• Published 1st Oct 2021
  • 5,065 Views, 64 Comments

DUDE. - Masterweaver



Hitch has a talk with his deputy.

  • ...
7
 64
 5,065

Like, seriously, DUDE...

"What's the one thing--the one thing--I told you not to do while I was away."

"Try to start a war."

"And what did you do?"

"...try to start a war."

Hitch nodded, rubbing his forehooves together. "You tried. To start. A war. Sprout, your mother made her living off of selling pony protection devices. Her selling point was 'to be scared is to be prepared.' And she never demanded we go off and destroy unicorns, or pegasi. She just sold 'protection.' Somehow, though, you got everypony together to build that... that thing, and convinced them marching out was somehow in their best interest--I, I'm not even sure I can see the chain of logic!"

"It..." Sprout kicked the ground, not looking up. "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

"Sprout, look out that window."

The red pony looked out the window.

"Nice day, isn't it?"

"....Yeeeeesss...?"

"Shame about the knocked over trolly," Hitch said flatly.

"Um."

"And those scratched up cobblestones," Hitch continued. "The ones your death machine ran over."

Sprout's ears flattened. "Well, you see--"

"Oh, and what's this?" Hitch slammed a paper onto the desk. "Why it's a damage report! From Canterlogic! Of how utterly out of whack their factory is after they built... what was it you called it?"

"...sprcsmkms..."

"Sorry?" Hitch leaned over the desk. "I didn't quite hear that."

"The Sprouticus Maximus--Look, I messed up. I really messed up. I get it."

"No I don't think you do--"

"It's the same thing everypony always says! Sprout, you screwed up, Sprout you're a menace, Sprout you can't just pay credit off with other credit! Everyone is soooo quick to point out how many mistakes I make and nobody ever thinks about all the good I do!"

Hitch took a deep breath.

"You want a chance to prove yourself."

"Yes."

"A chance to show all of Maretime Bay what you're capable of."

"Yes!"

"A chance to be the hero of the people, someone everypony likes, a beacon of hope."

"YES!"

"Welp, you had that chance." Hitch gestured out the window. "And guess what? The only town that suffered any sort of damages was Maritime Bay."

Sprout looked out the window.

"...The only town."

"Yep."

"...Didn't Zypher Heights throw their queen in jail?"

"Yes. Without damaging the town."

"Well--...um."

Hitch watched Sprout pace around the room, trying to come up with something to say.

"...Well--... WELL! You, you went off after your fillyfriend!"

"We're not dating."

"A-and you left me! ME! To protect the whole town! From rampaging monsters and nefarious thiefs and downright terrible litterers!"

"I will grant you that literers exist."

"You abandoned your post, Hitch Trailblazer! THAT'S A... THAT'S BREAKING LAWS! I'm pretty sure!"

Hitch took a breath, pulling out a book and flipping through it. "...Huh. Seems you're right."

"AHA!"

"It would appear I owe the city forty bits."

"THAT'S RIGHT wait only forty bits?" Sprout asked. "That's way too low!"

"No, no, it says right here--if a peacekeeper, in this case the sheriff, abandons their post without providing a replacement, they are obligated to pay twenty bits per day they did not report in."

"But you were gone three days!"

"And on the first day, I appointed you deputy, so it doesn't count."

"That's a STUPID law!" Sprout insisted. "If I have to listen to everypony telling me how stupid I am to my face, you should get some sort of consquence too!"

Hitch took a deep, slow breath.

"Let's say, hypothetically, that the unicorns could fry our brains with magic. And the pegasi were terrifying flying barbarians. Let's say that's how the world worked. Your plan, if I understand it correctly, was to ride up to them in a single easily-disabled war machine, with backup consisting of untrained citizens weilding no defined weapons and defended only by a single helmet which, being fair, would theoretically protect their brains."

Sprout stomped a hoof. "What was I supposed to do, just let them keep panicking without any sort of direction?"

"No," Hitch said, very slowly. "You were supposed to calm them down. Make sure they didn't destroy property in their panic. You were not supposed to lead them to what, supposedly, could have been their deaths. This isn't even about you being wrong, Sprout. This is about you being reckless--not just with yourself, but with everypony in the town."

