• Published 8th Jul 2013
  • 2,181 Views, 9 Comments

Baking Bads: Friendship is Volatile - Servomoore

The story of how an overqualified dying princess became a drug lord.

  • ...

What I Want, What You Need

Chapter 1
What I Want, What You Need

Twilight stared at the poster behind the doctor. It was an image of the Harmonic Table of Elements. It was a cheap but popular image in Canterlot of the Elements of Harmony lined up in six rectangles with clear labels on a dark green background. Neither her nor any of her friends were on it because they hadn't given permission for their likenesses to be used. She stared at her Element of Magic in the row. As her pupils contracted from what the doctor had told her sinking it, it seemed become enshrouded in darkness. A future, a status, her hopes, and her dreams all seemed to fade with it.

"Ms. Sparkle?" Twilight closed her eyes. When she opened them her eyes were back to normal, and she was back in the here and now. In the office of Dr. Flakelin of Canterlot. She was standing in a patient's scrubs, a pair of tighty whities inexplicably stretched across her butt. "You understand what I've just told you."

"Yes. Scholar's Disease. Untreatable." Dr. Flakelin sighed heavily.

"I am very sorry to tell you this. As I'm sure you know, Scholar's Disease is a one in a hundred thousand chance o-"

"Well," Twilight interrupted mildly, seemingly in a trance from the denial, "I have read 112,241 books and parchments of all ages. I've got a list of them back in the library. Sooner or later, one would have Literarius Mortus mold growing in it."

"Is there anypony you would like us to contact for you?" He asked.

"Right now, I just want to go home." Twilight coughed.


Spike was very slowly eating a breakfast of Gem Crackers, the popular new kid dragon's cereal, looking balefully at Twilight. She'd barely spoken since she'd told him about her diagnosis. She'd said she had four, maybe five months to live. That her cough would worsen and worsen, a sore throat, and a gravelly voice. She'd tried to smile and be glib when she told him it wasn't contagious so at least he and her friends had nothing to worry about. It had been painful.

She'd demanded that Spike not tell anyone. Not just anypony, anyone. She didn't want her last months of life to revolve around being pitied. She wanted at the very least to wait until closer to the end for her friends to learn what was happening. He'd complied against his better judgement. He'd also attempted to make the library spotless, to do constant favors for Twilight without drawing attention to it. She'd expressed gratitude with a voice as hushed and unemotional as a computer at near bottom volume when she noticed yesterday.

He slid another spoonful of cereal into his mouth as Twilight coughed. It wasn't the disease. She was clearing her throat to speak this time. He pulled the spoon out, gulped hard, and looked at her attentively.

"Most of my life," she began, "I've lived in fear. I have spent my days looking into scopes or putting my nose in books because I feared the outside. Being judged by other ponies. All the courage I've ever shown in the face of monsters was because I was afraid of disappointing my princesses. My friends. My family. You. And it's brought me to an early grave because my lungs are growing a mold I breathed in from a book." Spike didn't believe almost any of that, but he didn't say anything. He would have guessed this poisonous idea had been put in her head by a sense of doom

"But my friends... they've lived the lives they want to. Rainbow Dash risks her neck every day because she's not afraid of dying. Fluttershy reaches out to dangerous animals because she wants to follow her heart. Pinkie Pie has all the fun she wants." She paused then. In that pause, Spike tried to think of something to say, but could only come up with an inaudible sigh. He would not judge Twilight, however she decided to spend her few last days under the shadow of death, but he wished she didn't ruin herself with thrill-seeking and indulg-

"So think how much danger they must be in! IF I'm going to die from reading books, Rainbow Dash could crash at any time and never get up again! Applejack could do permanent damage to her back from a bad kick! Fluttershy could get sick or attacked by one of those animals if they get rabid! I can't just sit here or mope about, I've got to save them!" Twilight bolted out the door then, coughing once when she was outside but not slowing.

Naturally Spike chased after her, futilely asking for an explanation at the top of his lungs, but Twilight didn't so much as look back as he slowed and gave up. He leaned over, his breakfast now not sitting very well.

