“So I’ll take it you’ve heard by now that Level and I are together?” Tech asked Flash one day. It was a normal day in the Crystal Empire, which meant that there was nothing for Flash to do, which meant that he was talking to Tech even though he wasn’t supposed to be.
“Heck, yeah,” Flash replied. “It’s all over the Crystal Gazette. Apparently, you guys are the hottest couple in Equestria.”
“I know, right?” Tech replied. “You’d think ponies would have something a little better to do with their lives. I’d rather be alone with Level without the paparazzi breathing down my neck.”
“Careful, Tech,” Flash warned. “It’s that kind of comment that can get you in trouble with your superiors, and I speak from experience.”
“Big bro Shining Armor dish out some harsh scoldings back in the day?” Tech asked.
“You’d be surprised how much that guy likes to talk about all the things I get wrong,” Flash replied. Tech laughed, and the sheer absurdity of the conversation made Flash laugh, too. Now that Tech was in a relationship with a Princess, things were getting pretty interesting around here.
“Flash Sentry? Tech Savvy?” Princess Cadence’s voice came from around the corner. Panicked and alarmed at the prospect of being caught, Flash promptly snapped to attention, with his legs straight, head up, and eyes forward. Tech did the same, although Flash thought he saw him cross his eyes, stick out his tongue, and smile a goofy smile. A few seconds later, Princess Cadence rounded the corner and came towards them. As usual, she carried Flurry Heart in her foreleg.
“There you two are,” Princess Cadence said when she saw them. “Once again, the two of you have received a summons from Princess Level Up.”
“Really?” Flash asked, as the summons were usually for Tech these days. “What for?”
“Well, apparently, there’s a pony in town who Level believes qualifies to be a member of the Royal Society of the Reformed,” Cadence explained. “But she can’t recruit this pony herself because she’s not feeling well. So she has asked you to do it in her stead. She will give you the details at her house.”
“Understood,” Flash said. “We will leave at once.” He marched away in a dignified manner, followed closely by Tech.
“Oh, and Flash Sentry?” Cadence called back over her shoulder.
“Yes?” Flash asked.
“Try not to let my husband catch you while you two are having your little talks,” Cadence said simply. Flash just stood there, his face completely blank, as Cadence walked away and disappeared.
“Huh,” Tech muttered. “What do you know? She actually knew we were doing that. How long do you think she’s known?”
Flash decided not to answer, instead saying, “Let’s go,” and walking in the general direction of the exit.
My Little Pony, My Little Pony
So this is what you meant
When you said that you were spent
And now it’s time to build
From the bottom of the pit
Right to the top
Don’t hold back
Packing my bags and
Giving the academy a rain check
I don’t ever wanna let you down
I don’t ever wanna leave this town
‘Cause after all
The city never sleeps at night
It’s time to begin isn’t it?
I get a little bit bigger
But then I’ll admit
I’m just the same as I was
Now don’t you understand
That I’m never changing who I am
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: The Untold Story
Original Series Developed for Television By
It wasn’t long before the two young stallions arrived in Ponyville. As they walked down the dirt road that led to Level’s house, Flash asked, “So how exactly did the two of you get together?”
“Well, funny story,” Tech replied with an edge of nervousness. “I had gone to the spa for a mud bath and discovered that the air conditioner had been stuck on overdrive all day. So I decided to fix it when…”
Flash, noticing that Tech had trailed off, asked, “When what?” Then he noticed that Tech had stopped completely and was staring at something with his eyes wide. Flash turned to look, too… and his heart skipped a beat. They had arrived at Level’s address, but it was completely surrounded by a pink, bubble-shaped force field. Looking up, Flash saw that it stretched about twenty feet into the sky, but birds and pegasi were able to fly through it, no problem.
“Ooooh-kay,” Flash muttered, sticking his forehoof through the force field with no resistance at all. “Either Level knows something we don’t, or she’s suffering from a fever so high that her judgment is skewed.”
“You’re telling me,” Tech replied, stepping straight through the barrier. “At least it’s not keeping us out.” Flash stepped through and followed Tech to Level’s cottage, which was rather humble considering it housed a Princess.
Flash knocked on the door. He and Tech waited for a while afterwards, listening as Level stumbled down a flight of stairs and staggered to the door. Flash eyed the door handle, fully expecting it to glow with a pink aura as Level opened it from the other side. Instead, the door opened without any aura involved, indicating that Level had used her claw.
“Princess Level,” Flash addressed her, “we are here at the request of the summons you sent u - Oh, boy!” He paused, looking Level up and down, before saying, “Wow. You don’t look so good.” That was an understatement; Level looked horrible! Her face looked yellow, her eyes were bloodshot and baggy, her fur and mane were matted, and her muzzle was bright red. Her horn sputtered and threw random sparks that didn’t seem to be connected to any sort of spell. Her wings were matted and rumpled, with feathers sticking out at odd angles. And the whole look was topped off with a fuzzy pink bathrobe, purple slippers on each of her hooves, and a pink sock of some sort over her claw.
“Yeah, I know,” Level grumbled, her stuffed-up muzzle affecting her voice. “It’s nothing much: just magic flu. You can’t catch it.”
