Codename: CND-Operation: C.U.T.I.E.-M.A.R.K. (crossover) (2)

Apr 23rd, 2015
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  1. >please enter your codenumbuh
  2. >2388
  3. >please enter your password for confirmation
  4. >NonnyIsAMeaniePantsâ–®
  5. >confirmed
  6. >logging in...
  7. >Successfully logged in!
  8. >cd mission files
  9. >load operation_cutiemark.knd
  10. >continue transmission
  12. >"Ah don't get it," grumbled Apple Bloom, as she slurped on her milkshake after school the next day. "This pony don't like Diamond Tiara, but he don't like cutie marks. It don't make sense."
  13. >If any of them weren't suspicious of One-Hit Wonder after what happened yesterday, they certainly were now.
  14. >"Well, Apple Bloom, I guess he's just, well, neutral?"
  15. >"What do neutrons have to do with this?"
  16. "I think she means we're not supposed to look too deep into what he said," Scootaloo pointed out. After thinking about it for a second, she affirmed, "Though that doesn't explain why he knew my name."
  17. >She had thought back to his first day. Ms. Cheerilee hadn't called her name at all that class to answer a question. She DID call Button Mash, Twist, Small Fry, and a couple other ponies, but not her.
  18. >And the only pony who WOULD talk about her was Rainbow Dash, but she didn't think the two would get along.
  19. >"Scoots, ah have no idea if anythin' what he said can be taken at face values," Apple Bloom argued. "He was skepticy as can be."
  20. >"I think you're looking for the word 'shady'," corrected Sweetie Belle.
  21. >"Okay, ah gotta ask. Since when did you become a dictionary alluvasudden?"
  22. >"Oh come on, Apple Bloom, I've been that way for months now."
  23. >"But ah've never really noticed 'til JUS' now, what gives?"
  24. >As the two were fighting, Scootaloo had noticed that the colt had come in, gotten an ice cream, and sat down.
  25. >Particularly, with Button Mash and Twist.
  26. >"Ah'm not saying bein' a dictionary is a bad thing, but most offuss don't even know what yer talkin' about sometimes."
  27. >"Well exCUSE me for knowing what these words are, Apple Bloom."
  28. >Scootaloo ignored them. They were just having a little spat.
  29. >What she WAS interested in was the kind of talk the other group was having.
  30. >"...thho, you're thith One-Hit Wonder I'ff been hearing about?" lisped Twist.
  31. >He nodded.
  32. >"Thweet. I'ff heard great thingth about you, and I'm thuper happy you're gonna be with uth!"
  33. >"Yeah!" squeaked the nasally voice of Button Mash. "I hear you're really good at video games."
  34. >'Video games?' she thought. 'Wasn't Button Mash the only pony who played those things?'
  35. >'...for that matter, did One-Hit Wonder even know what video games were?'
  36. >"Errrr, I'm not the best, but maybe," he smiled.
  37. >'Apparently.'
  38. >"Since when did y'all become Scootaloo now?"
  39. >"I'm not Scootaloo, I don't even have wings."
  40. >Buhhhhh.
  41. >"Well, One-Hit Wonder, again I hear your mithhion ith going well?"
  42. >"But of course."
  43. >'Mitthion?'
  44. >'Was she trying to say mission?'
  45. >Okay, this was getting-
  46. >"Equestria to Scootaloo, you in there?"
  47. >'Wait what-'
  48. "Buh- wha- yes- Houston- I'm here!"
  49. >An awkward silence passed before Apple Bloom smiled.
  50. "Uhhh, I mean..."
  51. >"Scoots, ah was worried y'all were a mite hot under the collar, with all the sweatin' and all."
  52. "O-Of course not. It's barely even 70 degrees out."
  53. >"So it IS a crush on 'im," teased Apple Bloom.
  54. >Her heart officially skipped a beat.
  55. "A c-crush?! On who?"
  56. >This time, both Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle giggled as she realized just who they thought she had a crush on.
  57. "No way. Me and him?!"
  58. >"C'mon, Scoots, ah'm not judging."
  59. "No, seriously. I was just...uhhhhh..."
  60. >She struggled to think of a good excuse.
  61. "Just uhhh...spyin' on him, that's all."
