• Published 5th Aug 2022
  • 389 Views, 35 Comments

The Equestria Chronicles: Chaotic Preparations - Slippin_Sweetie

After being altered by the Cutie Map, our heroes must take the laborious task of preparing for a very long road ahead of them. But even getting on the road will prove to be a challenge.

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The Cutie Mark Catastrophe

The Cutie Mark Crusaders shambled together, leaning against one another as they attempted to make their usual routes home. With Sweetie Bell going to her sister's or family's home first, then Applebloom walked Scootaloo home before Applebloom finally headed home herself.

The girls shared a tired expression with one another, an empty frown being the most noticeable feature aside from their sickly presence. Sweetie Bell sighed, “I don’t even feel like walking….”

“Me neither; I don’t think I can make it back home either.” Grumbled Scootaloo, pressing up against Sweetie Bell more as the weighing apathy and disinterest began taking its toll on the group.

“C’mon, y’all, we can at least walk by ourselves to Rarity’s house, right?” Applebloom hesitantly suggested, feeling the creeping shadow of indifference wrapping its fingers around her.

Scootaloo and Sweetie looked over to Applebloom, sharing an unconvinced look as they silently stared before retaining what little attention they had left toward Rarity’s boutique in the distance.

For a moment, a feeling of relief splashed over them. Before a small smile could form or a feeling aside from anything besides the arid depression taking hold of the fillies. Once they reached the shop's front door, Sweetie Bell lazily pressed her right hoof against the door. A dull thump and a closed door were all that greeted them.

Sweetie Bell paused, dumbfounded that the door wouldn’t open; she pleadingly looked to her friends for assistance, with Scootaloo giving her a slow eye roll and Applebloom a confused stare before the three pressed their hooves against the door.

The girls heard a slight ‘thunk’ heard with the two fillies appearing dazed at the sight of the door not opening and giving Sweetie Bell an apologetic look as Sweetie sighed and shook her head, “On three girls, one…two…three!”

The trio “lunged” forward as they attempted to slam up against the door; however, despite their best efforts, the fillies leaned against the door. With their combined weight, the door finally opened as the sound of the doorbell jingled, alerting Rarity.

Rarity quickly left her room, trotting to the front door, “I’m sorry, we are only open to pick up orders-Sweetie Bell, girls!?” She gasped at the sight of the trio lying on the floor, piled on top of each other.

“Hi Rarity, we got our Cutie Marks.” Mumbled Sweetie Bell, using all her strength to look up at her older sister.

Rarity carefully approached the fillies, “That’s great! Would you like to get up and show me?”

The three looked at each other before collectively mumbling, “Not really….”

Rarity tilted her head in confusion, “What? But you always wanted your Cutie Marks; that’s all you talked about! Come now, surely you can stand up.”

The girls quietly shook their heads, “I’m sorry, Rarity, I just…don’t feel like it.” Apologized, Sweetie Bell.

Rarity, using her magic, attempted to prop up the three, raising them to their hooves; placing them neatly beside one another. The trio stood before their legs began to buckle for a moment before the three collapsed right back down on the floor.

Rarity gasped, “Oh my goodness, are you ill? Did you catch a fever? Why can’t you stand up!?” She’d quickly looked over to Sweetie’s flank and turned pale. Recognizing that gray cutie mark from her encounter with Starlight Glimmer and ‘Our Town.’

“How did you get these Cutie Marks,” Pressed Rarity, “How did you get these ghastly, awful Cutie Marks!?”

“Somepony at the market wanted to try our lemonade,” yawned Applebloom, “She’d offer to help us by giving us Cutie Marks.”

Scootaloo let out a dry chuckle, “Yeah…now Diamond Tiara won’t be able to call us blank flanks.”

Rarity quickly lifted the three with her magic, grunting as she carried them toward Sweetie Bell’s room and tucking them into bed, “Don’t move and stay here; I’m going to get help.” Rarity darted out of the room and out of the boutique.

Galloping through the streets of Ponyville, Rarity desperately fought off the ever-growing panic festering inside her. “How could this happen?” She thought, “Why did Starlight do this to three innocent Fillies? The absolute nerve and cowardice!” Her fear turned to anger.

How dare this good-for-nothing pony do this to her sister? How dare she follow her and her friends back home to Ponyville. All of this wouldn't have happened if that lunatic didn’t create some…cult!

“I guess someponies just lack the self-awareness to quit! Well, now we know you’re here, Starlight Glimmer, and we’re going to make sure nopony else gets harmed by your magic ever again!” she thought; it was a comforting thought to ease the ever-growing worry and fear.

Twilight would solve this; she has to. After all, who better to fix this magical mishap than The Princess of Friendship and Element of Magic's bearer?

Twilight paused, skimming through the list of ponies she had made to potentially handle all of her friend's responsibilities during their extended absence. Granny Smith? Too old, Mayor Mare? Too busy. Busy, busy, busy. No one in Ponyville could consistently spare time to handle their responsibilities or a severe emergency. She’d crumpled her list with magic before tossing the paper ball into a nearby trash bin.

“Y’know, Discord’s not such a bad guy if you actually gave him a chance, Twilight.” Spike prodded, looking up from his comic book as he lounged around in bed.

“Spike, this isn’t trading hoofball cards or talking about hoofball; this is taking care of Ponyville for weeks, months even. How could I ever give that sort of responsibility to Discord?”

“You could trust him?” Answered Spike as he flicked the next page of his comic and sank deeper into his soft bed.

“I do trust him, Spike; I trust that he’ll make the clouds cotton candy, flood the town with chocolate milk, and make door knobs sticky!”

Spike sighed, shaking his head disapprovingly, before stuffing his snout back into his comic book again.

Twilight tapped her quill idly against a fresh piece of paper, sighing deeply before resting her head on the desk in front of her, “I only have six days, sixteen hours, and 47 minutes til we have to leave Ponyville.”

“And I already packed everything I needed.” Chuckled Spike as he looked up from his comic, his expression beamed with pride.

“Easy for you to say; all you have is comic books and a toothbrush.” Scoffed Twilight.

Rarity quickly burst through Twilight’s chamber doors, “TWILIGHT! THE FILLIES, STARLIGHT, CUTIE MARKS!!!” Shrieked Rarity.

Twilight fell out of her chair and let out a surprised scream before she collided with the hard crystal floor. Letting out a muted grumble as she peeled herself off the floor, she turned to her panicked friend as she rubbed the back of her head.

“Rarity, I’m going to need you to calm down now; what exactly is going on?” Asked Twilight

Rarity huffed and puffed, frantically trotting in place before she’d eventually slow down and took a deep breath, “I was working at the boutique when I heard the doorbell ring; I quickly went to the door to tell a potential customer that I couldn’t accept any new orders and that we’re only open for pick up only.

But I quickly discovered it was Sweetie Bell and her friends. They looked sickly and grey, but they told me they’d recently gotten cutie marks. When I asked them to show me, they couldn’t muster the energy to do it! So when I looked at their flanks, I saw an equal sign and realized that awful fiend Starlight Glimmer did this, so I panicked and put them in bed before I ran straight here!”
Twilight quietly listened as terror began sinking its claws around her; Starlight Glimmer was here? She’d quickly put on a brave face for Rarity, “Not to worry, I’m sure-no, I’m certain we can fix this.”

“We mustn't dottle then, come on!” Rarity and Twilight quickly raced out of the room, storming through the castle before heading through the doors.

Spike quickly tossed his comic book aside before scrambling to get out of his bed’s comfortable bind and scampering out the door moments later, “Wait for me!”