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"Only the most subtle of references." -No fanfiction writer ever


In one timeline, Discord decided that the best way to get a group of villains to learn friendship was to pretend to be a spooky old goat and strongarm them into trying to conquer Equestria together.

This would turn out to be a terrible plan.

In another timeline, Discord took five seconds to actually think and run this plan by someone else before jumping in head first. Maybe the cashier at Whinndy’s wasn't the best pony to ask for advice, but he loved the plan she suggested even more.

It too, was a terrible plan.

Cover art provided by Mutter_Butter

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 45 )

He knew for a fact his crotchety old greybeard of a manager had no friends.

That got a good chuckle out of me.

Also, wow, I can only imagine how this vicious cycle of theft ends. Overall, really enjoyable and interesting look into their punishment.

More demands flew at his face as he stoically weathered the storm. In time, the lesser being finally ceased its prattling and met his gaze; expectant and trollish in its idiocy.

Can we get this as a real series, por favor?
It's like Devil is a Part Timer, but with Sombra, Chrysalis, Cozy and Tirek as Workmates.

Somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if even after getting used to the crazy chaos and workplace slander, Sombra probably wouldn't even try being evil again, if it means he can stay in one piece this time, and just live a normal life as a shadowy stallion working at The McHay Burger joint.

Cozy, what are you doing? The others I get, but what are you accomplishing with that Crystal from Tartarus?

If she grows a horn in this timeline, I’m getting the taser.

Soooo… They’re all in a constant loop of draining each other, as well as all the ponies around them, possibly losing energy when they drain energy, leaving them all roughly at the same level of power as when they started working there, with barely noticeable gains produced from their efforts.

A taser, working on a false alicorn?
Oh who am I kidding, if a snow storm can incapacitate and overwhelm two NATURAL Alicorns, then a taser would technically be overkill.

Use a Baton instead, and aim for the base of the wings.


Taser... :rainbowlaugh:

Just get the shotgun out of its case.

Well, it could be worse. Pretty sure Celestia would make sure Equestria's minimum wage was a living wage, at least.

What’s hilarious is that some of the villains actually aren’t bad at this. Chrysalis in particular seems to almost be thriving here. She almost seems like a female Gordon Ramsey.

the devil, is indeed, a part timer...

The horror! A number three with mayo! They are indeed the crew of the damned.

Less Master Chef, and more master of mindless peons. Chrysalis pretty much desires obedient fools to do her bidding and the unmotivated teens of a fast food operation are pretty much the perfect stand-in for her former subjects.

Just smart enough to be somewhat autonomous.
Just dumb enough not to question her authority.
And always just barely coordinated enough to need her constant attention and scolding.

I am now imagining Chrysalis, ten years down the line and 150 lbs heavier, contentedly scolding her latest round of employees while looking at the foolish customers who wouldn't know a good burger if it came up and hit them with a ketchup packet... Partially the mastermind of the latest promotion.

"Queen-size it! Upgrade your Princess Patty Meal to a QUEEN for just two bits! A meal fit for Royalty. Comes with a double-hayburger, extra-large fries, and a new, Queen's Goblet super-sized drink! More bang for your bits!"

Finally -- an explanation for why I lost so much joy during the months I worked at a fast food place!

This is groovy. More would be appreciated.

And then Discord is turned into stone for forcing a minor to work

What can I say except I'm lovin'it


Being the Empress of Friendship is work too, so it's acceptable.

And if she ever got tired of the same greasy flavor, there was the occasional flash of stronger emotion to stimulate the palate. A foal’s excitement over receiving a shiny hunk of worthless plastic with their order. The teenaged joy of earning their first paycheck.

A paycheck which is likely bigger than mine, in all honesty...

Eh, sorry. I'm just griping to myself. This is the sort of material I like. :twilightsmile:

That minor also attempted to kill and trap the main 6 and drain all forms of magic from Equestria, and was also allied with Tirek before their official team up with Sombra, Chrysalis and 'Grogar'.

So I'd say financial labor and dealing with entitled customers and spoiled brats is par for the course.

That Minor also did not get a fair trial, and even if she was a terrorist, she was still a minor, so she should have been send to be reformed or to somewhere to be contained, not to face customers and eat burgers
That could be, if she got the job and stayed a week or two before leaving it to someone else

Pal, you underestimate how much of a worse hell or corner of Tartarus that working at a place like McDonald's or the Hay Burger joint is.