  62. >This did not make their smirks disappear.
  63. "To see why he's all shady and stuff."
  64. >She looked back at the other group.
  65. >One-Hit Wonder had gotten up and said his goodbyes to Twist and Apple Bloom.
  66. >"You thure you know how to get to the treehouth?" asked Twist.
  67. >"I'm sure."
  68. >As he left, so did Twist and Button Mash.
  69. >And it was then that the Crusaders realized just where they talked about.
  70. >"...why are they going to the clubhouse?"
  71. >The fact that the trio was meeting up at what MIGHT be the Crusaders' clubhouse really startled the eponymous little fillies.
  72. >It could easily be nothing.
  73. >But the way One-Hit Wonder was acting all day yesterday and today certainly put that into doubt.
  74. "I think we should investigate," Scootaloo suggested.
  75. >"What? Are you serious?" asked Sweetie Belle.
  76. "I am. If we can find out what he's doing at the clubhouse, maybe we can find out what's REALLY going on."
  77. >"Or maybe you can finally confess yer love to 'im."
  78. >The pegasus rolled her eyes.
  79. >"Ah mean, ah'm up fer it, but ah'll have to make sure it's okay with Applejack first."
  80. >"Same here, gotta let Rarity know."
  81. "Alright, that settles it. We meet at the Clubhouse at 6PM."
  82. >
  83. Applejack basically told her sister, "Sure! Jus' don't get into too much trouble with Scootaloo's parents, alright?"
  84. >Rarity was much more encouraging, if the amount of bags and fancy stuff she sent with Sweetie Belle was any indication.
  85. >Regardless, it was now 6:30PM, and just as One-Hit Wonder's 'mission' was about to begin, so were the Crusader's.
  86. "Any sign of him?" asked Scootaloo.
  87. >"Eenope. All ah see are trees."
  88. >They kept looking. Unfortunately, for the first good part of the hour there was little to no sign of him.
  89. >That was, until...
  90. >"I see him!"
  91. "You do?!"
  92. >"Ya do?"
  93. >They scrambled to the lookout point. Indeed, Sweetie had actually spotted the young colt, walking along the forest path on his own.
  94. >And...He continued to walk along the path, outright ignoring the clubhouse as he did so.
  95. >"Well, this might've been a bad idea," lamented the unicorn.
  96. >"Scoots, yer suuuure it was the Clubhouse?"
  97. "Look, I KNOW he said 'treehouse'. There's only one treehouse in the whole forest, and we're standing on the edge of it."
  98. >"Maybe there's more than one."
  99. >Undaunted, they decided to undertake plan B.
  100. >Which was to follow him into the forest.
  101. >Which proved simple enough; they were at the very least quiet enough so that sound wouldn't be an issue.
  102. >The colt finally stopped at a stump. He took a look around, to see if there was anypony there.
  103. >'Horseapples, if he finds us it's over!'
  104. >...finding no one in the general vicinity, he stepped onto the top of the stump.
  105. >And with a loud, mechanical "SCHWUUP!", he went down through the very stump itself.
  106. >"Whoaa..."
  107. >"Whoa."
  108. "Whoa is right."
  109. >The Crusaders took a quick look around the stump to see what it actually was.
  110. >It seemed to be just a 'normal' stump, the only difference being that it was hollow.
  111. "Okay, now I'm a little scared."
  112. >"Oh c'mon, Scoots. This was yer idea!"
  113. "I know, saw what just happened."
  114. >"Well, is it a -good- kind of scared, Scootaloo?" cheered Sweetie Belle.
  115. "Yeah, I guess."
  116. >They prodded the top of the stump, to see if something would happen.
  117. >Nothing happened.
  118. >"Hmmm...ah dunno what he did to make it work."
  119. "Try standing on it?"
  120. >Apple Bloom climbed onto the stump, to see if weight was an issue.
  121. >...nothing happened.
  122. >"Ah don't get it. It worked for him."
  123. >Scootaloo jumped onto it.
  124. "Maybe he was doing a pose when he did it."
  125. >Then, finally, Sweetie Belle jumped onto the stump.
  126. >"Would a ballerina pose be a good one to try?"