"Well, it's not the conclusion I woulda expected her to come to," he said between pants, " but it could be worse."

Twilight had reached the edge of Sweet Apple Acres before she stopped to have a coughing fit and think about what she needed to do. She could hear the distant sound of Applejack bucking some apples out of trees and the sound of Apple Bloom laughing, the patter of her little hooves as she ran around doing... some foalish thing. What was she going to do? Convince Applejack to stop growing apples? Please. But what to do instead?

She didn't want Applejack to just coop herself up like a chicken in a... well, chicken coop. She wanted her to be happy and free to live her life, but she wanted her safer than she was now. But was that even necessary?

In hesitating, she began to notice her surroundings in a way she wouldn't have expected. A stiff breeze came up. It rustled some leaves at her forehooves. It made a sound that to her ears was much too similar to a death rattle. A puff of dust went by her snout. It brought with it a vision of a long dead pony, its back broken, so decayed that dust was freely flying from what had once been its flesh.

She galloped through the trees then for the source of the sound. She would not be content until she did something.

In short order, Applejack became visible through the trees, bucking another apple tree. Twilight saw that the patter of Apple Bloom's hooves had been because she was playing a little game where she tried to run around the tree amid the shower of apples and avoid being hit. At the sound of Twilight's somewhat urgent galloping, the pair of apple harvesters turned to her. It distracted Apple Bloom enough that an apple bonked her on the head.

"Woah, whassa matter, Twi? There a fire?" Applejack asked. Twilight stopped to cough a couple times, and collected herself.

"No, there's no emergency. But there is a problem."

"Oh, ya looked like ya'd seen a ghost."

"It concerns applebucking, Applejack." Twilight said, trotting up to her friend's back half, making sure to sound her most authoritative. It was vital Applejack not see this as paranoia. "Your technique, while certainly effective consistent, seems more haphazard than strictly necessary."

"You sassin' my sis's applebuckin'?" Apple Bloom asked.

"Oh no, clearly her prodigious harvests indicate exemplary technique." Twilight answered.

"Uh. thanks." Applejack said while making a sidelong glance at Apple Bloom.

"But what toll is this taking on your spinal column? Your joints? Does the kinetic force optimally transfer fully into the tree? Might it be increasing blood pressure, breaking capillaries, putting undo strain on ten-"

"Wait, ya sayin' yer worried about if applebuckin's alright fer mah health?" Twilight patted Applejack on the back at that, and then felt along her spinal column, hopefully inducing her friend to feel a little concerned about it.

"Maybe not overnight, but over the years, exerting that much force into an unyielding object... and how do you properly judge that you're the right distance from the tree?"

"Thar was that time Mac hurt himself cause he was too close." Apple Bloom said, having been glaring at Twilight up to that point for perceived slights against their apple harvesting. Applejack nodded reluctantly.

"Whell, Ah'll be careful. Take a couple practice kicks from here on out. Thank ya kindly fer yer concern, bu-"

"That won't be enough" Twilight said. "I'm sure of it! Here, let's ask Granny Smith about it." Applejack rolled her eyes, but Twilight clearly would not brook any arguments by now, and Apple Bloom had a certain grim curiosity. The trio galloped to the Sweet Apple Acres Farmhouse from there.


"Oh, it was terrible." Granny Smith answered after Twilight asked about some of the accidents in apple bucking she'd seen. Granny Smith described broken legs, hernias, spinal problems, and many other forms of wear and tear an Earth pony collecting apples could look forward to. At the end, she gestured at her face. "And look at me. I'm only four years older than Applejack and I look like this." At that, Twilight couldn't help giving her friend a smug smile, the first one she'd had in days. She might not have long to live, but she at least had the satisfaction of being right.

"Alright, alright, Ah get it!" Applejack whined "But Ah can't stop now, and et ain't gonna do any good fussin' an' frettin'!" That killed Twilight's smile pretty quickly. Nothing could take the fun out being right quite like having it pointed out it was pointless.