With Reformation or being contained, there would be positive reinforcement or nothing to be said at all for her crimes against her own species and one of the students of the Princesses (at the time).

Reformation my pale and faded yellow flank and contained my ass, especially if you don't make that room she's contained in made of the same stuff the villains used to negate their magic, otherwise, how she escapes, is on them, and what happens next is all understandable.

With ponies and Discord being stupid, it could not surprise me if one day she find the door not closed or manage to make a forgery of the key

Well, yeah, but let's discuss something you said.

Fair trial? She may be a filly, but she willingly made and acted on the subconscious choice to murder the soon to be new ruler of Equestria, and her most valued allies, and even when she's stripped of her alicorn magic, and returned to her pegasus form, she still stands with the other two with no rethinking or re-evaluation of the situation or the fact that she is on the outnumbered, outpowered, and outponied, also outcreatured side of a losing battle, and yet, she still stands against the heroes.

How do you defend a crazy entitled brat who had the powers of an ancient and rare breed of equestrian life, The Alicorn, who willingly tried to end the lives of many, and helped start a damn race war that could've ended with the eternal bitter permafrozen conclusion with the windigos freezing and inevitably killing off most of pony kind, and then spreading their frozen hell to the damned eternal chaos Tirek and/or Cozy Glow could've inevitably spread to the outskirts of Equestria, just to suddenly succumb to the bitter cold they helped unleash upon this world once again!?

How do you defend a lord of chaos that played with reality as Play-Doh? How do you defend a crazy unicorn that because a friend left her decided to play with souls and time? Or maybe another that decided to steal a artifact of power to another dimension that is important to save the world? Cozy Glow could be crazy but at the same time she should have the chance to be reformed and a trial, also, if we go to specify, being a minor it should be responsibility of the tutor in this case Twilight or Starlight (As we don't know about parents but they were the headmistress and counsellor) for not keeping an eye and not notice that there was something wrong.

We could even go to Tirek because it was him who give her the ritual for stealing magic, and did she even know that doing what she was doing with the ritual was that bad? We don't have a psych evaluation of her, and even if she was not crazy, other villains had the chance to be reformed, just like I commented before, instead of being send to be reformed or to check if something was wrong, what we see is that they put a kid or teenager in a cage and send her to a prison with monsters and the same adult that convinced her to do the bad thing.

First off, just because A unicorn got a pardon from the Princess of Friendship, doesn't mean I condone her actions or think her crimes were excusable. Plus, do you really want to be the lone individual who tries to put Discord back on the rocks by standing against Celestia's orders? Plus, Sunset Shimmer's intentions were definitely not understood properly, as she thought she had to earn the right to become an Alicorn to ascend to royalhood, but Celestia was trying to instill that friendship is all she'd really need. By taking one of the elements of harmony to another universe, yes, she could've straight up endangered the entirety of Equestria's pony and non-pony inhabitants, but again, like you suggested, each of these 3 were reformed before we could've seen something much worse.

Second off, Cozy was a manipulative little filly before her chaotic nonsense. Especially since after the Main 6 learned the truth, and Twilight wanted to know why, I didn't see the princess make an attempt to get the filly to understand what she did was wrong, as she already knew that, and still went with being crazy as hell! For all we know, Tirek wasn't the main influence, just someone with the same ideals and the actual power to act on those ideals if it wasn't for the Main 6 stepping in. They put Cozy in a cage because they learned their lesson about what they do with villains or psychos like that. Think of this as Scared Straight Gone wrong: Equestria Edition. Trying to set Cozy back on the right path, but she's worse than the actual inmate, and her childish demeanor makes it far easier to get away with psychotic shit, especially if she manages to pin her crimes on someone else unsuspecting.


For all we know

And yet, that is all, for all we know, we don't know absolutely nothing of her, and if Starlight got a pardon from the Princess of Friendship, why could a pegasus not get one? We know shit about why Cozy wanted to it, how did she do it, or if she really understood what she was doing, but she is still a minor (unless she have some equestrian dwarfism), sure she did bad things but like we commented, others did bad things and they were forgiven.

