How do I recite the words of the chaotic? Many determined gamblers wanted a sure-fire method for success, so they all came up with ideas to interfere? Oh, if only that were the case. But as I remember there was much more to it than just the simple, disorganized offering of thoughts. There were councils, meetings, interventions and concentration circles relating to the bet initiated by Spike and Rainbow Dash. For an extravagant pot of bits sat comfortably at the end a shimmering rainbow, beckoning any willing to take a long, intense glimpse.
As the official bookkeeper, Pinkie Pie offered frequent, changeable odds to potential bettors. In order to efficiently inform the participants of the fluctuating nature of Spike and Rainbow Dash's game, the accountant applied mathematics and intermittent calculation to provide consistency in playing probabilities. It wasn't so difficult, because as an especially faithful overseer to the satisfaction of her customers, Pinkie Pie invested a grand display of effort with an unfaltering beam on her face. Interestingly enough, her close companion Twilight Sparkle was completely ignorant of the pink pony's masterful skill in arithmetic and sums. That's just because she never bothered to ask, Pinkie Pie once told me.
Now, at the eve before the great conflict, a baby dragon and a pegasus rested atop a protruding platform at the side of a towering mountain. Though unperceived by Spike and Rainbow Dash, the risk-takers filling up the whole of Equestria below were plotting to either bring the two closer together, or rip them further apart. The very bonds of their relationship were to be tested. The chain links of such a union were to be towed and lashed at by the intrusion of maddening consumers. Did Spike and Rainbow Dash crack under the pressure of the barraters? Or did they flourish in preserving the magic of friendship?
Well, that's a surprise for the ending, isn't it?
Spike's Rainbow Dash
The night sky was young, and assisting the illumination from the glimmering moon and stars above was Ponyville's very own artificial lighting system. Candleholders and chandeliers were in apt use throughout the bustling town. In a state of unrest, residents scurried and functioned tirelessly to provide proper lodging to the surge of unexpected visitors. Having journeyed to witness the results of Spike and Rainbow Dash's love battle, the majority of gamesters were forced to accept the fact that the bet was to continue for another day. The few that had expected so had immediately reserved a stay in the municipality's hotels and guesthouses.
Years before, Ponyville had been selected to host the annual Summer Sun Celebration. Mayor Mare, a bespectacled Earth pony with an unbridled devotion to her imperial ruler, had taken it upon herself to supervise multiple projects. Responding to the call to administer the Equestria-renowned festivity, the elected official had gathered the state's tax reserves and had funded the construction for accommodating edifices. In a year, a multitude of boardinghouses had been established for the anticipated tourists coming to rejoice in Nightmare Moon's banishment.
But, now, even with a strip of inns lining the borders of Ponyville, a severe lack of housing for the sudden wave of occupants had the innkeepers pulling at their manes in exacerbation. The extreme demand for room and board overwhelmed the miniscule supply, and frustrated callers only made the problematic situation more futile at every passing minute. Ponies from adjacent lands and kingdoms, griffons and Everfree dwellers inevitably found themselves adhering to the advice of Ponyville's innkeepers. Unicorns and Earth ponies were given permission to camp out on public grounds. Pegasi and griffons stayed with those residing in Cloudsdale. And creatures of the Everfree Forest returned to their homes within the cryptic shadows.
Even Applejack opened up her own home to those seeking refuge. Many took shelter in the Apple Family's spacious barn, while others put up tents in the surrounding rural acreage. Like I said, though, the night was fresh, and nopony was snoozing just yet. This was mainly due to certain assemblies having been announced to take place at set hours of the evening. One such gathering was being held right on the Apple Family's property. The site was located in a secluded parcel of land behind a set of fruit-bearing trees, and at the heart stood an overcrowded clubhouse turned gambling den.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders Clubhouse was lit and busy with activity. A large mass of Ponyville's new denizens hoarded the tiny structure, filling every square-inch of volume available. The confines of the clubhouse overflowed with a variety of attendees. Earth inhabitants stuck to filling up the floors while those gifted with the ability of flight floated to the triangular roofing. There was neither nook nor cranny unoccupied. As an added emphasis of how jam-packed the clubhouse truly was, one should take note of the fact that, while by normal circumstance its capacity had been marked at around fifty, at the moment it was reaching a count in the hundreds.
At the front of the assembly was a light gamboge filly pegasus. She wore a rainbow-patterned cap resembling that of her hero's mane. Standing behind an average-sized podium, Scootaloo beamed proudly and confidently to the throng of amassers before her. This was so awesome!, she thought excitedly. Who could have known so many would come?