“Magic flu?” Flash asked. Level opened her mouth to answer but, instead, she started to sneeze.
“Aaah-CHOO!” she sneezed into her wing. Almost instantly, an errant burst of magic shot out of her horn and flew right past Flash and Tech! He thought it was going to fly away and hit some random pony but, to his surprise, it bounced right off of the force field that had seemed so useless before. The shot bounced around in the dome, ricocheting off of the sides of the field and forcing Flash and Tech to dodge it. Finally, it struck the chimney, turning it into a burrito.
“Okay,” Flash muttered. “Magic flu.”
“Yeah,” Level grumbled, not even noticing that her burrito-chimney was sagging and spilling beans onto her lawn. “It’s a pain in the neck.” She sniffled, and Flash couldn’t help but cringe in anticipation of another burst of insanity, but it never came. “Anyway,” Level said, “I called you here to help me recruit a visiting pony to the Royal Society of the Reformed.”
“I know,” Flash replied. “Princess Cadence told us.”
“Of course she did,” Level muttered. “Anyway, the pony I want onboard is named Zephyr Breeze. He’s a tall, lanky pegasus with green fur, an elaborately-styled mane, and a 5 o’clock shadow. You can’t miss him.”
“Cutie Mark?” Flash asked, as was standard procedure for receiving missions to track down ponies.
“An orange quill writing deep green, curved lines across his flank,” Level replied.
“Last known sighting?” Flash added. Again, this was standard procedure.
“Well, I know he’s staying at Fluttershy’s cottage,” Level explained. “He’s her little brother, after all.”
“Got it,” Flash replied. “Thanks. Come on, Tech.”
Tech, who hadn’t said a word this whole time, finally spoke up with, “Actually, I think it’s best if I sit this one out.”
“What?” Flash asked. “Why?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Tech pressed. “My girlfriend is sick. As her boyfriend, it’s my job to stay here and take care of her.” As he said this, he walked to Level’s side and draped a wing over her body.
Flash fully expected Level to order Tech to do as he was told. Instead, she blushed and cooed, “Oh, Tech. That’s so sweet. Okay. You have my permission to stay here and take care of me.”
“Cool,” Tech said. Then, without even the slightest hint of a warning, he slammed the door shut. Flash blinked, taking a second to process what had just happened.
“I guess I’m on my own,” Flash muttered, walking away.
Flash wandered around town for a while. He knew he should head to Fluttershy’s cottage, but he was too afraid. He just knew that Fluttershy hadn’t forgiven him for the way he’d acted after Twilight broke up with him. And if there was one thing that Fluttershy wasn’t shy about, it was letting ponies know that they had done something wrong. And Flash didn’t want to be on the receiving end of that.
Before long, he managed to find himself in front of Bugles and Beyond, the music shop that Crash worked at. As he still had no idea how to handle his current mission, he decided to duck inside to take a quick breather. The place looked the same as he remembered; blue walls and carpets, instruments of all kinds for sale everywhere, a single cash register right by the door. And, right there, manning the cash register, was Crash Boom Bang.
“Welcome to – Hey, buddy!” Crash welcomed Flash enthusiastically. “What brings you here today?”
“Hey, Crash,” Flash greeted Crash back. “Princess Level called me here on official royal business but,” he hung his low, pausing for a second to find the right words, “I’m not sure I can do it.”
“Why not?” Crash prodded.
“Well,” Flash admitted, “it involves going over to Fluttershy’s cottage. I can’t go to Fluttershy’s cottage! She’s probably still mad at me for relentlessly pursuing her friend for two years!”
“Oh, I’m sure it’s not that bad,” Crash tried to reassure him. Not a bad attempt, but Flash knew better.
“Oh, it is that bad,” Flash promised. “I met up with Rainbow Dash recently and, if the way she treated me is any indication-”
“Oh, gotcha,” Crash said, seeming to get it. “I guess it’s true; Tartarus hath no furry like a mare scorned.”
“Except that she wasn’t the one who was scorned,” Flash pointed out. “I was scorned and couldn’t accept it, and now all of her friends hate me for it. So, really, Tartarus hath no furry like… well, anypony vengeful, really.”
“Sounds tough,” Crash muttered. “How ‘bout if I go with you?”
Flash blinked. “What?”
“Think about it,” Crash persuaded. “You’re scared of facing Fluttershy, right? Well, if I come along, you’ll have backup. Maybe she’ll be less likely to be angry if there are two ponies there instead of just one.”
“Um, I dunno,” Flash mumbled nervously. “The last time I spoke with one of Twilight’s friends, Princess Azalea was with me. That didn’t really help me, and Azalea’s a Princess!”
Crash, however, was not deterred by this. Instead, he pushed his offer with, “We can hit Hayburger afterwards.”
“Deal,” Flash agreed. “So, here’s the scoop…”
By the time Flash was done explaining, he and Crash were already walking up the path to Fluttershy’s cottage.
“So, Zephyr Breeze, huh?” Crash asked.
“Yeah,” Flash replied. “I’ve never heard of him before but, if Level wants him on the team, it must be for a good reason.”