"There must be something we could do to make it safer for everypony here at Sweet Apple Acres!" Twilight insisted, looking around.

"Welp, Ah can't thinka anything." Applejack said with a shrug. Apple Bloom began bouncing up and down at that.

"Oh, oh, we could buy these harvester things from Apple Magazine ya told me about!" She gestured at a pile of magazines, one of which was in fact opened to an ad of a apple harvesting device. It looked like a big leg harness, and according to the illustration, it promised to absorb most of the shock of bucking, maintain proper tree distance, and everything that could be asked of a device to help the health of a hardworking farmer pony. But Applejack just gave a little laugh at the idea.

"Those? Ya seen them prices? We might as well buy ourselves our own castle!' Twilight checked out the ad.

"Well, cough you're exaggerating by 65.432%, but yes, that is pretty expensive." Twilight wished she could build one herself, but these sort of biomechanics were not an area of study she was experienced in.

"Apple harvestin' is good, honest work." Granny Smith observed. "And like all honest work, it doesn't pay half a darn."

"Granny!" Applejack yelled, shocked that Granny would use such language in front of Apple Bloom.

Twilight however had to agree with what Granny Smith had just said about how little physical reward there was in honest living. Lately, it had stuck her as painfully unfair that she was going to die so slowly and cruelly even though she'd done her best to live a good life. And Celestia knew that even with her connections to the ruler of Equestria herself, Twilight didn't have much money. All the bits collected by Equestria's taxes were closely monitored and spent carefully, lest the taxpayers rebel. Even Celestia herself didn't have much in the way of spending bits for personal use. But she wasn't going to just mope about and whine about how unfair life was. She put a hoof on Applejack's left and Apple Bloom's right shoulder.

"Apples, I promise, somehow, some way, I'm going to get those harvest machines for you." While waiting for Applejack and Apple Bloom to respond, the pair having been a bit bewildered by Twilight's sudden vow, Twilight saw Rainbow Dash out of the Apple Farmhouse's windows zooming by, no doubt on cloud duty. She broke off physical contact to bolt out the door. "IgottagotalktoRainbowDashbye!" She yelled on her way out.

"What in the name of sassafrass has gotten into her?" Applejack asked.

"Applejack!" Granny Smith said, shocked Applejack would use such language in front of Apple Bloom.


Twilight was naturally having trouble even keeping Rainbow Dash in sight, between the Pegasus's speed, her coughs, and her insistence on yelling. The combination made her eyes water, and she shut her eyes as she yelled again.

"Rainbow! Dash, I need to talk to- WOAH!" Before Twilight had even known what was happening, Twilight had looped around, circled behind Twilight, flown through Twilight's hindlegs, and wrapped her forelegs around Twilight's so that it looked like Twilight had the Pegasus by the shoulders. They flew into the air together from there, Dash having not slowed down the entire time.

"What's up, Twi?" Dash asked.

"Oh, I... I wanted to make sure..." Twilight had been thrown for a loop indeed. If Dash could pull off a maneuver like that, how in Equestria was she supposed to convince her she was living her life too dangerously?

"Yeah?" Rainbow asked. Twilight could see they were flying to Dash's house in the sky.

"I was worr- concerned, about your... uh, flight safety."

"What!?" Dash yelled as they reached the front door. Dash lifted the rock she had tied to a large balloon she used to conceal her house key, unlocked the door, retrieved Twilight one of the cloudwalking medallions, and then went to the kitchen. "Just in time!" She yelled as she removed the pot from the burner just as it was about to start boiling over.

"Rainbow, I understand that you're one of Equestria's better fliers, but you're also one of its most reckless." Dash poked her head out of the kitchen, glaring mildly at her friend. She was going to say something about the time she'd been the one to reign her more reckless classmate in at Wonderbolt Academy but decided to just shake her head and drain out her pasta. Twilight continued then. "So I wanted to discuss with you how we could make you safer while allowing you to *cough* fly as fast as you want." Dash came out then with a plate of spaghetti on her back under an oven mitt.