"Attention, everypony! Attention! The Official Rainbow Dash Fan Club Super-Secret Special Meeting will now come to order!" Scootaloo announced aloud, banging a gavel onto the podium. "Quiet, everypony! We're starting now! So settle down!"
Scootaloo scanned the vast number of ponies, griffons and Everfree creatures as they ceased their incoherent murmuring. After a minute of audible discordance, silence finally prevailed in consuming the atmosphere. Among the crowd were a few distinguishable figures: Fluttershy, Gilda, Iron Will, Zecora the Zebra, Tank the Tortoise, Octavia, Granny Smith, her grandchildren Big Macintosh and Applebloom, and the entire team of Wonderbolts gave Scootaloo their undivided attention, listening intently to every word spoken.
"I want to thank everypony for attending, and might I say we have a pretty hefty crowd here tonight!" Scootaloo spread open her forehooves, referring to everypony in the room.
"But first, before we get into our agenda, let's all take a moment of silence to commemorate the memory
of Thunderlane." Scootaloo pulled off her cap and placed it over her chest, lowering her head solemnly. "His sacrifice shall not be in vain."
Thunderlane. Oh, that sad case. Currently, the pegasus was staying at the Ponyville Hospital, waiting to be transferred, for advanced treatment, to a medical facility in Canterlot. A pitiable victim of the horrors of food fights, Thunderlane had surrendered his livelihood the moment he decided to be drenched by punch in Rainbow Dash's stead. When he had awoken in the emergency room, his mental state cried for salvation as he clawed the air in fright and panic. Nurses had been unable to handle the frantic pegasus, so they ended up sticking syringes of morphine straight into his system to sedate his suffering. Thunderlane has now been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and his supporters pray that he come out healthy and well. Hopefully, he'll be released from handling a richer pegasus than when he was taken in, his friends and family pleaded. In mind and in finance.
A few ponies actually did bow their heads in remembrance of Thunderlane, but the bulk of the horde only looked to each other in confusion. Only those originally from Ponyville were associated with the gray-coated pegasus. Others from Canterlot, Dodge Junction, the mountains and the Everfree Forest were ignorant of his existence, and didn't quite know who Scootaloo was mentioning in the first place.
"Who is this
Thunderlane?" Uppercrust, a mare from Canterlot, asked snootily. "And what has he done to gain such reverence?"
"Are you talking about that weakling that got smacked by the punch bowl?" Iron Will snorted, crossing his arms and flexing. "Like I would take the time to care."
"Hey, you bully! Have some respect!" Pipsqueak yelled, looking up to the minotaur standing to his side. "Thunderlane fought for your right to be here right now!"
"What was that?" Iron Will glared at Pipsqueak menacingly. "What a joke!"
"May we continue the meeting, my dear Scootaloo?" Zecora said, attempting to cool the tension. "I am sure everypony here has much to do."
"O-okay, let's begin, shall we?" Scootaloo banged her gavel twice, clearing her throat. "There are many issues to address, so as President of the Official Rainbow Dash Fan Club I'll start with the main topic of discussion, and then everypony can join in, okay?"
"Yeah, yeah, just get on with it." Iron Will looked back to Scootaloo, irritated.
"As you all know, Spike and Rainbow Dash have started a game that's gotten everypony betting like crazy! If you are here tonight, then that means that you placed a bet on Rainbow Dash to win Spike's heart. Which is really great, because now everypony can see Rainbow Dash's coolness firsthand for when she wins!" Scootaloo's tiny wings flittered vigorously, demonstrating her excitement. "They had a date, and that was kind of awkward, but then Rainbow Dash ended it with an awesome food fight! And who won? She did, of course! As expected. And that just shows how right you are in betting on her. Because I know that Rainbow Dash's super-extra-ultra-awesomazingness will be the sure victor in this game!"
"Yeah, Spike doesn't have a chance! Rainbow Dash is just too cool!" Peachie Pie cried out.
"Rainbow Dash is going to win for sure!" Berry Punch declared.
"Go Rainbow Dash!" Derpy Hooves shouted, bumping her head on the roof.
"TEAM RAINBOW DASH!"
" Tank crowed weakly, blinking slugishly.
"Yes, yes! It's obvious she's going to win, but I've called this meeting so we can all come together to think of a plan to hurry up what's bound to happen, anyway! If she's going to be the winner, we might as well speed up the process to her victory, right? So I say we should all think of some ideas! Like, what can we do to help her out?
