh:

I wonder what the humans thought about this.

Okay first, that was a lot of fun. The Agents of SMILE are such a bunch of characters. My only disappointment is not having much time for them to bounce off each other in a group.

Second, Doctor Chia reminds me of SRMD in A Miracle of Science. Mad Science is a memetic infection with a particular script, and if you manage to use it to talk them down properly they’re usually quite relieved to be stopped before they start babbling on about their next big idea.

10488532
Honestly, I don't think the average human will notice anything off... or at least not more than with half of the other, 'regular' members of S.M.I.L.E.
They're basically Team Rocket all kinda weird.

10488661
I did my best to have the three human counterparts play off each other a bit in the first chapter, but I think having all six of them in a single scene would've gotten a bit confusing before long. That, and the contest was about alternate counterparts meeting so I focused on that part.
Doctor Chia is pretty much just a dork. Well, that and a stupid anime reference/pun. :derpytongue2:

10488688
Yesssss

10488714
An excellent dork!

I think Agent Chrysalis was my favorite for her attitude, but I LOVED Agent Tirek’s interrogation of his counterpart.

And Agent Glow... I think her plan of abducting an alien spaceship with a magic wormhole is great! I wonder if there were diplomatic ramifications, or will be...

Hmm, the genie engine, what a fun and terrifying idea. Even if you can’t reach outside of the device itself, I’m thinking you could make one with a (small) omnipotence chamber for your ten seconds of being Discord. Like ten feet or so. Which is still alarmingly useful actually.

Aww, that's it? I need more! This is too good to end this quickly!

I don't even have to read this to know that it's awesome.

I still will though.

I really enjoyed the original “Smile” fic, and as such I was overjoyed to see a sequel to it. The EqG version of the trio are a delight to read. I particularly enjoy the way they absolutely destroy the Mean Three by pointing out how half-baked their plans were.
I would have like to have seen the Smile agents interact more with the ponies, but what we did get was golden. Agent Chrysalis is still hilarious; I liked that we see her interact with her counterpart, while showing how different they actually are.
Hope to see more!

Aw man, this was delightful! I loved the banter between the Equestrian and Human versions throughout the fic. 10/10 would read again and hope for more content!

Also, this might be me reading into things a little too much, but since Tirek mentioned he dabbled in carpentry, did he make Cozy's desk, which is why she wanted to protect it so badly? It'd be adorable if that were the case! :rainbowkiss:

Nice. :D
Thanks for writing!

10489547
That was exactly the intention there and I'm really happy someone picked up on it. Not just the desk though but also that bench in the gym. I'm glad that it did come across as adorable as intended and not just contrived. :twilightsmile:

10489147
I do still have plans for some prequel episodes someday. At latest when FOME does his next contest, I suppose. :twilightsheepish:

10489149
You know it's awesome but only if you read it will you know how awesome exactly. :raritywink:

10489452
I'm really glad the sequel lived up to the original. That was honestly my biggest concern.

10489576
Thanks for reading. And commenting. :pinkiesmile:

10489588
:)

10489583
Oh, nice! Thanks. :)

Well, I liked it. As much as I liked the prequel. But I cannot help but feel there is A LOT of missing content berween ch 2 and ch 3.

10489620
Being fair, it's a big ask of River to write the interim content in the 49 seconds he had to spare. :P

“...if you think that your awkward staring will make me stop strangling this child, you’re wrong.”

abc.net.au/news/image/10966894-3x2-940x627.jpg

That’s part of what I do. Take a magic artifact or five and figure out how to use it more effectively, how to combine it and make it better or get more results. Not like Sparkle who has to build everything from scratch and hope it doesn’t blow up on her again.

:twilightsmile: "So sorry. Some of us like to be original and understand how the artifacts actually work, rather than act like a cavegirl who figured out how to feed metal seeds to the boom-boom stick."
Seriously, I'd love to see human Cozy and Twilight compare notes. Seems like the passive aggression would be through the roof.