  127. "No, why would being a ballerina be-"
  128. >*click*
  129. >The three fillies screamed as the top of the stump slid under their very hooves, and even more as they fell into the depths of the stump.
  130. >It was a downward slide they slid down, but it was extremely nervewracking for all three of them.
  134. >Eventually, they landed onto the ground, which was thankfully softened by a...pillow?
  135. >Once they could feel their legs, they started to take a gander at the place.
  136. >"What do y'all see?"
  137. "I see a sign..."
  138. >It was dark inside the room. However, it was just light enough for her to read it.
  139. "It reads...'push button to leave now'?"
  140. >Sure enough, there was a button.
  141. "And then it reads...'Gauntlet just ahead. Beware, Adolt?' What the heck does THAT mean?"
  142. >"...maybe the button just leads us back outside," noted Sweetie Belle. "That makes sense, right?"
  143. "Yeah, and there's clearly gonna be a staircase that'll just magically take us up from thirty thousand feet underground."
  144. >Apple Bloom shook her head. "None o' this makes a lick of sense in all honesty. Ah'm startin' to think that this might be more trouble than it's worth."
  145. >She looked towards where the Gauntlet sign was pointing, a lone door leading to who knows where.
  146. >"But...ah guess we don't got much of a choice."
  147. >With their hackles up and with a gulp, they opened the door.
  148. >Inside the door was a long, LONG hallway. Farther than the stump led them to believe, and much farther than any of them had anticipated.
  149. >However, to their surprise, it was a long, EMPTY hallway.
  150. >Or so it seemed.
  151. >"Well, this seems friendly enough," smiled Sweetie Belle. "I'll just go on ahe-"
  152. "No," Scootaloo whispered, motioning her friend to stop before something happened.
  153. >She recalled Rainbow Dash reading these Daring Do books to her before, and she definitely remembered that hallways like these were never truly 'empty'.
  154. >She scanned the surrounding area. Although by all perception it looked empty, she noticed several slits and holes in the walls, as well as an uneven ceiling.
  155. "Okay, I think this may be a 'death-trap' kind of gauntlet. I'm nervous as anypony about doing this, but if we want to keep going, we need to be quick about it."
  156. >"Are ya sure?"
  157. "I am. There's no way things are gonna be -this- easy."
  158. >Apple Bloom took a look ahead.
  159. >"It sure seems empty to me."
  160. "I've read enough Daring Do to know why that is."
  161. >"...ya read Daring Do too?"
  162. "Not the point."
  163. >She looked ahead to see if there was an 'end' to this gauntlet.
  164. >The only 'end' she saw was another door at the end of the hall.
  165. "Okay, on the count of three, we floor it. Ready girls?"
  166. >"Ready, Scootaloo!"
  167. >"Ready- wait whut."
  168. >She had her eye on the prize.
  169. "One."
  170. >"Scoots, this is a bad idea and ah don't think it's gonna-"
  171. "Two.."
  172. >No pony was gonna stop them.
  173. >"Scootaloo, ah really think we should-"
  174. "Three!"
  175. >The Crusaders rushed forth to try and make it to the end.
  176. >Almost immediately the 'death traps' Scootaloo was talking about started to appear, ranging from candy corn arrows to gingerbread crushers to cookie cutters made of actual cookie crust.
  177. >It would have been a dream come true for Pinkie Pie
  178. >Now was not the time to think about that, however.
  179. >They dodged each sweet-themed death trap, not because they were good at it but because they needed to stay alive.
  180. >It was brutal, beyond anything Scootaloo had ever experienced.
  181. >But thankfully, the end was in sight.
  182. "I see it! We're almost-"
  183. >Almost as if on-cue, the walls shifted once more, and on either side, two pieces of peanut buttered bread started closing in at an alarming rate.
  184. >"We're not gonna make it!" called Sweetie Belle.
  185. "Yes we are! I -know- we are!"
  186. >If they could just...
  187. >...
  188. >It was only a split-second margin of error they had, but they made it.
  189. >They had surpassed the Gauntlet.
  190. "I can't believe we made it.." breathed Scootaloo.
  191. >They took a moment to breathe before looking towards the door.
  192. >They leaned closer to see if there was anything up ahead.