"And as you can recall, Rainbow Dash made another awesome Sonic Rainboom earlier today! I know it was Rainbow Dash because she's the only pegasus fast enough to make one!" Scootaloo hoof-pumped the air, squealing. "It looks like it was coming from the mountains, so I think Spike and Rainbow Dash are somewhere in that area."
Rainbow Dash's recently spectacular Sonic Rainboom had been seen throughout Equestria, especially by the town adjacent to the mountains the pegasus had been securing herself in. The Sonic Rainboom had produced a traveling, vibrantly-colored shockwave. The polychromatic ring had expanded from its source, washing over the sky like a ripple in water. It had been a glorious sight to behold, and as everypony below had witnessed the show of variegated lights, budding rumors and gossip immediately ensued. What had happened? Why had Rainbow Dash produced a Sonic Rainboom? Where were Spike and Rainbow Dash now?
"It really was beautiful. I've never seen anything like it before."
"That's our little Rainbow Dash. I'm blessed to be able to see it for the fourth time now." Granny Smith smiled warmly, looking to Big Macintosh.
"Eeyup." Big Macintosh agreed, nodding.
The roomful of gamblers began chatting about the Sonic Rainboom, creating a cacophony of mutters and mumbles. As much as Scootaloo wanted to take part in praising her idol's skillsets, the filly understood there were other pressing matters to consult beforehand.
Banging her gavel once again, Scootaloo yelled. "Order! Order! We need to come up with ideas to aid Rainbow Dash! So what can we do? How do we ensure her a quick win?"
"She has to be hiding out in the mountains with the dragon. Maybe she's already making the moves on that twerp as we speak. Easy victory, if you ask me." Gilda started. "But in case she doesn't make it happen, we can just pummel him until he gives! That way we can get our bits and get out of here already!"
"I-I kind of want to stray away from violence, though." Scootaloo replied nervously.
One of the Diamond Dogs chimed in. "Well, if we can't hurt him, then how about we, like, stuff him into a room! Yeah, like a small room, you know? And then, uh, and then we leave him in there, you know, inside the room! Actually, a small room might be hard to find, so we can just put him in a cage! I think that works better, actually! So we leave him in his tiny cage until the baby forfeits! Hah! I'm already liking this idea more and more! We could keep him imprisoned in a cave, too. So nopony from the other team can release him! I know a few caves we can leave him in. And we don't let him out until he settles to our demands! Well, we don't even have to let him out at all, actually."
"Um, I don't think that will-" Scootaloo responded, shocked.
"A love potion! A love potion could work! We could make a love potion and then slip it into a special punch. I'd be happy to provide the punch! Berry Punch cut off Scootaloo, looking to Zecora. "Zecora, can't we make a love potion with your exotic ingredients?"
"The type of brew you speak of is very dangerous to make." Zecora shook her head, rhyming. "Without proper care and understanding, there will only be quakes."
"'Quakes'? Who cares about 'quakes'? As long as it gets the job done and bits in my pocket, we should just go ahead and do it!" Iron Will grumbled, determined.
"Well, we kinda did one already, and it didn't really end well " Applebloom said, turning to her brother with an uneasy smile.
"Nope." Big Macintosh said sternly.
"O-okay, we're getting in some, um, 'interesting' ideas, but I think we should think more outside the box." Scootaloo addressed, slightly discouraged.
"How about a dating game show? We could put them into this game show, in which Spike has to ask questions to mares he can't see. In the end, he'll choose Rainbow Dash, and they'll fall in love, and then we all win!" Minuette applauded giddily, only to discover the rest of the room staring at her silently.
"How does that even begin to work?" Where are we going to get the props for the game show?"
"How do we know if Spike will choose Rainbow Dash in the first place?" Spitfire wondered.
"Won't Spike recognize Rainbow Dash's voice, anyway?" Donut Joe made aware.
"How will choosing her make Spike fall in love?"
"I don't even think they would participate in this game show willingly."
"YOUR IDEA'S DUMB!"
Minuette shriveled into herself, whimpering. "I-I thought it was a good
Scootaloo called out quickly. "Hey, hey! Everypony, all ideas are welcome! We just need to keep thinking, okay?"
"This is ridiculous. Why I've decided to take part in this farce is beyond me." Octavia sighed, whipping her head back. "How about this then? If the opportunity arises, I could serenade them with a cello sonata. I'm sure the masterful pieces of Marezart could stir up emotions of desire."