And that is clearly the Vacuum of Zpeis.

What a courteous and thoughtful mad scientist! A good sport and a great manager. The world would be in far greater peril if there were more folks like Dr. Chia around.

Brilliant expansion of the prequel, especially what you did with human Cozy. Always nice to see a positive outcome for these three. (I hesitate to use the term "good.") Thank you for this, congratulations on beating the deadline by the skin of your teeth, and best of luck in the judging.

10489699
Chrysalis is the type of person who deliberately says "Why you little..." and Cozy respects her more for it. Because they're all unapologetically crazy.

I spy with my little eye a Warehouse Thirteen reference as well as one to the Ducktales/Rescue Rangers crossover.

10489713
The rivalry between Cozy and Twilight is definitely something to be explored more when/if I write more in this series. Honestly, everyone kind of agrees that they're good for each other but especially for Sci-Twi.

And kudos to you, although to be Twi-exact, it's the Cold Vacuum of Zpeis. :moustache:

10489620 10489643
Well, part of it was the deadline but mostly it's the fact that there really is A LOT of content between those two chapters; at least several months but more likely a few years.

10489723
From the inevitable spin-off:
Dr. Chia: "A S.M.I.L.E. agent?"
Agent Bonds: *puts on fedora*
Dr. Chia: *gasp* "Bonds the S.M.I.L.E. agent! My apologies Agent Bonds, I'm not terribly good with faces. Is the hat new? Very snazzy."

10489751
You do indeed, excellently spotted. Also technically a Discworld reference because everybody knows eight is the most magical number.

“Wait, where’s Cozy Glow?”
“Tried to sneak out while you were distracted.” The human Cozy Glow spoke up from the doorway.

Bwahaha. Spot on. I utterly loved Mr and Mrs S.M.I.L.E., and this is looking like an entirely worthy sequel so far.

I'm... a little surprised... at Cozy Glow being an agent, while presumably the age of EqG Apple Bloom and friends... But on second thoughts it actually makes a scary amount of sense. That level of devious ingenuity in a precocious child, if not actually directed towards utter villainy, could well lead to a very effective agent. If often infuriating to be around.

10489834
Glad you liked the story. And yes, taking her into the agency was the best they could do because she would have gotten into magic shenanigans either way. But they don't send her out on missions and if she does get involved in something it's all in Canterlot where the magical problems tend to be on a high school level.
...A fireball-slinging, reality-destroying high school. I'm starting to think there might have been a reason she agreed to this placement so readily. :trixieshiftleft:

“...if you think that your awkward staring will make me stop strangling this child, you’re wrong.”

Add that one to the list of best lines ever.

Fun fact: the original G1 version is officially spelled "Tirac". And CTRL+F exists. You're welcome.

“We all want to be at Disneyland Paris, but alas they don’t appreciate people crawling through the vents and leaving Dreamworks stickers on all the ceilings.”

The great part is how self-explanatory this is. Even the "but why tho" is answered by the character being crazy.

‘Hey Dagi, let’s bang!’

This is also a great reminder that these people have lives outside what we see in the story, but people will want to see that fic anyway. Some of those people will pay actual money to see it M-rated.

10489903
That was one of the first lines I wrote when I was still outlining this story and it's still one of my favorite lines. :pinkiehappy:

10489960
"Tirac"... Heh, gonna think about that one. Thanks for the tip.
Chrysalis is 20% serious, 50% crazy and 30% deliberately trying to bolster her reputation as a crazy.
The Dagi line is a callback to the prequel, and will probably come up again in further installments in this series. I'm not saying that they ever actually did it, I'm just saying it's not for lack of trying on Chrysalis' part. :moustache:

Let me guess, the reason Cozy is SO protective of the table is it was made by and given to her by Tirek?