  193. >"...tho, Numbuh 911, you're thure that they're going to attack on Thunday?"
  194. >None of them could doubt it. That was Twist's voice.
  195. >"Course I am, Numbuh 1619," drawled the voice of One-Hit Wonder. "If this is indeed 'Brandon Brander' we're talking about, I have no doubt he will strike at the crack of dawn."
  196. >If the alarm bells didn't sound before in their heads they certainly did now.
  197. >So they listened intently.
  198. >"But why Ponyville?" asked what appeared to be Button Mash's voice. "Shouldn't he be in Manehattan right now?"
  199. >"I have no clue, honestly. But all the signs are there, and with this being a three-day weekend, I'd advise all operatives in Sector P to at least be on guard."
  200. >All three Crusaders were alarmed.
  201. >This was the very proof that something was up with One-Hit Wonder.
  202. >This wasn't just him being shady. This was an outright conspiracy.
  203. >One that Twilight would go nuts over.
  204. >But now Twist and maybe Button Mash were a part of this conspiracy.
  205. >And they had numbers for some reason.
  206. >And just who the heck was Brandon Brander?
  207. >"Ah'm startin' to like this less n' less," whispered Apple Bloom. "Can't we jus' go home?"
  208. "Not until we get answers. Look, I'm sorry I had to put you two through this, but it was gonna bug me until it happened."
  209. >"But it was fun, right?" chirped Sweetie Belle.
  210. "Er...well.."
  211. >"Because I certainly had fun."
  212. >"Well, as much as ah'm scared outta mah wits...ah had fun too. Even if it is real dangerous."
  213. >Scootaloo smiled, and continued listening.
  214. >"Do we even know what kind of scheme he's got, Numbuh 911?" asked Button Mash.
  215. >"No clue, Numbuh 64. However, the best defense in this scenario is really, really thick pants. I'll have Numbuh 22nd Century develop flank armor. Am I clear, Numbuh 22nd Century?"
  216. >"You got it, Numbuh 911," spoke the ever-eager voice of Small Fry.
  217. >'Great, he's involved?' pondered Scootaloo. 'Are we the only fillies in our school who AREN'T involved?'
  218. >"Alright, are there any questions as of this time?" asked One-Hit Wonder.
  219. >A pause. "Alright, in that case, I'll be right back. I'm kind of getting a little hot under the collar."
  220. >'Uh-oh', Scootaloo thought.
  221. >"It'th not even theventy degreeth out."
  222. >"Still getting used to the weather here in Ponyville. Give me a moment."
  223. >She motioned them to hide. Now.
  224. >So they found a nearby cardboard box.
  225. >Apple Bloom gave her a look, one that clearly said 'are you serious?!'
  226. >But they hid under it nevertheless.
  227. >As the colt came out, he paused. Almost as if he was thinking about something.
  228. >'At least he can't find us under the box-'
  229. >"You know, if you three wanted to come with me tonight you could have just asked."
  230. >'Aww, crud.'
  231. >Without any further warning he lifted off the box from above.
  232. >They gasped as One-Hit Wonder glared down at them.
  233. "Nu-Numb- ER, One-Hit Wonder, I-"
  234. >"Don't think for a second I didn't anticipate you following me here," he growled, in a very angry tone. "Now, you three are going to tell me what you overheard and what you saw."
  235. >They explained to him everything they had heard, from the meeting at the 'treehouse' to the death traps to the mysterious pony named 'Brandon Brander'. He nodded as they listed these off.
  236. >"Very, VERY curious, that you overheard this much."
  237. "We're really sorry we tried to follow you, but we just wanted answers. Answers less shifty than the ones you gave us. Because let's face it, you were being very vague yesterday."
  238. >He raised an eyebrow.
  239. "But we didn't come all this way to be kicked out now. So you have to tell us what in all of Equestria is going on."
  240. >His face contorted, into one of surprise.
  241. >"Fine."
  242. >The Crusaders smiled-
  243. >"But ONLY if you promise NOT to tell anyone. Alright?"
  244. >"We promise."
  245. >They could already tell that this was meant to be top-secret.
  246. >Plus nopony would likely believe them if they talked about it, so..
  247. >"Very well. Come with me."