"Now that sounds like a good plan!" Scootaloo bounced enthusiastically.
instruct Rainbow Dash on how to
write a love letter." Fluttershy blushed as she noticed everypony had turned to her. "I mean, if it's okay with you all. I think it could
help them get closer
Scootaloo cheered. "Nice! We're getting on the right track! Come on, everypony! Get on this train of thought! We should be able to "
"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!"
A feminine voice cracked from the entrance of the clubhouse. Everypony in the room turned to the source of the disruption, finding Sweetie Belle resting atop Vinyl Scratch's back. They both wore conspicuous headwear vibrant with purple and green. On the top lined four curvaceous spikes, each appearing larger as it climbed to the front. The hat-like apparel boasted a draconian demeanor. Wait a second. Were they wearing Spike caps?
The filly unicorn and the deejay pony had pushed through the stuffed clubhouse to purposefully interrupt the proceedings of the seminar. And it soon became obvious that they weren't there to contribute to the cause.
"Who said you could use the Cutie Mark Crusader Clubhouse for this?" Sweetie Belle pointed a hoof at Scootaloo.
"I didn't need permission, Sweetie Belle." Scootaloo growled cutely. "As a Cutie Mark Crusader, I have a say in when the clubhouse can be used and when it can't. And I right now I say it can!"
"We're a democracy, Scootaloo! I should have been notified of this!" Sweetie Belle rebutted. "There wasn't a vote!"
"Yes, there was! Two against one! Applebloom voted for a meeting!" Scootaloo grinned triumphantly, pointing her gavel at Applebloom.
"A-Applebloom?" Sweetie Belle gaped, spotting Applebloom peek out from behind Big Macintosh's forehoof. "Wait! You're on their side now?"
"Ah-Ah'm on nopony's side! Ah'm just here because my family's here!" Applebloom explained timidly.
"You really think your little cello recital's going to do anything?" Vinyl Scratch chuckled derisively at Octavia. "The only thing you could do is bore them to death."
"How dare you!" Octavia lashed out at Vinyl Scratch.
"Our Super-Secret Special Meeting's been infiltrated! How did you Spike fans find out?" Soarin' panicked, flapping his wings wildly.
Suddenly, a white-maned unicorn trotted in front of Vinyl Scratch. Her star-spangled wizard's hat and cape publicized the Great and Powerful Trixie's entrance. Behind her followed Snips, Snails and many others wearing the 'Spike caps' that proclaimed their allegiance to the baby dragon.
"Don't make me laugh, you oaf! Everpony in all of Equestria knows of this insignificant gathering! Pitiful you've gone out of your way to indulge in such pointless matters!" Trixie barked out. "The Great and Powerful Trixie will make sure that puny dragon rejects that worthless pegasus you call Rainbow Dash!"
"What did you say?" Iron Will bellowed furiously. "If anypony's worthless around here it's you! You can't even set up a show correctly!"
"WHAT WAS THAT?" Trixie gritted her teeth, her horn glowing brightly.
"Hold your horses, Trixie. The time will come." Vinyl Scratch put a hoof to Trixie's shoulder.
"Hey, don't talk to the Great and Powerful Trixie like that!" Snips yelled at Iron Will angrily.
"Dah, yeah. She's great and powerful." Snails dumbly attempted at assisting his friend.
"Well, well! If it isn't the traitors!" Scootaloo glared at Snips and Snails. "At one time you two were avid members of The Official Rainbow Dash Fan Club! But now you're supporting our opposition like nothing's happened!"
"That's right! How dare you two step into our territory so nonchalantly!"
"Get out of here! You're not wanted!"
"That's not fair!" Snips argued, shaking his head. "We like Rainbow Dash, but we just think she has no chance with Spike!"
"As the new President of the Spike Fan Club and a Cutie Mark Crusader, I declare this clubhouse for our use only!" Sweetie Belle pronounced at the top of her lungs.
"You don't have that right! What happened to democracy, huh?" Scootaloo banged her gavel vigorously.
"It disappeared the moment I wasn't included in your vote!"
"Oh, yeah?" Scootaloo tested.
"Yeah!" Sweetie Belle answered fiercely.
"OH, YEAH?" Scootaloo repeated piercingly.
"YEAH!" Sweetie Belle thundered.
"Then as the head representative for Team Rainbow Dash, I declare war on Team Spike for use of the clubhouse!" Scootaloo roared, fire in her eyes.
"On behalf of Team Spike, I accept!" Sweetie Belle boomed.
"Oh, finally! The real fun's starting now!' Iron Will stamped his hoof. "Let's do this!"