Celestia seems to think about is "out of sight, out of mind" if there is a problem, let's banish it, or hide it somewhere, and then it return to bite them back after a thousand years. And with Twilight and Luna being 'Yes, Madam, if you say it, is right' then her word is holy. What if they tried to show Cozy that she was wrong just like Twilight tried with Starlight and Sunset? I don't know, but maybe she could be convinced to not play with a fake-Grogar and Chrysalis and Tirek. What if Celestia had gone after Sunset? Maybe she could have decided to not take the Element of Magic. What if Celestia decided to try to talk with Luna instead of banish her a thousand years? Or keep a b*cking pony guard around Tartarus that could tell if Tirek managed to get out.

She was manipulative? Of course she was manipulative, she was a villain, just like Starlight, just like Sunset Shimmer, just like Flim and Flam, Suri Palomare, etc. They need to be manipulative. Celestia is also manipulative, should she be send to Tartarus?. But if Starlight and Sunset could be reformed and they were also manipulative, why could they not do something instead of throwing her in a hole?

They put Cozy in a cage because they learned their lesson... What lesson is that? That there is no friendship? The show logo is supposed to be "Friendship is Magic", or maybe they were just lazy and they did not want the work of reforming a second filly

Yeah, but think about this. Everyone in the fandom exploded like a firework when they saw Starlight switch the Royal sisters' cutie marks, it was assumed that all of Equestria was practically doomed right then and there. Assuming most ponies would not have had any restorative sleeping hours, being plagued by nightmares that Celestia denied the existence of, leading to most of Equestria's population being driven mad, paranoid or downright just too exhausted to do their designated jobs, essentially, leading to a similar situation from the Hearts and Hooves Day special, where an entire kingdom collapsed.

If this was just as dire, Starlight would be rightfully punished, but said punishment would've been softened as it would've also fixed the royal problem all the same.

In cozy's case, she's a first time offender for something like this, but something of this grand a scale shouldn't be the case of 'here's a warning' No, teach the kid what she did wrong, explain it to her on why that's wrong, and if she still doesn't get the message, get drastic.

If it is a case of Cozy being a full grown mare, and using her child-like stature and innocent demeanor as a front due to her dwarfism, then she pretty much deserves a proper grown up punishment, not some frilly ineffective slap on the wrist.

They managed to deal without Luna for a thousand years, And with her trying to do something about the Tantabus, I could think they could deal for a time without Luna.

Starlight was not punished for stealing cutie marks, playing with time, or brainwashing Twilight friends for a time. And is not like there are not other horrible things, Rarity with 'Inspiration Manifestation' or Twilight with the 'Want It, Need It' or Rainbow Dash trying to stop winter. Sure, it's not that bad but they were forgiven.

And how it show the kid something is wrong sending the kid to Tartarus that is supposed to be for the worst of the worst like Tirek? Even if she have dwarfism, something we are only in theory and not sure there are still jails in Equestria, you don't throw a serial killer the same place you throw a bank robber, and they should also be looking the reason why she did it, and how she did it, because I don't think it could be common if someone manage to for example make a dirty bomb because s/he was mailing a terrorist from Al Kaeda that was already in one of the most horrible prisons. We don't even know if she was even understanding that 'taking all the magic' could be very bad

This hits so much harder at work.
I feel so bad for the author who clearly had experience in this kind of job.

Wish we can see more of these guys at Hayburger.

Fun little exercise in well-earned misery, though I think it could have used an actual appearance by the the mastermi... er, the just-about-functional-mind of this little operation - a bit of context as to how Discord's schemes got them all there. Though, admittedly, it'd be difficult to make convincing considering his astonishing idiocy, but hey, there's always his co-conspirator to help.

And when you think about it, that Whinndy's cashier is probably the greatest strategist of the whole bunch - sending these misfits to the competitor and letting their continual inter-scheme sabotages just whittle it down.


That's what I figured, though I like to imagine that Discord fixed things so that whenever they try to drain anything from anyone it redirects to one of the other four. So every customer and lower worker goes out with exactly the energy they came in with and those four are locked into a perpetual game of Tail Tag, endlessly stealing the exact same energy from each other without any of them being the wiser. It's just that little touch of sisyphean cruelty that'd be the cherry on the schadenfreude sundae.

In one timeline, Discord decided that the best way to get a group of villains to learn friendship was to pretend to be a spooky old goat and strongarm them into trying to conquer Equestria together.