"It always works for you!" Sprout protested.

"Okay, first of all, ouch, do you really think I'm reckless?"

"You dive into burning buildings to save kittens and rescue foals from stampedes and, oh, you chased your freaking fillyfriend across the lands with no idea what you were getting into!"

"Again: We are not dating. And to be clear: Those were all measured, calculated risks to ensure the safety of Maretime Bay. They were not reckless by any stretch of the word."

"Oh sure, the great Hitch Trailblazer is so perfect and magnificent that even his noble moments are planned weeks in advance!" Sprout spouted.

"Sprout."

"Actually, now that I think about it, do you plan these things?"

"Sprout."

"That would explain so much..."

"SPROUT."

"I've figured it out!" Sprout declared. "The reason you're so popular is... branding! You manufacture your popularity by rescuing ponies from disaster--disasters you somehow predict. Because your fillyfriend is behind them! You two have been scheming this whole time! She sets up the dangerous things and you save ponies because you know exactly what's going to happen in advance! And because she was always ranting about being friends with unicorns nobody ever suspected her! You indulged her delusions for your own gain!" He grinned manically. "Well too bad, sheriff Trailblazer, she's just become HYPERFAMOUS! Which is a super version of fame that you'll never get, and also means she can't sneak off to cause more problems for you to solve heroically! So HA!"

The red hoof pointed at Hitch's unamused face.

"...HA!" Sprout insisted, panting heavily.

"Why do I even bother." Hitch sighed. "Sprout, look. I can't keep you on if you're not going to take responsibility for your actions."

"This isn't about me!" Sprout insisted. "It's about you! It's always been about you!"

"No, it's about you--"

"I'm not you! I'll never be you! No matter how hard I try I can't ever have what you do!"

"You shouldn't be me!" Hitch snapped.

"Why the hay not?!"

"Because you're not HITCH, you're SPROUT!"

The room was quiet for a moment.

"You know what?" Hitch shook his head. "I was going to reprimend you, dock your pay, put you on watch. But now I'm thinking, no, that's not what you need."

"Oh yeah?"

"I'm firing you. Consider this your two weeks' notice."

"WHAT?!" the red pony cried. "What do you expect me to do?!"

"Get a job, Sprout. Away from here, away from me. Find something that you're good at. Stop trying to follow in my hoofsteps and make your own path."

"Fine! Maybe I will!" Sprout yelled, storming out of the office.

Hitch put his head in his forehooves. "...why am I the sane one...?"

Comments ( 64 )
CGen #1 · Oct 1st, 2021 · · 1 ·

This makes perfect logical sense and this is how I know it'll never happen in the show

Ah yes, I was hoping for a fic where Sprout faced some kind of consequences for his actions, and this was an enjoyable read! Shame to see he doesn't appear to have learned much in this fic, but everyone seems pretty in-character.

Also, it's weird to me as someone from an at-will employment country to see an employer give the employee two weeks notice. Usually you're let go same day over here.

Excellent take on how Sprout would’ve been handled after the movie! I love it!

10997964
>same day
I know people who've been fired over text message that spent the next week trying to get the contents of their locker back.

"...Well--... WELL! You, you went off after your fillyfriend!"

It was supposed to be a team mission but you insisted on staying, forcing him to go solo. You had your chance.

I like the idea that Sprout was fired not so much as a punishment for his actions, but more as a way to get him out of Hitch's shadow. :)

This feels perfectly in character for both of them. I could hear just about every line, particularly "I will grant you that litterers exist." Very nice work, and a good proportionate response to Sprout's actions.

10998197
I imagine it would be off screen with the camera focused on Sprout still, and sort of mumbled to add to its humour :rainbowlaugh:

Sorta unrelated to the story, but can I just say how much I love all the G5 stories I've read so far? Little snippets of that world like this are what I live for.

Top stuff, got several chuckles out of me :twilightsmile:

"Welp, you had that chance." Hitch gestured out the window. "And guess what? The only town that suffered any sort of damages was Maritime Bay."

To be perfectly fair on that point, Bridlewood's Crystal Tea House had its sign knocked down. But it's also debatable given the state of affairs in Bridlewood if that wasn't already about to happen, considering it was one pony crying Mayonnaise away from that particular incident.

