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Pon15 Aug 18th, 2019 (edited) 66 Never
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  1. >"Hello princess, how are you today?"
  2. "Doing well, it's always good to see a friend. I bought some rhubarb earlier, Applejack's coming over and I'm going to give making a pie a serious effort for once."
  3. >"I'm sure it'll be delicious with her help. Listen... you're probably wondering why I've called you in here."
  4. >You sigh, having hoped the formalities wouldn't come about this soon. Cheerilee was a good friend of yours, after all.
  5. "Is Anon giving you any trouble?"
  6. >"Well, she's a brilliant student, attentive, and a sweetheart..."
  7. "What's the issue, then?"
  8. >"Well, she doesn't interact with the other colts and fillies during recess. Just sits off in the corner of the playground with a magnifying glass. I figured the Princess of Friendship would be a bit concerned about her daughter well... not having any friends."
  9. >You feel a bit attacked at that.
  10. "She has friends, the CMC come over sometimes."
  11. >"Twilight, they're four years ahead of her. Don't you want your daughter to get some friends her own age?"
  12. >...
  13. >Be Cheerilee.
  14. >Hopefully Twilight will talk to her daughter about some of the things you brought up in your meeting earlier.
  15. >You scan the playground, looking over to Anon's corner.
  16. >She just keeps staring at the ground with that magnifying glass, adjusting it every once in a while.
  17. >What could possibly be so interesting?
  18. >Well, she's one of your students.
  19. >And it's your purpose to give every foal the best education they can receive, regardless of their mental inhibitions.
  20. >Not that she hasn't been getting perfect scores on her math exams seemingly without paying attention during that part of class at all, but the Equestrian educational system doesn't have only the purpose of educating foals, but molding them into good citizens.
  21. >...plus you've always been the curious sort.
  22. >You wouldn't be teaching if you weren't.
  23. >In another twenty minutes, you call all of the little ones back inside.
  24. "I need to go pick up some test results from the post office, turn to page 27 of 'Apples and Oranges' and read through page 67."
  25. >You're not lying, but the post office is only around the corner; giving you ample time to casually walk over to the corner Anon has been sitting in for the past few months.
  26. >There's an ant mound there.
  27. >Well, you were interested in entomology as a filly too. Guess that settles it.
  28. >You're about to drop it and get back to monitoring your class read when you notice something strange.
  29. >There are tiny little blackened spots on the sand.
  30. >Strange.
  31. >Well, they'll be able to rebuild it.
  32. >With careful swipes of your hooves, you begin to excavate the ant colony.
  33. >Luckily it's just the small black ones, you wouldn't have gone to this trouble if they were fire ants.
  34. >Finally, you find what you're looking for.
  35. >It's a burial chamber.
  36. >You focus on your hoof and feel the pull.
  37. >One of the small corpses gravitates towards it, landing on your frog.
  38. >Like magic, because it is.
  39. >Being careful to maintain your hold, you push it up to your nostril and inhale deeply.
  40. >Like charcoal.
  41. >...
  42. >It's the end of the day.
  43. >All of the fillies and colts file out in neat lines, Anon being one of them.
  44. >Her Daring Do themed saddlebags are a bit too big for her, and so she slouches slightly as she trots out the door.
  45. "Anon, can you stay behind a minute?"
  46. >She smiles and comes over.
  47. >"What is it, Ms. Cheery?"
  48. >You like that nickname.
  49. >It stands as a testament that not all of the nicknames you receive as a teacher are degrading.
  50. "Well, two things. First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on your benchmark scores. You only got three questions incorrect across the entire test."
  51. >She grins.
  52. "The second isn't quite as exciting, I just want you to deliver a message to your mom for me."
  53. >You pass her a letter, which she slides into her left saddlebag.
  54. >"What's it say?"
  55. "Just boring adult stuff, I crunch Twilight's numbers for her lately because she's too busy saving the world all the time to do her own accounting."
  56. >You hate lying to fillies, but you really don't want to lose the admiration of one of the few students that has some respect for you.
  57. >At least it seems to satisfy her.
  58. >She leaves quickly, leaving you all alone to a silent schoolhouse and a stack of ungraded history quizzes.
  59. >You pull a small silver skeleton key out of your mane and slide it quietly into the bottom-most drawer of your desk.
  60. >You pull out a nearly full bottle of vodka and throw back about three shots worth.
  61. >You know burning ants isn't an abnormal thing for fillies and colts to do, but with a demeanor like Anon's you never would've expected it.
  62. >...
  63. >Be Twilight Sparkle.
  64. "Welcome home Doodlebug, how was school?"