"Well, Mom," Dash said as she made for her dinner table, "when you've got the flight skills and toughness I do, a crash every once in awhile isn't a problem. So you can stop worrying your pretty little head about me."

"But if something happens again, like that crash that put you in Ponyville Hospital, don't you want to some sort of protection to... maybe shorten your stay awhile?" Twilight didn't want to describe the vision of her friend she'd had. She didn't want to describe the gory details her active imagination had created, especially the mental images she'd had where Dash, literally in pieces from the force of impact, was still alive. She didn't want to admit to herself her brain was going to places like that lately.

"Hmm..." Dash took a mouthful of spaghetti noodles, chewed twenty times as per academy practice and swallowed. Then she answered. "There is one thing."

"Yes?" Dash's eyes lit up at the possibility suddenly. She darted across the room, got a Wonderbolt magazine similar to AJ's Apple magazine, and put it on the table for Twilight to study.

"It's the Wonderbolt Superpolymer Ultraflexible Crash Suit!" Dash said as if she were describing the coolest toy of all time. "Lightweight and borderline frictionproof for when the speed starts to rip the flesh from your bones which hurts like heck. It doesn't impede movement at all, tons of protection against crashes of all kinds, and so stylish even Rarity would look awesome wearing it!" Twilight marveled at how Spitfire, the magazine's model for the suit, looked ready to blast through the skies at mach 3 in that suit and fight off an army of Diamond Dogs or changelings in it. Then something else caught her eye.

"And expensive!" Twilight said. The light drained out of Dash's eye at that observation and she slunk back to her spaghetti.

"Yeah, is it ever. And look at me: With the academy tuition, I can't even afford sauce for these noodles. Oh well, with the upcoming Ponyville Air Show, I'll maybe have a few bits to start saving up." Twilight stepped to her friend's side, putting a hoof on Rainbow Dash's left front shoulder.

"Dash, I promise to somehow make you enough bits to get you one of those flightsuits. Word of friendship."


"Oh dear." Fluttershy said in her cottage. She was looking over a massive parchment of improvements that Twilight had written up for her. It detailed equipment for sanitary handling of chickens, kennels, hoof guards, mouth guards, syringes, security systems, etc. She looked over at Twilight.

"I know it's a lot," the unicorn answered, "but it's all from the Canterlot Guide to Proper Animal Sheltering, and as such, it's the least we can do to keep you and your many woodland friends safe." Fluttershy looked back at it, and then back to her friend. Then she smiled, looked away, and made a nervous smile.

"Well, I don't want to be ungrateful for all the hard work you've done." She hesitated then. "So thank you very much, but I don't think all this is really necessary."

"Oh Fluttershy, it's completely necessary if you want everything here to be safe!" Twilight said. Twilight suddenly felt herself becoming angry. Perhaps not so suddenly. While she was going over Fluttershy's cottage and over the guide, she found her brain continuing to give her morbid visions of animals attacking each other, getting diseases like rabies and spreading them into plague levels, and of Fluttershy herself catching something horrible. More than they had made her uneasy before, they were beginning to make her irritable and more than on edge.

"But I don't know if I can afford all this. There's not many bits to be made from a volunteer animal shelter. And besides, I've gone a long time without getting sick or hurt by any of my little friends. Well, except Angel. So I think I'll be safe from-"

"Stop that." Twilight interrupted, her voice low and more than threatening enough to intimidate Fluttershy.

"S-Stop what?" Fluttershy asked, taking a few steps back. Twilight followed after her, getting well within Fluttershy's comfort zone.