“Oh really? Well, you’re not a creepy vampire bug horse anymore and I got your new favorite four words for you. ‘Hey Dagi, let’s bang!’

Um...excuse me?

10490021
Yep. I'm glad it wasn't too subtle for people to pick up on that.:twilightsmile:

10490083
Callback!

This was pretty amusing! ANd why does Human Cozy Glow kinda remind me of Washu from Tenchi Muyo

10490125
Never seen that one, but I can't deny every character in this story is full of tropes. :derpytongue2:
Glad you liked the story.

10490106
It's been a while since I read the prequel.

10490139
your welcome! And as to Washu shes a literal Goddess (pending on which tenchi universe it is) and is thousands of years old, and her lab is in a sub space pocket (acceable from a closet door), and she can pretty much science anything XD

Heh. Well, this chapter was pretty brutal to the canon villains' plans... Which is entirely in character both for the agents and for this fic and its prequel. Their plans had holes so large you could drive the Friendship Express through them.

It does make sense that the agents, the ones calling the shots, are the ones who get to keep their names, and the prisoners are the ones who have to change theirs. But at the same time it's really weird to have two copies of each character, one exactly the one we know from the show canon and one rather dramatically different, and have the one with the name we know not be the canon character who we know.

Chrysalis is indeed just pretty crazy. Cozy Glow the human agent is utterly fascinating though. The gadgeteer artifact analyst is a very interesting angle to take her, especially with the salient differences between her and Twilight Sparkle. And her utterly intriguing take on amorality. I think she might be actually literally a psychopath, by the clinical definition, and yet still just about count as a goodie. I truly loved this line: "Just because I don’t care if I’m good or evil, doesn’t mean I can’t choose to be good. If it’s all the same to me, why not?”

I couldn’t believe it when I first saw this, a sequel to my favorite EQ story!!! 👀
They’re agents now, omg! :raritystarry: They continued their friendship to the human world and loving it, ohmygosh yeeesss.
I love the characterizations of every one. Everyone is so spot on, I love them. I don’t know how else to express it, I just really like it. 🖤

Hahaha! Well, that was not the Chapter 3 I was expecting, but it was hilarious in its own way. I also would have liked to see more of the characters interacting, but I do understand the time crunch factor, and this was still a heck of a lot of fun. Thank you!

10490257
Thank you for that review, and I'm glad you're enjoying the story despite the mild confusion with the names. Luckily, it is entirely in-character for the human trio that none of them would care about your personal reading comfort so yay for consistency. :trollestia:

I did consider calling human Cozy a psycho- or sociapath, but I wasn't sure how exactly the condition is medically defined and didn't know any site off the top of my head that I would feel safe enough using as accurate definition for my story (not that the medically accurate definition would necessary be what the average reader assumes from it). So I went with the safer term of megalomaniac, which still fit quite nicely.
But yeah, human Cozy does have a certain level or professional respect for the actual villains her agency goes up against, but she also thinks it's their own fault for basically asking for it when their plans get foiled by the local (anti)heroes.

10490269
Thanks for the enthusiastic comment, I'm happy you liked this sequel as much as the original story. :raritystarry:

10490277
We might someday see more of the two groups interacting, but honestly it wasn't just the time-crunch involved here. The time-skip was more or less planned in that way from back when the contest was first announced; if I'd gone past that first day and initial, establishing interaction chapter, I would've had to either rush through the rest of it in a montage or pick one or two other specific days/events/interactions before skipping the rest and go into the final chapter anyway.

No offense, but… no, actually, I think a little bit of offense is warranted, you three are the counterparts of some of the biggest enemies of the state!

This is very Twilight! Completely ignoring that the most destructive magical criminal in Equestria Girls history is... why yes, it's Twilght's own EG counterpart :twilightoops:

I laughed a lot at you know which bit :pinkiehappy: Thanks for including it!