It's comedy, but it totally makes sense! Niiice!

Even when Hitch is doing the thing at the end, he's good about it! ... Although, now he needs a new deputy...

----
Typos:

literers > litterers

reprimend > reprimand

I went to bed thinking, “if this isn’t top of the charts when I wake up I’ll grind up some pony hooves and eat them…wait…” :rainbowwild:

Hitch put his head in his forehooves. "...why am I the sane one...?"

Didn't you "rescue" a kid only to shove it into some random woman's arms?

\well-written enough that I could hear their voices as I read, and this is exactly what I imagine would happen. Worthy of a favourite, definitely.

Comment posted by Raistlin deleted Oct 1st, 2021

10998412

I think this may be an error on the author's part, actually -- I don't know of anyplace where an employer is required to give you two weeks' notice before firing you, especially if you're being terminated "for cause". No employer is going to want to risk a "fired" employee remaining on the premises, where they might be tempted to "get even" with their soon-to-be-former employers by sabotaging equipment, sowing dissension among other employees, purposefully offending customers, or just simply refusing to perform their job duties on the premise of "what are you gonna do about it? You can't fire me twice."

Pitch's ears flattened. "Well, you see--"

I think this was supposed to be Sprout? Unless Hitch decided to call him a b:yay: :ajsmug:

"It's the same thing everypony always says! Sprout, you screwed up, Sprout you're a menace, Sprout you can't just pay credit off with other credit! Everyone is soooo quick to point out how many mistakes I make and nobody ever thinks about all the good I do!"

You can leave these in if you want, but, you know, -pony terms could be used instead. I understand wanting to vary your word choice though. :twilightsmile:

Good story. I expect Sprout will be a changed pony in canon, but it's more cathartic in my opinion to see unrepentant villains punished for their wrongdoing, and I think firing him is pretty fitting seeing as he undoubtedly broke way more laws and/or bylaws than Sunny or Hitch ever did in their lives, though I like the idea others have brought up of him doing community service too.

10998377
In complete fairness to Hitch, I somehow doubt he knows every single parent and child in town, and the kid was in genuine danger of getting trampled. Random strangers shouldn't be trusted with kids, but I personally would rather a kid be in a stranger's arms than on the ground in the middle of a mindlessly panicking crowd.

Totally could see this happening. Spout sure is special.

I felt bad for Hitch
His mom fully ignored him :/
so sad.

Hitch put his head in his forehooves. "...why am I the sane one...?"

Because you've inherited AJ's mantle—you poor bastard.

10998557
Wellllll,it depends on if the job is unionized or not. Example - I working a biiiig shipping company with unionized workers. In order to terminate a unionized worker, we are required to go through a disciplinary process, the last step of which is a face to face talk AND a letter to their house informing them of our 'intent to terminate'. After that, the union has to review all of our process in regards to that individual. If we miss either of these termination steps, or fuck up the steps before them, we are required to keep them employed and continue to pay them for the hours they work. Their are a very small number of things that would allow us to terminate on the spot.

Sprout, of course, provides a perfect example of reasons for being immediately fired.

A pony facing consequences for their actions, in MY little pony? Enjoy it while it lasts people.

This was incredibly well-written. Good luck, Sprout.

10998715
It's examples such as Sprout that makes me see both sides of the matter of unionization. Because on one side, I can see the good of a two-weeks-ish notice for a firing, as getting fired and kicked out abruptly and without warning with no chance to make any advance prep for it can be awful, especially if you're already not in a good financial situation, and it feels twice as bad if you're getting fired not for some fault of your own but for some dumb bureaucratic thing like a company layoff or something. I'm sure it's for considerations such as this that such rules are even established in the first place.

But then you've got examples such as Sprout. And yeah, it's then that dragging out the firing just isn't going to help matters for anyone, really. Better to just do it then and there and get it over with.

Really, it should be a case-by-case sort of thing, probably, but I'm sure there'd be a many an employer that wouldn't even want to bother, hence why unions feel so obligated to devise such rules.