"Stop thinking you're safe just because you don't see any danger right now. Life's not so safe, Fluttershy! Life can be cruel, and tricky, and unpredictable, Fluttershy! It can get you when you think you're living right and proper and honestly, Fluttershy!" Her voice was rising in volume and anger. Twilight had needed this release, and as so often was the case, it was coming out to the least deserving target. "IF YOU FEEL LIKE EVERYTHING WILL STAY HAPPY AND COMFORTABLE WHILE YOU STAY BLISSFULLY IGNORANT, THAT'S WHEN LIFE SNEAKS UP AND GETS YOU WHERE YOU CAN'T FIGHT IT, WHERE YOU CAN'T RUN! AND IT HAS NO PITY AND NO MERCY, FLUTTERSHY!!!" Twilight stopped then to have a coughing fit then made her hunch over a little. When she raised her head back, she saw Fluttershy had backed into a corner, looking at Twilight as if she were ready to be struck. She felt the eyes of numerous animals her Pegasus friend had taken in on her. A badger growled behind her.

But while she was more self-aware and a little more in control of herself, Twilight still felt extremely angry. She had one last thing to say before she had to leave and either buck a tree down or cry.

"I''LL SAVE YOU FLUTTERSHY! AND YOUR ANIMALS!" Twilight bellowed in a gravely voice, a jabbing a hoof at her friend. Then she turned to leave, but she was so angry that she didn't think to lower her hoof and ended up knocking a sugar bowl and other porcelain dining pieces off Fluttershy's table. They shattered on the floor. Twilight stopped, growled, and started to levitate over a broom and dustpan. In her haste and anger, she brought the broom over across a night stand and knocked a lamp off it, shattering it as well. She took another sharp intake after that, and had just started to sweep up the lamp when some of the animals gathered in front of her line of sight. They gestured for her to leave. Some pointed to the petrified Fluttershy for evidence why the angry pony should leave. Twilight got the message.

"Sorry!" Twilight barked, clearly more angry still than she was sorry. She stomped out and slammed the door behind her. Seconds later, Fluttershy relaxed enough to whimper and begin to cry.

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"Your concern is most definitely appreciated, Darling." Rarity said to Twilight in the Carousel Boutique after the pair had looked over everything and discussed safety. When Twilight arrived she'd been working on a small commission while Sweetie Belle had been visiting, showing her little sister some of the techniques she used in stitching.

"Rarity's so fussy she'd blow up if she thought her or her precious outfits were in danger!" Sweetie Belle said at her side. Rarity chuckled mildly at the comment, but nodded.

"Carousel Boutique prides itself on being the safest business in all of Ponyville." She concluded.

"I have to agree." Twilight said with a nod of her own. She'd worked off her anger in a field outside Fluttershy's house. It had been a fit of screaming and kicking the likes of which had rarely been seen in Ponyville before. Now she was almost too tired to argue with anypony, and probably would have laid down for a nap except for her concern for her friends. And her brain hadn't been showing her too many images of Rarity stabbing herself to death with sewing needles or strangling herself with nooses of loose fabric.

But Twilight noticed something in Rarity's voice. It was a barely detectable hint of concern in Rarity's usually cheery and proper veneer.

"But is there something that's bothering you?" Rarity was quiet at that for a moment. Then she turned to Sweetie Belle.

"Sweetie, would like to take a break? Go play with your Crusader friends?"

"Sure, sis! See you at supper!" Sweetie Belle scampered outside. It wasn't until she was long gone that Rarity let her concern really show to Twilight.

"It's finances, Darling. Business has been terrible lately. Business hasn't been booming for a long time, of course. What do a bunch of mostly naked ponies need with the latest fashions most of the time?"

"How bad is it?" Twilight asked. Rarity turned to her desk, and levitated over the Boutique ledgers.

"This bad." Rarity said, pointing to the figure.

"That is bad." Twilight said.

"Mother and Father don't have a bit to spare, either." Rarity said, now clearly exerting an effort to keep it together. "They can't take in anypony else: All my uncles and aunties and their families have already moved in with them! That's why Sweetie's been visiting so often! I promised them that by this time the boutique would be a resounding success!" She began looking around.

"I guess I could return some of the silks, go digging for more gems, but that wouldn't cover next month's rent interest, and I-"

"Rarity." Twilight said. She'd been hesitating, because she wasn't sure she could make any more promises. Actually, she hadn't been sure she could keep any of the previous promises she'd already made since it would mean raising so many bits. But she couldn't stop herself. In for a friend, in for all of them. "I promise I'm going to save you from having to close down this boutique, one way or another!"