Hey, thanks for writing this. I was one of the judges on the original contest, and that story was my top pick of all the entries. I feel that, on the basis of that, I kind of owe you an honest review, but have been deliberating for the last half hour over whether or not to say anything.

You left that comment about procrastinating for six weeks and getting this done at the last minute, though, so I'm hoping this will be useful for you rather than negative and sad.

So, uh, I think this one needed more time. Time in planning, time in execution, and time in evaluation. I think the most obvious aspect of that, for me, was that this felt rather disjointed, and the ending rather rushed. Like the key character moments, of them actually evaluating their lives and deciding to try a new path, happened unseen, and so we were left more with the before and after without the crucial process in between. Just in terms of characters used, the first chapter is much more about Sunset and Twilight than the others, yet those two then don't turn up for the rest of the story. And the last chapter spends more time on the OC villain and hero than it does the Equestrian trio, or indeed the EG trio. Which, yeah, left it feeling disjointed for me.

I think, though, there's something of a flaw in the premise, and I think a bit more time at the planning stage might have helped iron that out. The main joy of the predecessor story was watching Tirek and Chrysalis reinvented for this new context, and how familiar bits of themselves shone through. And the secondary appeal was just how brilliantly the two characters worked together and played off each other. I don't think there were any scenes they weren't both present for?

And the issue for me with this story is that both of those selling points are kind of shot down by the premise itself? For starters, we've already seen Tirek and Chrysalis in the first one, so their twist on the canon characters isn't anything new anymore. Indeed, by far the most interesting character here was the human Cozy Glow. Furthermore, rather than the EG characters showing us little hints of how they're different versions of their canon counterparts, here they're directly contrasted with them, which makes them feel more distant. Less like reinventions of the Chrysalis or Tirek we know, and more like OCs unrelated to those canon characters, because said canon characters are right in front of us doing all they can to show how different they are from the SMILE team.

I mentioned that the other thing I really liked in the first story was Chrysalis and Tirek together, and, again, I think the premise here rather shoots you in the foot in that respect? I think the only scene they were both in was the opening one, along with Cozy, Sunset and Twilight, so they really didn't have many moments together. I think perhaps with more time to plan, you could have found ways around that. I wonder if perhaps it might have worked better had Tirek been the one to talk with Chrystine, and Chrysalis with Tyrek? Insight from people who are straining to see a glimpse of the person they're friends with under all the bluster and villainy, interplay between two sets of the main characters, and perhaps more of a focus on the show's theme of friendship (if a little less of what the contest aimed at, but then maybe the contest is wrong :twilightsheepish:).

In writing, too, I think more time might have left you able to tighten it here and there? While I did laugh a lot at the Adagio line, I'm afraid that was about the only part I really laughed, when I remember the previous story being full of little witticisms. Which are here, definitely, but they feel a little subdued in comparison? So I wonder if some more time for finetuning might have served it a bit better?

I say all this in the hope that it might help you fight off some procrastination next time. We all do it, and you've written about 8,000 more words in the twelve hours leading up to this than I have in the twelve weeks before, all because of procrastination. So I hope next time this might poke you into starting it with two days to spare rather than one, because I think that's all it would have needed.

I should also say that most of my criticisms here come from comparing this story to its predecessor, which is probably unfair. I'm afraid the previous one is why I read this one, and I can't get the comparison out of my head.

I will end with some positives, because there were some bits I really liked. Sunset's embarrassment in the first chapter was great, as was Chryssi's line right before the title appeared. The carpentry, and how the other two valued Tirek's creations, was a lovely touch. I will admit I only got the significance of the wooden furniture items from the story comments. And I googled some things trying to work out that pun and got nowhere, looking forwards to hearing what it is, though, when someone gets it, because it sounds great and I like that you've put that much into setting it up (just saw you posted the answer in another comment - niiice). Cozy Glow is a tough one to translate to being human, but I liked your take on her, and her approach to being good or evil was pragmatic and refreshing. You can buy horsemeat at markets in France, if it helps, but I don't know of any traditional French dishes that use it. I really did like the shipping line, that was definitely the highlight for me. And I agree with your assessment, that's something Chrysalis would say when sincerely trying, and I'm not convinced it'd have the desired effect.