  65. >"It was okay. I did good on the benchmark."
  66. "Can't say I didn't expect that, you're a smart little filly."
  67. >"I wouldn't say that, I just happen to have been a man who received education through high school and a little bit beyond before getting sent here inexplicably."
  68. >You pull her in close for a hug.
  69. "Does that mean that you'll turn down a celebratory batch of cookies tonight?"
  70. >You can see her pretend to ponder it before grinning.
  71. >"Of course not. Oh, right. Cheerilee asked me to give you this letter. Says it was something about your accounting, sounds important."
  72. >You've done your own accounting for years, but if Cheerilee felt the need to lie about something like that to get a letter to you it's obviously:
  73. >A. Of at least mild importance.
  74. >B. Information that she felt necessary to keep from Anon, meaning it's of much more than mild importance because it relates to your baby.
  75. >You feign a calm demeanor as you pluck it from her outstretched hoof with your magic.
  76. "Thanks sweetie, I'll take a look at it and then get started on the cookies. Peanutbutter, or chocolate chip?"
  77. >"Chocolate chip."
  78. >You poof off to your office before taking out your eloquent letter opener-
  79. >-and tearing the envelope to shreds because nobody in Equestria ever thought to write a guide on proper letter-opener techniques.
  80. >You could probably ask Rarity, but she would probably snob it up a bit and you don't particularly like it when she does that.
  81. >You utter a small incantation, sealing the paper that you carelessly cut back together.
  82. >'Meet me again tomorrow morning. 5:30 AM.'
  83. >You incinerate the letter.
  84. >Better prying filly eyes don't see it.
  85. >...
  86. >You're baking cookies when your filly comes in, crying.
  87. >"M-mom, something happened to Hamilton."
  88. >Oh shit.
  89. >You rush after her, arriving at her room within under a minute.
  90. >You take a look at the hamster.
  91. >It's clearly dead.
  92. >Resting on the hamster wheel.
  93. >There's blood on its mouth, huh.
  94. >You levitate it out.
  95. >Run a quick diagnostic test on it.
  96. >...
  97. >Brain failure due to lack of oxygen?
  98. >You look over at Anon.
  99. >She looks absolutely heartbroken, big tears running down her cheeks and lines of mucus soaking the hair under her nostrils.
  100. >The spell [i]does[/i] have a five percent error margin...
  101. >It's possible that the hamster just dropped dead from a blood clot that traveled to its brain and it already had some sort of respiratory issue...
  102. >Maybe it bit itself in a panic.
  103. >You hug your filly close, lifting her off the ground a bit.
  104. "Shh... it's okay. Hamilton is in a better place now."
  105. >"B-better than Equestria?"
  106. >You ponder a bit about what the right answer might be to a question like that posed by someone who has told you they view your world as Heaven.
  107. "For him, yes."
  108. >You answer seems to satisfy the filly, though you don't stop holding her close until her sniffles die down into the sounds of gooey inhalations through clogged nostrils.
  109. >A loud ringing tells you that your cookies are done.
  110. >You think you'll let her have them all, you wouldn't be doing your ass any favors eating them with her anyways.
  111. >Be Cheerilee.
  112. >You've finally finished grading all of your students' papers, just in time to get out of the schoolhouse before you're into unpaid overtime territory.
  113. >You love your job, but after hours it goes from 'the joy of educating Equestria's youth' to 'why the fuck do all of these little shits insist on writing their short responses in crayon with half of the letters being backwards and the other half not even resembling anything in the Equestrian alphabet?'
  114. >In any case, you're just in time to cook yourself a nice dinner of spaghetti.
  115. >A little known fact about having a pink coat is that marinera sauce stains don't show up as prominantly on it.
  116. >You know you've made use of it a few times.
  117. >Not your proudest moments, but the foals were none the wiser.
  118. >And administration would only catch wind of it if the parents knew.
  119. >Speaking of which...
  120. "Anon!"
  121. >You're a little tipsy.
  122. >Normally you wouldn't shout, but whatever.
  123. >One look at you from Twilight tells you that you picked a bad time.
  124. >You simply nod a hello and get on your way, only stumbling slightly.
  125. >You wish you could truthfully say that you had stopped with the first bit of that booze, but you can't.
  126. >Be Twilight.
  127. "I'm surprised you want to go get a new hamster so soon after Hamilton's death."
  128. >"It's what he would have wanted. For me to move on and not be sad about him."
  129. "Well, alright. A deal is a deal."
  130. >Twenty minutes later, and a noticably more docile hamster than Hamilton is selected from the pen.