Twilight was outside Sugarcube Corner, bracing herself for what she was sure would be the hardest sell of all her friends. Having to convince Pinkie Pie that she needed to eat healthier when she was already skinnier than all her other friends would require a biology lesson wrapped in a scary story. No doubt it would also bring forth many more of those hateful visions of one of her friend's dying. But it had to be done.

She stepped in, looking around for Pinkie. She saw her almost immediately. Her friend was about to take a bite out of a cupcake topped with a mound of swirling icing and with a bright red cherry on top. Her eyes were shut, and her mouth stretched so far she looked like she would eat the entire cupcake in one bite.

Immediately the visions started again. She saw Pie after her metabolism slowed but her habits kept her eating at the same rate. She saw the fat folds, the skin discoloring because of insufficient blood flow. She saw the worsening heart, the blood vessels clogging with cholesterol even now. She saw the most fun of all her friends turn into a lethargic blob, tired and in pain.

"NO!" She bellowed, causing Pinkie Pie's eyes to pop open and turn to hers along with everyone else's. Fast as she could, she used her horn magic to encase the cupcake in a purple shimmer and toss it out of Pinkie's grasp. When the intact morsel went flying, Twilight sighed in relief. Then she saw another customer, absent-mindedly waving, knock the cupcake into the air. Then it bounced off a balloon Pinkie had put up for a birthday party that afternoon and landed right back on the hoof Pinkie had just been using to hold it. Before Twilight could toss it away again, Pinkie ate it whole. She smacked her lips as she got up to trot over to Twilight, other ponies clopping mildly on the ground at the little show.

"Yummy!" She said as she reached her friend, who was still taken aback at the sight of the cupcakes journey.
"Hi, Twi! Why did you want to chuck my cupcake, Silly?" Twilight came round then and placed her forehooves on Pinkie's shoulders.

"Pinkie, there's something vitally important that I need to tell you immediately before you have so much as another crumb to eat!"

"What?" Twilight glanced around. Everyone had stopped clopping because they realized they had in fact not just seen a little show.

"Something you don't want said in front of a bunch of bakery customers."


Down in the bakery basement, Twilight began an impromptu presentation on why Pinkie needed to change what she ate. She went over cholesterol, diabetes, metabolism, and tried her level best to fill her friend's head with all the visions she had seen when she entered the bakery. And she thought she did an excellent job, until she looked away from a diagram she had drawn to see that Pinkie was just about to snack on another cupcake with white frosting. Pinkie did look appropriately regretful, even before Twilight looked at her.

"I'm sorry, Twilight! They're all legit problems, but I can't help myself! I live in such a delicious world!" She held up the cupcake for Twilight to inspect. Twilight had to admit, even with her much smaller sweet tooth, it looked extremely tempting. "Every little nibble is like an explosion of delight going off in my mouth! When I lick off the icing, it's like I'm covering my tongue in happiness!" Twilight had no comment on that.

"I understand, Pinkie. We all * cough* have our weaknesses, and I wish I got half as much pleasure from mine as you seem to get from yours." Nevertheless, Twilight used her horn magic to levitate Pinkie's cupcake over, making her friend whimper mildly. Twilight rotated the cupcake in front of her, trying to think of what to do. A mind-control spell on Pinkie would be out of the question: Those always seemed to bite the caster on the flank somehow.

"Maybe... maybe I could find a way to make cupcakes and treats without all the sugar or all the lard processed from milk. Infinitely healthier treats, but which tasted just as sweet. Yeah. YEAH! That's what I'll do!"

"Sugar-free and fat-free cupcakes?" Pinkie whistled at the idea. "That's gonna be awfully hard to do! But it would probably change everything!" Twilight beamed at her friend. THIS was a promise she would be able to keep, since the methods used would be at her disposal, well within her field of study, and not super expensive.