I hope this isn't too dispiriting to hear. I haven't read any of the other contest entries, but I'd guess this is still one of the best ones.

10490972
You can't compare that, it's completely different! She was wearing glasses! :twilightoops:

10491100
Thank you for the comment. I'm... honestly probably not really great at implementing constructive criticism, because I have a somewhat uncommon writing style and tend to be stubborn about it, but I do appreciate it nonetheless. The bit about procrastinating less is definitely fair, but the whole disjointed style was how it was already planned six weeks ago so I'm not sure how much it would have changed in the end. :applejackunsure:

I think there's three main reasons for most of the problems you brought up. The first one is, like you said, the whole contest premise of alternate versions of a character meeting; so focusing more on the interaction of the Agents like in the original story would've meant moving further away from the goal of the contest.
The second one is entirely on me, namely the fact that I haven't written more in this series yet. If I'd already had a few more stories or chapters with those two/three agents as the main focus, seeing one story without the main focus on them probably would've felt a lot less jarring. It's still high on my list of things to write next, but considering I haven't published anything for about a year before this I probably shouldn't make any promises as to when I'll put out more of these.
The third reason is that there was a lot more dialogue and exposition in this story than in the previous one. The original story had the huge advantage of playing on the sidelines of the canon movies and specials, meaning that there was a whole lot of action and content without me actually having to write most of it out; so I could had a lot more room for jokes and character development that had to go into setup instead in this story.
Of course there's also the possible fourth reason that my writing style involves a lot of leaving details between the lines and implied, so that always plays into it as well. It's what I think I write best though, so I can't say if going more into detail actually would've turned out for the better. I'm really bad at writing flavor text a lot of the time.

Still thank you very much for the review. It's absolutely appreciated and I'm happy that you still liked the story despite some of its flaws. I absolutely understand and it's fair to say that it doesn't live up to its predecessor because, quite frankly, I'm not sure any of my other stories do. That one was probably my magnum opus and this is just one of several medium opuses. :derpytongue2:

(P.S.: I'm German and horse meat was always something I associated with East Europe, so I just picked Bulgaria at random. It's probably part of French cuisine, too, but then again they eat way weirder animals than horses so I don't think the association would've been quite as obvious there. :scootangel:)

“This seems like either a really good or a really bad idea and I can’t tell which one it is. What do you think?”

"Yes."

“You realize that dehydration doesn’t work like that, right?”

My internal reference-o-meter says "dig here".

I knew by the time I made it through the intro that this would be a fun read, and it didn't disappoint. Well, almost didn't disappoint. The last chapter, while amusing in its own way, almost seems better suited to be part of another story, rather than the end to this one. I think you could have gotten away with working on reforming (well, to the extent that they would ever be reformed) the three villains and leaving it there to slightly better effect.

I haven't read the prior story to this, though it was happily entirely accessible and no less amusing, I think. I'll have to toss the other story onto my RIL stack.

And a couple of specific gripes from earlier in the story:

She ripped a newly printed birth certificate from the printer and held it out to the other girl. It showed the picture they’d taken earlier of the former filly

Perhaps I am crazy, but we don't have images attached to our birth certificates, at least in the US. I certainly wouldn't expect those images, if they did exist, to be up-to-date. Perhaps you had in mind some other form of identification?

not particularly good but those are literally a dime a dozen in this country.

This makes me sad.

10493703
I'm not from the US and don't travel much in general so I was just going for a random official-ish prop without thinking about it much. I'll admit though that a birth certificate probably wouldn't have the picture of an eight year old on it. I still have no idea what would fit better instead though.

Also, your sadness is warranted. I am very ashamed of myself. :twilightoops:

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