  131. >On your way out from the store, you pop the most important question you can ask a filly about her new pet.
  132. "What are you going to name him?"
  133. >"HAM."
  134. "That's a bit generic, don't you think?"
  135. >"Well, it's not the type of meat. Just represents the activity of using low frequency radio waves to bounce off of the ionosphere, letting people communicate across the world."
  136. "Ah, I didn't know humans had developed those. One of my classmates was working on prototyping one of them, though it's a bit of a pain to test the extent of it when you're the sole pony in Equestria with access to a radio that powerful and the maximum theoretical range is somewhere out in the trecherous uncharted lands."
  137. >"Huh, that's neat."
  138. "I would use the channel she gave me to call her up using my copy of the prototype, but she died a few years back and it was incinerated when Golden Oaks was."
  139. >You feel a soft touch on your barrel.
  140. >"I'm sorry to hear that."
  141. >You give her a slight smile.
  142. "I've gotten over it by now, but thank you. You're a very considerate filly, you know that?"
  143. >"I try my best..."
  144. >The rest of the walk home is spent in silence.
  145. >...
  146. >You burst awake, instantly alert.
  147. >Right, just your nightmare alarm.
  148. >Silent and efficient, even if it'll probably make your mane grow gray a few years before it probably should.
  149. >Well, time to meet up with Cheerilee.
  150. >You teleport outside of her door, never having forgotten the earsplitting screaming your ear off she gave you when you teleported right in front of her.
  151. >To be fair, it was warranted. The fact that you very nearly displaced her vital organs right onto the floor with your own body was reason enough for her to be pissed.
  152. >You... saw it as a learning experience.
  153. >You raise the knocker and bring it down three times.
  154. "Cheerilee."
  155. >She opens the door immediately.
  156. >"Something is wrong with Anon."
  157. >You walk inside, taking a seat on the well-worn couch.
  158. "How do you figured that?"
  159. >"Well, she's been burning ants in the playground and doesn't get along well with other fillies."
  160. "I thought she was friends with the CMC..."
  161. >"I never see them together on the playground. Fillies her age are usually inseperable from their friends, but she just sits."
  162. "She's been burning ants every day?"
  163. >"To my knowledge, yes. As I'm sure you know, ants have burial chambers. I dug into one and picked up quite a few of them, most of them were less insect and more briquette."
  164. "But still, isn't burning ants fairly normal?"
  165. >"I won't fault the average foal for a bit of insect cruelty, yes. In fact, I did it sometimes in my own foalhood... I've never seen somepony as dedicated to their craft as her with that magnifying glass though."
  166. "I see... thank you for letting me know, I'll see what I can do about it."
  167. >The two of you share a quick hug, and then part ways.
  168. >After all, this morning is pancakes for your filly.
  169. >Be Cheerilee.
  170. >You feel awful.
  171. >Something is going to happen with that filly.
  172. >Twilight is a great pony, but you don't think she's capable  doing what needs to be done here.
  173. >Well, all you can do now is wait it out.
  174. >Be Diamond Tiara.
  175. >Queen of the playground, even though you've been out of school sick for quite some time.
  176. >But now you're back, and ready to stake your claim.
  177. >Step 1: ensure your authority is still unchallanged.
  178. >You walk up to a colt and ask him to give you his lunch or else.
  179. >He laughs you off.
  180. >No matter, step 2 is sure to be a go.
  181. >Step 2: find the most pathetic kid on the playground and mess them up in front of someone.
  182. >You look to the corners.
  183. >Perfect, the little green one at the far left.
  184. >You trot over, slowly.
  185. >Menacingly.
  186. "Lunch. Now."
  187. >"Fuck off, Dildo Tapioca."
  188. >You're miffed now.
  189. >She holds a magnifying glass with her forehooves, using it to fry ants.
  190. "What are you doing?"
  191. >"This colony of ants is disrupting the ecosystem of our class garden by killing earthworms. As an earth pony, it's my duty to bring down righteous judgement upon those that stand in the way of mother Gaia."
  192. "Oh, then what would you do if I were to break that magnifying glass?"
  193. >She looks up at you quizically.
  194. >"You really don't want to do that."
  195. "Are you sure about that?"
  196. >"Yes."
  197. >You laugh.
  198. "What kind of 'righteous judgement' would a pony a good two feet smaller than I am bring down on me?"
  199. >She stares at you blankly.
  200. >"You're making a mistake."
  201. >The calmness in her voice unnerves you slightly, but you've got a job to do.
  202. >You rip the glass from her hooves.
  203. >She puts up no resistance whatsoever.