  248. >And he led them inside into what appeared to be a conference room.
  249. >Inside the room were, as heard from before, Twist, Button Mash, Small Fry, and even Berry Pinch and Dinky.
  250. >To say these fillies were a little shocked was an understatement, if them pointing makeshift weapons at the Cutie Mark Crusaders was any indication.
  251. >"Stand down, everypony. I need to explain some things to them."
  252. >"Numbuh 911? What is the meaning of this?!" yelled Small Fry. "You can't just blow our cover to-"
  253. >He glared at the orange-maned colt.
  254. >"I said stand down."
  255. >They paused, and then lowered their weapons.
  256. >Scootaloo glanced over at the other fillies. These were their classmates, ponies they've seen all the time at Ponyville Elementary.
  257. >Yet they seemed different now, almost alien.
  258. >Twist in particular seemed very somber when she looked at the Crusaders.
  259. >Once everypony was quiet, One-Hit Wonder scanned the room. Maybe, finally, after all that happened, they would get some answers.
  260. >"Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle. Since you three followed me all the way here, I suppose I owe you an explanation," he admitted. Clearing his throat, he explained, "I Numbuh 911, a member of a global organization called the 'Colts Next Door', one which fights against the evil power of adult tyranny."
  261. >Confusion spread all across the Crusaders.
  262. >'Actually, forget anypony believing us, I don't even believe HIM."
  263. "What do you mean, 'adult tyranny'? That sounds a little ridiculous."
  264. >"It doeth thound ridiculouth, Scootaloo," sighed Twist. "But it'th much, MUCH more complicated than that."
  265. >"You see," elaborated One-Hit Wonder, "there are many ponies, adult mares and stallions, that have an embedded and irrational hatred of foals, colts, and fillies, or really anyone younger than them. And although I wish it weren't the case, most of these ponies let this hatred become their being. In many cases it starts with the discovery of one's cutie mark, but then it grows. A seed that cannot simply be unrooted."
  266. >"That's absurd," argued Apple Bloom. "Yer not saying everyone older 'n us hates foals?"
  267. >"Not everyone. In fact, Ponyville seems to be an exception."
  268. >"Ah sure hope so, cuz mah sister Applejack's a grown mare and she loves me like ah were her daughter or somethin'."
  269. >"And Rarity, even though we have our little fights, my big sister's really nice most of the time!"
  270. >One-Hit Wonder smiled. "And the world could use more ponies like Rarity and Applejack. But..."
  271. >A projector opened up, and it displayed several slides. Photographs of the horrors of whatever this 'adult tyranny' was.
  272. >"The unfortunate truth is that most places are not like them."
  273. >Photographs upon photographs were displayed of young fillies being branded, beaten, put into labor, bullied for their lack of a cutie marks.
  274. >"These ponies have suffered, much worse than one would by the hooves of an average school bully."
  275. >Among the ponies in these photographs were-.
  276. >"Snips and Snails. Beaten for not adhering to impossible standards."
  277. >"Rainy Feather. Forced to work in the weather factory under the legal age."
  278. >The next slide showed-
  279. >"Wait, what's mah cousin doin' in there?!"
  280. >"Babs Seed. Pressured off from many public services, if not outright banned, for not having her cutie mark."
  281. >This was enough to make Apple Bloom shake.
  282. >"A-Ah knew she was bullied fer not having her cutie mark before, but ah didn't think it was this bad!"
  283. >One-Hit Wonder grimaced, as did the others.
  284. >"Now you know what we're fighting to prevent."
  285. "Wait a minute," interjected Scootaloo, "are you ALL really fighting? Against, well, this?"
  286. >Button Mash scowled. "Yeah, problem is, there are some who have superpowers, beyond those of normal unicorns, that try to enforce this bias against foals. That's where the Colts Next Door comes in."
  287. >"As you can see, we've been highly secretive for years," elaborated One-Hit Wonder, "risking our lives and sacrificing our childhood to guarantee the...well, foalhood of everyone else is safe and sound. Granted, it's fun a lot of times, but it's highly dangerous."
  288. >"And...Twist, Button Mash, Small Fry, y'all were a part of this from the beginnin'?"
  289. >They looked at one another.