Don't remember this happening. Maybe one of your other works? :trollestia:

Maybe the cashier at Whinndy’s wasn't the best pony to ask for advice, but he loved the plan she suggested even more.

This does feel like something Discord would do, chatting up a fast food worker for advice. It's also arguably the funniest part of the story. This soul sucking, extremely depressing story.* :fluttershbad:

That was not the only boon of the location, but the other was best left to its slumber in the back of the deep freezer where none ventured among its nest of cardboard and nuggets.

Wonder what the heck this is supposed to be. :derpyderp2:

"And put some special sauce on it."

I suspect special sauce is proberbly something fairly disturbing.
Possibly the result of the aforementioned thing at the back of the freezer? :unsuresweetie:

The order disappeared from the wheel with a flash of emerald magic, and was all too quickly replaced by the emaciated snarl of the Head Chef (as much as the term applied when her primary culinary techniques were defrost and deep fry).

I know where this is going! :pinkiecrazy:

It was enough to make her Queen Mother roll in her grave, the conniving old toad.

I really can't picture Chrysalis's mom, I just can't. :facehoof:

"I'm on it, Miss Chef!" A small puce-colored ball of energy and saccharine sweetness appeared out of nowhere to pick up the tray. Overloaded as it was, the puny pegasus's wings buzzed like an insect to keep her aloft as she weaved over the crowd.

Daww! It just isn't a party without Cozy Glow! :pinkiehappy:

A tiny grin quirked at the edge of Sombra's mouth. His horn flickered—barely for a moment, barely time for a corona to even form—and then the little annoyance was head over hooves, tumbling through the air in a living firework of soda and hay fries.

You perfectly capture the experience of a hapless dork being bulled by her peers. And people wonder why I think Cozy Glow needed no origin story. :ajsmug:

“Someone get me a redo of number thirty-two, Butterfeathers dropped another one.”

The idiot child had probably tripped. Again. Which meant a mess. A comped meal. Taking someone out of the kitchen to clean it up. Another twist in the tally sheets at the day's end.

If she really is that detrimental to the store's bottom line, why hasn't she been fired yet? :trixieshiftleft:

Combined with the story of an adopted pony granddaughter, and no one questioned anything he did. It was a miracle to be able to move so freely through the world of ponies with only a smiling child and an enchanted chair as a disguise.

So Equestria doesn't have child labor laws, and Tirek insists on Cozy Glow working out in public, despite her many fowl ups? Why? Isn't that both bad publicity, and likely to draw the attentions of certain interested parties?

I mean Equestria has always been pretty lax when it comes to crime, but are you telling me that Tirek isn't worried about the possibility of Twilight and friends stopping by, on a trip to see Rarity's newest Manehatten Fashion Line, or manage one of her most frequently checked on boutiques? :trixieshiftright:

Even if he were to go on a rampage this very minute, drain the kitchen, the building, the whole city of magic… it’d pale in comparison to the force the Equestrian Bureau of Taxes and Revenue would send after him when the bills came due.

Yeah I don't buy it. I'm pretty sure by the time Tirek drained Manehatten, Equetria would have bigger problems then worrying about Taxes.

It took Chrysalis feasting on one stout pony to bring down their ruler. Even if Manehatten is the most magically weak city in all of Equestria, in terms of sheer numbers alone, Tirek should have more than enough magic to fight off any foe we've seen in cannon, sans Discord himself.

Then again it would actually make a lot of sense if Celestia sprang Discord to collect taxes. He's a remorseless sadist, with no lasting respect or empathy for anyone but himself, and if you refuse to pay your utilities, he can functionally erase them from existence. He's perfect for someone like her.

Something that that insufferable district coordinator loved to ream him out over during his monthly inspections. That balding worm of a pony was more puffed up on his own ego and minor degree of power than the emperors he remembered from the Old Country.

The Storm King had always admired himself for a number of things, his remarkable sense of command, natural cunning, iron will, great strength, speed, agility, and remarkable fighting prowess on the battlefield.

Now trapped in the body of one of those ridiculous ponies (worse a elderly one) only three of those traits were available to him, and he was forced to milk them for all he was worth, in order to stay on top of the cooperate heap.

Still he would be running the show by now, if not for the daily headache that was The Manehattan Burger Princess on 36th street.

Whether lack luster profits, the frequent accidents, the dwindling number of employs who would willingly work there, there were always problems with that store.