"The beef-head's mine!" Trixie stared daggers at Iron Will.
"If it must be done, then let it be done!" Chief Thunderhooves readied himself for a charge.
"Come at me, sonny!" Granny Smith lifted her hooves in a fighting stance.
"CAW!" Cawed Pee Wee.
" Tank and Pee Wee ogled each other down.
The sheer amount of body heat emanating from the congested clubhouse took control of everypony's senses. Sweat seeped from their pores profusely, supplementing the seething antagonisms twisted and formed. Snarls and rumbles were the only resounding themes, scoring the hums before a conflict. Nostrils flaring, eyes pinpricking, teeth gnashing and erratic exhaling were faced against one another collectively. Hoofs stamped the wooden floorboards stridently, accentuating the aggressive nature of the entire scene. The belligerence was so thick in the air it could have been cut with a cake knife. Hold onto your seats, everypony. Because the Cutie Mark Crusader Clubhouse was about to be the home of an all-out war.
"OKAY, EVERYPONY! LET'S SETTLE IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!"
Instantaneously, Pinkie Pie, wearing her signature green visor, materialized from the center of the crowd, carrying her infamous Party Cannon. On cue, an explosion of confetti was shot from the festive mortar, stunning everypony present as they were sprinkled with colorful papers.
"There's a way everypony can participate in the game! So the result of the bet will be in your hooves!" Pinkie Pie bounced animatedly.
"What is that pony going on about now?" Chief Thuderhooves said inaudibly.
"What do you mean, Pinkie?" Scootaloo asked, scratching her head confusedly.
Pinkie Pie leered, giggling. "We set up another date for Spike and Rainbow Dash! But this time everypony has control of it!"
"Another date?" Spitfire questioned, suspicious of Pinkie Pie's sudden notion.
"That's right! A date!" Pinkie Pie smiled brightly.
"But how does that benefit us?" Bon Bon scoffed. "I mean, your idea doesn't make any sense."
"Yeah, how does bringing them together for a date help Team Spike?" Davenport doubted.
"Well, that's just part of the fun, Mr. Davenport!" Pinkie Pie replied, sticking her tongue out playfully. "Because while Team Rainbow Dash tries to make the perfect date, Team Spike can try to mess it up in any way possible!"
"Excuse me." Braeburn tipped his Stetson hat. "But that sure don't sound reasonable at all, actually."
"Seriously, what kind of plan is that?" Lyra Heartstrings rolled her eyes.
"Can the bookkeeper even meddle with affairs like this?" Carrot Top speculated.
"Pinkie Pie, that plan stinks!"
"Leave us be to our war, you pink pony!" Iron Will shouted.
"It's not like Team Spike would even be able to stop any plan we come up with." Scootaloo waved off Pinkie Pie's suggestion.
"What plan? Any plan you think of will only end in disaster if Team Spike were to interfere." Sweetie Belle repelled, snorting.
"Did you say something?" Scootaloo put a hoof to her ear.
"You heard me." Sweetie Belle maintained a stoic expression.
"Stop this incessant nonsense!" Trixie yapped. "It has already been decided by the fates that whatever team The Great and Powerful Trixie sides with will be the vanquisher in all challenges."
"Oh, yeah, that's somehow valid! Aren't you Miss Look-At-Me-I-Can-Vanquish-An-Ursa-Major? Oh, wait! You couldn't even vanquish an Ursa Minor! I bet twenty bits you couldn't vanquish anything the size of an apple!"
"Yeah, you can't vanquish anything!" Derpy Hooves agreed.
"NEIGHSAYERS!" Trixie shrieked, her right eye twitching.
"We'd set up the best darn date y'all ever seen in your lives!" Granny Smith stated assertively. "Right, Big Macintosh?"
"Oh, you think so, huh?" Vinyl Scratch sneered threateningly. "Think you can really deal with us?"
"Hah! Bring it on, Team Spike! Rainbow Dash's gonna ream that toddler a new one!" Gilda freed her sharpened talons.
"Okay, now that just sounded wrong." Vinyl Scratch laughed.
"Y-y-you know what I meant!" Gilda's face reddened.
"So you're going to take us on, eh?" Snips nudged Snails. "If anypony knows how to ruin plans, it's us!"
"Then let the games begin!"
"YOU MEAN LET THE DATE BEGIN!"
"TEAM RAINBOW DASH!"
"ALRIGHT, EVERYPONY!" Pinkie Pie shot another barrage of confetti from her Party Cannon. "LET'S BOOGIE!"