"Pinkie, alchemy is the study of change." She floated the cupcake to in front of Pinkie's face. "It is, growth." Twilight's magic made the cupcake appear to grow about a quarter in size inside the purple shimmer and changed the frosting color to red. Pinkie's eyes seemed to grow 25% in size too.

"Then decay." The cupcake shrank down fifty percent and the frost turned green. Pinkie's expression wilted.

"Then transformation!" Twilight concluded.The cupcake returned to normal size, but the frosting had become rainbow colored. Pinkie couldn't contain herself any more and snatched the cupcake out of the air, gobbling it up.

"Alchemy is yummy!" Pinkie said with a rainbow-stained smile.


A week later, Twilight was back in the bakery basement with Pinkie. Her inspiration had long since been lost, for now she was in the prespiration part of the process in inventing which came with failing a lot. Sure, she'd developed some new cupcake and frosting formulas that on paper, according to the chemical compounds and charts of reactions she'd drawn up. But when she'd given the cupcakes and frosting to some mice she'd had Spike borrow from Fluttershy and then asked Spike to try them, she learned her treats were completely safe to eat but tasted like bread. And not even fresh bread. Stale, bland, bread. Obviously that was something that would never do for Pinkie.

"Ready to sample the new 'taste sensation!'" Pinkie said, bouncing in excitement at the great big moment she was going to have with her friend.

"That's great," Twilight said with as much enthusiasm as she could, which which was none. "Now, don't get your hopes up too high about these cupcakes." She opened the box she'd put the frosted cupcakes in.

"I'm sure if you made them, they've got to be the bestest be- ohhhhh..." Pinkie said as she got a look at and a whiff of the cupcakes. They were oddly shaped for cupcakes, looking more like brown stalks of cauliflower. The icing was a similarly unappetizing shade of brown. They were earth browns.

"Yeah, but let's try 'em anyway." Twilight forced a smile and mimed an enthusiastic hoof pump. "You can't judge a food by how it tastes and smells, right?"

"Well..." Pinkie said. When it became clear she had nothing further to say, Twilight lifted an earth brown out of the box, and Pinkie took a cautious bite out of it. She chewed slowly before swallowing.

"So?" Twilight asked.

"It tastes like stale bread. Even the icing somehow tastes like stale soggy bread. Sorry, Twilight. I know you're trying your best, but-" Pinkie stopped suddenly, and began to stare off into space.

"What's wrong?" Twilight asked. She slapped Pinkie softly on the face, and Pinkie barely reacted.

"Woah," Pinkie said a moment later. Then her pupils dilated and she made a huge smile. "WOOOOOAAAAAH!" She yelled, and then she began to stumble about like she was dizzy. Twilight grabbed her friend and took tight hold.

"PInkie, speak to me!"

"HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHHEHEEHE!" Pinkie laughed.It was like Pinkie had drunk too much cider multiplied by about 5.2 from Twilight's quick calculations. What she couldn't calculate was what to do about it.

"Lie down! I'm gonna-"

"I'm a feather, floating through the air, silly!" Pinkie yelled, and then she started to sashay back and forth slowly and softly, not breaking free of Twilight's grip. Twilight say in Pinkie's eyes then that there were swirling circles in them, like Pinkie had just been hypnotized. She waved her forehooves up and down gently, like they were strands of afterfeather.

"Oh Celestia," Twilight said, "I am so sorr-"

"I'm gonna hurl." Pinkie said. Her cheeks ballooned out. Twilight, at a loss for anything better to do, raced to a corner, grabbed a bucket, and came back in time to catch the blown chunks. When she was done upchucking, Pinkie surprisingly stood up straight and tall, looking right as rain. "Much better!"

"What? Do you really-"

"I feel fine, Twilight!" Pinkie said with a beam. "Better than ever, really! I was only feeling in a great mood before, but now, I'm in a super mood!" Twilight blinked and cocked her head.

"You aren't feeling sick or like you're a feather?"