  204. >You take it and slam down your hoof on it, the glass shattering into a good 1000 pieces all over the dirt.
  205. >She shrugs and walks back towards the schoolhouse.
  206. >Oh shit, you forgot about her capacity to tattle.
  207. >To your surprise though, she simply waves to Cheerilee, gesturing to her stomach and walks off down the path.
  208. >Dumb fuck must've forgotten her lunch.
  209. >You look over to the anthill, and see a brown paper bag sitting next to it.
  210. >Double dumb fuck.
  211. >...
  212. >The green filly doesn't show up in class until near the end.
  213. >She whispers something to Cheerilee, but there's no way it could be a full report of what you did.
  214. >Only takes three seconds, tops.
  215. >Cheerilee says something a bit louder about the book, and she just sits down and opens it up to a page.
  216. >A few minutes later, she turns her head around and gives you this thousand yard stare.
  217. >You try your best to focus on your reading, but at this point it's impossible.
  218. >...
  219. >Be Twilight Sparkle.
  220. >Any minute, and your little angel will walk through the door.
  221. >Any-
  222. >"Hey, mom."
  223. "Hey, how was-"
  224. >"Fine, but the CMC need help with a school project. You mind if I sleep over with them tonight?"
  225. >You silently wince and push your plans to play chess with your daughter back to another night.
  226. >She's getting closer to being able to beat you every time you play.
  227. >Granted, she still has a ways to go.
  228. >But she seems to like it.
  229. "Of course not, just be back by 11:00 AM."
  230. >"Will do, thanks!"
  231. >She runs out the door, not even grabbing any sleep gear.
  232. >Oh well, you know it'll probably be at The Farm.
  233. >AJ has plenty of spare beds for her massive extended family.
  234. >...
  235. >Be Willow Wisp.
  236. >A filly plops a box of bobby pins and some rope on the counter along with a couple of bits.
  237. >She's a bit short, but you don't give a fuck and just give her the receipt.
  238. >...
  239. >Be Plum Bum, owner of the Ponyville Plumbing Supply Store.
  240. "So... why is it that you want to purchase all of this?"
  241. >"Home repairs."
  242. "Aren't you a little young to be doing your own home repairs?"
  243. >"Yes. Yes I am."
  244. >You shrug.
  245. >She has the bits to pay for it, whatever.
  246. >She barely manages to carry all of the stuff out.
  247. "You want some help with that, missy?"
  248. >She sets down one of the bags in her mouth for a second.
  249. >"I'm good!"
  250. >...
  251. >...
  252. >Be Diamond Tiara.
  253. >Bright light wakes you up.
  254. >You try to complain to your dad, but find that your mouth is full of your own sheets.
  255. >You try to move to readjust them, but find that your legs are bound to your sides.
  256. >You do the only thing you can do, really.
  257. >Look up.
  258. >It's the green filly.
  259. >"Worms are interesting animals, you know. Back where I'm from, they don't grow much bigger than an index finger, and that's at their largest. Oh, right. You don't know what that is. No matter."
  260. >A torch is lit on the floor.
  261. >"Of course, you do still have the small garden variety ones; but there are also... more interesting ones."
  262. >You don't know what the fuck she's talking about.
  263. >"They hunt by vibrations formed by these creatures ponies call 'Gem Goliaths' deep under the bedrock of your world. Anything that hunts those fuckers daily has got to be pretty tough. Picture something that's ten feet tall, covered in sapphires and sharp amethysts, and spends its entire life crawling around deep underground looking for rocks to devour."
  264. >You imagine it, despite yourself.
  265. >"Now, imagine something that's a tough enough motherfucker to eat one of those."
  266. >You do.
  267. >You shudder.
  268. >"Luckily for us, they don't really recognize pony vibrations as being worth going for. The only reason they go after the big guys in the first place is that they're rich in all sorts of chemicals that are vital to the worm's reproductive system; not to mention the fact that a digestive system that's basically a big rotary grinder with an acid bath under it makes a racket."
  269. >She starts constructing something in front of you, about the height of your bed and made of a lot of pipes.
  270. >"Unless, of course... somepony were to mimic the vibrations of a gem goliath near the surface."
  271. >She flips a switch.
  272. >"Enjoy your last few minutes, Diamond Tiara."
  273. >The meaning of her words start to dawn on you as the contraption starts to make earth-shattering thumping sounds and the filly quickly and silently exits your room.
  274. >You pray to Discord, Celestia, even Luna to get you out of these ropes.
  275. >Soon, another rumbling joins that of the contraption at your feet.
  276. >You're
  277. ~Fin.
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