  290. >"Yeth. We were."
  291. >Apple Bloom's face was scrunched as she glared at Twist.
  292. >"So that's why you left me, that's why ah never saw or met with you again until...well, this. Ah thought ya left me cuz AH didn't have my cutie mark."
  293. >Scootaloo cringed. The two of them were best friends up until Twist got HER Cutie Mark.
  294. >"Apple Bloom, I wanted to tell you, I wanted to warn you about what wath going on. But...but I didn't want you to think I wath no better than..."
  295. >A lonely tear dripped from her glasses as she said the next few words.
  296. >"...than Diamond Tiara."
  297. >A silence passed through the room for a small, fleeting moment.
  298. >"This would be where I would end my explanation," sighed One-Hit Wonder, "and I would ask you to leave."
  299. >The Crusaders hung their heads down.
  300. >" came in through the Gauntlet."
  301. >Their heads perked up at this.
  302. "Yeah, I was wondering about that. Why have all those death traps?! And...why were they all sweet-based?"
  303. >"Although they're not DEATH traps per se, they were placed in case an intruder found his way to the entrance. Most ponies can't even make it all the way through without being stuck."
  304. "Stuck? So that's why it's sweet themed."
  305. >"Actually," interjected Small Fry. "I was trying to make it lactose-themed for months now, but they decided to go for glucose instead. It just has a better stickifying effect if you ask me."
  306. >"Regardless," groaned One-Hit Wonder, "usually only Colts Next Door operatives make it through in one piece. What really interested me is that you three made it all the way through with no powers or no idea what to expect."
  307. >He approached them, as if to attack them, possibly.
  308. >"So with that in mind...would you three be interested in joining the Colts Next Door?"
  309. >To say the Crusaders were shocked was an understatement.
  310. >They'd just met this pony, this One-Hit Wonder, who's apparently part of a top-secret worldwide super kid soldier fighting for the rights of foals everywhere.
  311. >This pony, who was very experienced if his squabble with Diamond Tiara was proof of it.
  312. >This pony was asking THEM to join their group.
  313. >Of all the ponies in Equestria, Numbuh 911 wanted the Cutie Mark Crusaders to join the Colts Next Door.
  314. >If they were dreaming, they might have woken up by now.
  315. "Are you SURE you want us to join you? After what we said earlier about cutie marks?"
  316. >"An' yer askin' us if we want to put ourselves in danger the whole way?"
  317. >"Plus I'm pretty sure this is gonna get us in MORE trouble if things go wrong like we're used to."
  318. >He shook his head.
  319. >"Again, I'm not going to force you," he admitted. "This is entirely your decision."
  320. >Scootaloo recalled exactly what he said.
  321. >That their minds were still expanding. That they had the power to define themselves in ways other than their cutie marks.
  322. >That he was, indeed, somepony who could see the untapped potential in her.
  323. "Okay, I know I'm gonna regret this somewhere along the line, and it's gonna suck for everypony involved, but...I'm in."
  324. >One-Hit Wonder gave a small smile.
  325. >"And are you willing to give it your all to help defend the rights of our youth?"
  326. >Scootaloo returned his smile with a determined face of her own.
  327. "I am."
  328. >After a moment, Sweetie Belle said, "I'll join, if Scootaloo's in."
  329. >The two fillies looked at their Crusader leader in expectancy.
  330. >Apple Bloom sighed. "...shoot, if y'all are doin' this, ah guess ah'm in as well."
  331. >"Excellent!" One-Hit Wonder exclaimed. "I'll be seeing the three of you tomorrow afternoon at Sugarcube Corner to go over the details of your official training."
  332. >"Training?" the three of them asked.
  333. >"Yes. There's an official training program, a boot camp if you ask me, that all cadets must go through in order to become full-time operatives."
  334. >'Boot camp? That sounds terrible!' thought Scootaloo.
  335. >Then, Numbuh 911 smiled.
  336. >"However, if the talent I see in you all is indeed your untapped potential, I have no doubt you'll be among the best operatives in the organization...if not the best of the best."
  337. >
  338. >End transmission.
  339. 1jQfXpMc8CpzW08McZnR8msVbL7H/SmuXnVVbs+k/30=
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