"Oh, that was only for a few seconds, and even it was pretty nice, except for the throwing up! Can I have another?" Pinkie began to jog giddily in place, but she seemed lucid enough. Twilight, meanwhile, was struck with a bolt of inspiration that would have reduced her to jelly and shards if it were lightning. She had found a destiny, a way she would change Equestria forever by her own rules, by her own will, and without any fear. Just because it was what she wanted to do. It would help her save her friends. And for the first time in weeks, it managed to completely drive the fear of death from her mind with its power.

But first, she needed to check something.

"I need a blood sample." She told Pinkie matter-of-factly.


"Amazing. Not a trace of the substance anyway in your body.It could have been full of cyanide and you'd still be fine. Must be the effect of the magic I used! You could eat these all day and be none the worse for wear!" Twilight said to Pinkie as she looked at the print-outs. Pinkie was rubbing her leg where Twilight had taken the sample but was otherwise still quite giddy.

"That's wonderful! This feels way better than just the yummy taste! Can I have another one now?" Twilight looked at Pinkie with a gleam in her eyes. Pinkie was too happy at the moment to notice that the gleam was not the most innocent look in Equestria.

"Not yet Pinkie, but soon. You'll be able to have all you want, because we've just discovered the thing that will make us the richest ponies in Equestria!"

"Yay! How?" Twilight at first was surprised that Pinkie didn't know, but then she figured out why. Pinkie was too innocent to think they'd actually do what was required. It would require careful manipulation to get her to go along with it.

"We are going to deal these treats, these earth browns, to Ponyville, and the bits will pour in like water!" Pinkie Pie's giddiness did not keep her from getting the implications of that. She did work at a bakery after all and knew a thing or two about the laws of selling food.

"But, since these haven't been OK'd by the Department of Equestrian Aliments, wouldn't that be illegal for like a year?" That was exactly the statement Twilight expected. She had not expected to not be able to think of a good answer.

"Well, it's not so much illegal... as it's... not legalized yet." Twilight said. Pinkie narrowed her eyelids at that.

"So it's illegal."

"Yeah." Twilight admitted.

"You mean we're going to having to cook criminally? Like we're going to be baking... ungoods?" Twilight bristled at the phrasing.

"Or you could say baking bads, yes."

"Yeah, that is better." Pinkie agreed.

"Well cough you know the business." Twilight felt life rushing back into her. She was inspired again. "And I know the recipe."

"But... a couple of square ponies like us baking bads..." Pinkie looked practically Fluttershy-ish in how she looked down and away from her friend. "You don't really want to risk that, do you? We can wait for it to be legal." Twilight was getting angry again, like she had with Fluttershy. But not quite so furious. It was something she could control. At least that she thought she could control. It left her inclined to say something to Pinkie that was almost a threat.

"Either that," Twilight said, "Or you contact the Canterlot Guard, tell them what I'm doing, and have me arrested."

"Twilight!" Pinkie Pie yelled. Twilight then explained the situation with their friends. Rarity's financial problems, the health problems the Apples might have, Rainbow Dash's danger, the problems Fluttershy could have at any moment. She further explained why they couldn't wait that year, especially since they didn't know the earth browns would be legalized at the end of it. After all, loco weed was illegal for reasons not properly explained, and even a popular vote hadn't legalized it. In light of all that, Pinkie Pie's heart was changed, and she looked for some way to rationalize her decision.

"At least we wouldn't be cooking Crystal Empire meth." Pinkie conceded. Twilight recoiled in disgust at the idea.

"We'd never do that!" She declared.


"I know the why you and Pinkie are going out into the Everfree Forest. The real reason."



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Comments ( 9 )

This story's pretty good so far, keep at it :twilightsmile:

I like it!

But can I be *that guy* and point out some grammatical errors?


I copied it over to a google document here, so that I could use the comment system there.


Thanks. I'll give ya a credit for it.


Thanks! I'd be glad to do it for any other chapters, if you'd like.

This is going to be great, I can feel it

I like where this is going. Only problem I had were the occasional misspellings and grammatical issues. You might need a better proof reader than the one you already have. Besides that though this is really good! I'll keep an eye on this fic! :pinkiehappy:

YOU should really continue this, it’s a really good story.

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