I suppose it's just another example of how imperfect our world really is, I guess. :applejackunsure:

Anyway, in this case, I'd like to think Hitch is giving Sprout two weeks notice mostly just to try and still be at least a little nice about it, since at this point it's just as much as a needed intervention as it is a punishment. So might as well give Sprout the chance to get his affairs in order before you leave him totally high and dry.

That and I suppose just kicking him out the door then and there might only make Sprout want to take it entirely the wrong way and only get worse still, which I'd think nobody would want at this point--we've already seen what that might be like, let's not try and repeat it, eh? :twilightsmile:

10998243
Likewise, Queen Haven's phony-pony-full-of-baloney airshow could just as easily have been exposed without outside interference if anything went wrong with their equipment (or if the wrong pony stumbled across it).

He can't get it. It's just not it him to get it. To get it means figuring out the horrible trick played on him and hating the mare who played it: Mommy.

10998934
It'll be fun to see what happens with his character moving forward. Will he find some way to earn the respect of the other major characters, or will he be stuck in a rut of "chronic screwup butt-monkey"?

I mean... To be fair, Hitch only told him not to start a war while he was gone.

And Hitch got back before he started a war. So, technically....

Really, while I totally understand folks wanting to see Sprout punished more, the really scary thing is that he seems to have gone through all the steps and processes to get himself legally established as Commander in a war that was going to be a disaster from the start. Meaning, legally, I don't know if he actually broke any laws....

10999039
Remember Chang from Community? That's his character arc.

Hitch put his head in his forehooves. "...why am I the sane one...?"

It’s always tough being the logical one… Wish I could relate.

10998704
That… Actually makes sense.

10998750

Hey Cozy Glow got sent to Pony Hell...

Yeah, ponies really suck at actual punishment.

I think if MLP was slightly more mature, then somepony like Sprout would face this kind of punishment.

The fact that he did more damage to his hometown than any unicorn or pegasus speaks volumes about the kind of imbecile he is.


10997960

As a wise mare once said:

10998934
This. And...

"I'm not you! I'll never be you! No matter how hard I try I can't ever have what you do!"

"You shouldn't be me!" Hitch snapped.

"Why the hay not?!"

"Because you're not HITCH, you're SPROUT!"

When I read this line, my mind immediately went to Sprout answering something like "And who would want to BE Sprout?", because even his mother doesn't seem to care much for him as an individual, more as a vehicle for her own opinions and motivations. Once those no longer align or he becomes inconvenient, he's not important anymore.

10999595
This makes him something of a tragic monster. He wants desperately to be loved but he doesn't know how to deserve it because his mother is inept.

10998840
You can sometimes reconcile this conundrum by paying someone not to work for you for 2 weeks.

This is beautiful and dramatic in all the right ways! Very unique in what could happen in the aftermath of everything! Hope ya didn't mind, but I couldn't resist making a reading of this awesome fic of yours!

Audio Linky!: https://youtu.be/RncFIEo96lw

(I don't mean to offend anyone with this comment in any way)

Awwwww... I thought this could be cuter if it lead to Sprout confessing his love for Hitch and them kissing at the end.

10999882
Heh...that would be a clever solution to the problem all right, assuming of course nobody has any problems paying the money for it (though I'd imagine at that point there wouldn't be). :ajsmug:

I want to see an episode where Sprout has internal conflict about whether he should blame himself or his mother for what he did. It could be be interesting because it would be very relatable.

Didn't Zypher Heights throw their queen in jail?

*Zephyr

11000696
IF he's smart, he'll realize that people can only manipulate you with your own permission. She might have filled his head with lies so he could be safe from a non-existent threat but he was hard-wired to believe them.

"Your just gonna fire me like that! Leave me with no Job and force me out onto the streets!"
"Buddy, you live in your Moms Mansion. Your Mom gives you more in weekly allowance that your weekly deputy Salary. The only reason you ever showed up for this job was because you were bored and had nothing better to do."

11001717
Hey, hey! Be fair!

There was also his creepy Bates-ish obsession with making Mommy proud of him and the burning need to have some sort of power and control in his life when everything he had and was came from being Mommy's son or Hitch's friend.I

Maybe he can get a garage band together or something.

Login or register to comment