He had tried gathering evidence in order to have the staff dismissed several times, but something always came up to prevent him from doing so, from splitting migraines, to a general sense of fatigue, to even lapses in memory.

If he wasn't so afraid of being dismissed, he would have had a full workup done, to try and determine how feeble this body really was.

As it was, the only thing to get back at the store which was so clearly detrimental to his health, was to find little ways to screw with it. A misplaced shipment that got sent to another store. A minor change in the bookkeeping, making it look like the old creep who ran the place had more then he actually did.

Until he found a more permanent way of dealing with 36th street (that didn't involve reveling any career destroying nuggets of information) it was the little things that made life worth living.

So why in name of all of stupid Twilight’s stupid books did all the rules go out the window the minute she got a job serving food!?

Because the writer wanted you to suffer.

By her initial plan, she should have been the restaurant’s darling unofficial mascot within a week, an official one within a month, and (assuming Tirek managed to pull through on his half of the deal and eat his way up the corporate ladder) the new face of Equestrian advertising in a year or less!

Aww! I'm picturing Cozy Glow dressed up as a alicorn princess and it's adorable! :rainbowkiss:

That being said, face of Equetrian advertising?

Blame rained down for things outside her control. Demands for things she couldn’t possibly deliver swarmed like bats. Messes like scenes from a horror movie were left for her to clean up like she was a personal maid.

So Equestria Manehattenits are jerks. Good to know.

A few ponies' light-shadows looked different from the rest —like Tirek's which was all fluid, and Greaseball who had a strange double one— but the connection formed just the same. A connection that she latched on to and pulled.

Poor Fluffy. Addicted to crystal! And so young too! :raritycry:

I do like how everyone is evenly balanced though, so no villain gains a advantage over the others. Even so, sooner or later one of them is going to gain enough power to be able to compensate.

Unless the customers themselves are also sucking down some of that sweet life force, or the idea is that as long as the villains are working, they're burning through magic faster then they can replenish it.

Neither of which would surprise me, but I'm not sure it would work in cannon.

But this isn't cannon. :rainbowdetermined2:

"Hello. Welcome to Burger Princess. How can I assist you today?"

I've got to say it. The person who clearly has it the worst in this story... is the poor sucker carrying Sombra around. Discord thinking that was fair, I'll put down to the fact that he's a jerk.

*Still characterizations across the board are pretty good and there were a few funny moments. I especially liked Chrysalis's angry rants and Cozy's turmoil's in her new job.

You really capture the angry/miserable/depressing state of man/pony well. :fluttershysad:


That's what I figured, though I like to imagine that Discord fixed things so that whenever they try to drain anything from anyone it redirects to one of the other four. So every customer and lower worker goes out with exactly the energy they came in

Not unless the customers are also vampires, which I wouldn't put past Discord. More likely the extra workload leaves them so drained, that even if they do steal their customers life force, the sheer effort of the work they are forced to do leaves them unable to enjoy it, or something like that.

Most likely though (given the synapsis) one of them will simply emerge from the wreckage of The Burger Princess on Manehatten 36th street, stronger than ever before.


Huh? The point of my hypothesis (and I emphasize that's what it is, purely my own headcanon, or whatever the term would be for an inherently non-canonical fanfic - I make no claims as to its veracity or even feasibility) is that the customers are never involved in the whole cycle in the first place. The villains all think they're draining them when, in fact, they're just draining each other and never getting anywhere.

Sorry if that was unclear... and further sorry I had to explain the joke, thus ruining what little comedy it probably had.:twilightsheepish:

True but energy is flowing into the villains from the customers, not vice versa.

Meaning that unless energy is lost some other way, either through a individual we haven't yet met, or through the repeated transfer processes itself bleeding energy, they'll eventually be able to accrue more power for themselves, even if it takes a good long while to do so.

(one part Rarity, one part Trixie, heavy undertones of Diamond Tiara)

When did she meet her?

Cozy was a "normal" student at the School for some time, presumably at least several months, during which she had to live either in the dorms or within walking distance in Ponyville. It doesn't seem unreasonable that they may have interacted offscreen.

Even if his hidden back legs were constantly either numb or prickly from being trapped in magically expanded space.

Ah the Percy Jackson disguise for a centaur

That brings back so many memories.

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