“Actually, I think I’ve met him before,” Crash said. “You said he was a tall pegasus with a 5 o’clock shadow, right?”
“Yeah,” Flash answered, a little surprised. “You’ve really met him? What’s he like?”
“Well,” Crash explained, “He walked into my store wanting to buy a guitar, and-” But he was cut off as Fluttershy opened the door, right before Flash was about to knock.
“Hello,” Flash addressed her. “I’m here to speak to-” But before he could finished, she slammed the door in his face!
Crash sat on his haunches, crossed his forelegs across his chest, and muttered, “Well, that was rude.”
“Yeah, but bear in mind that I relentlessly pursued her friend for a long time after the breakup,” Flash pointed out. He knocked on the door, wanting to try again.
“Go away,” Fluttershy firmly told him from the other side.
“I’m not here to talk to you, Fluttershy,” Flash explained through the door. “I’m here to speak with-”
“Whoever it is, no,” Fluttershy insisted. “Neither I nor any of my animals can deal with you today.”
“I’m not here for your animals, either,” Flash persuaded. “I’m here to speak with your brother, Zephyr Breeze.”
There was a few seconds of silence, during which Flash wondered if he really should have addressed Fluttershy’s brother by name. After all, Fluttershy already thought of him as a creepy stalker; he didn’t want to make it any worse. As if to prove his point, Fluttershy cracked the door open just a tad, revealing a steely glare on her normally tender face, and growled, “How did you know he was here?”
Flash, feeling very nervous all of a sudden, managed to choke out, “Well, Princess Level told me he was going to be here. You see, she wants me to-”
“He-llooooooo, houseguests!” another pony rudely cut Flash off. Shoving Fluttershy out of the way, he swung the door all the way open, revealing himself to be a green-furred, tall, lanky pegasus with an elaborate manecut and a 5 o’clock shadow. Instantly, Flash knew that this was none other than Zephyr Breeze. He also knew that Zephyr’s social skills needed some serious work since, without even batting an eyelash, he leaned in closer and gawked, “Ooh! A royal guard! What’s the occasion?”
“You’re the occasion, actually,” Flash explained. “You see, Princess Level-”
“Oh, that new Princess,” Zephyr interrupted. “Yeah, I’d say she’s not quite my favorite Princess, but she is new. If she’s asking me to take a job, tell her I’ll consider it, but only if it befits my awesomeness.”
Flash didn’t know what to say. Being a member of the Royal Society of the Reformed wasn’t a job, per say, but it still had obligations. “Well-” Flash tried to say.
“Okay, it’s settled,” Zephyr declared. “Put me down to meet up with her next week. In the meantime, this Breeze needs his Z’s.”
“In the middle of day?” Flash asked, unable to even pretend to be courteous anymore.
“It’s called a siesta,” Zephyr clarified. “It’s really relaxing. You should try it sometime. Well, goodbye.” With that, Zephyr strolled back into the house, leaving the door wide open. Fluttershy was still standing there, raising an annoyed eyebrow at her brother. Flash got the impression that this sort of thing had happened before.
“You deal with this often?” Flash dared to ask.
“That’s for me to know and you to never find out,” Fluttershy replied. “I’ve already got the job thing covered but, if that was actually why you were here, tell Princess Level that we’ll considered her offer.”
Flash, unsure of what else to do at this point, simply responded, “Okay.”
“Good,” Fluttershy asserted with a single nod. “Goodbye.” Then she slammed the door again.
Crash, who had just been silent this whole time, finally said, “Well, I was gonna say that Zephyr strolled into the store, acted like he owned the place, and messed everything up before finally making off with the only guitar he could afford, but I don’t think you’d find that intel very helpful at this point.” Flash’s eye twitched. Clearly, Zephyr thought that he was some kind of hotshot who thought that the whole entire world should be given to him on a silver platter. Which begged the obvious question: why did Level want him?
“And that’s pretty much what happened,” Flash finished his report. He had stopped back at Level’s house to tell her what he’d seen. Level lounged on the couch, still sick as a dog, and nodded her head thoughtfully. Occasionally, she coughed, producing a spark of magic that forced Flash to dodge in order to avoid getting turned into a grease pan or a gerbil or whatever.
“I see,” Level muttered, sniffling. “Sounds like a real pain.”
“I know,” Flash agreed. “Why do you want this guy? He seems like the antithesis of all that we represent.”
“Well, if all goes as planned, it won’t stay that way,” Level vaguely answered. “You said Fluttershy would consider the alleged ‘job offer’, right?”
“Yes,” Flash responded. “But what do we do about that? You never said anything about hiring him.”
“Well, I am now,” Level replied stubbornly. “Starting tomorrow, I want you to stand watch outside the force field. If Zephyr comes by, let me know.”
Flash nodded and replied, “Okay, sounds like a good plan.” Then, realizing something, he added, “But I can’t stand there all day. Normally, there is a second set of guards that switches places with the first at certain points throughout the day.”
Level’s eyes grew wide; clearly, she hadn’t thought of that. She rubbed her chin thoughtfully, though Flash wondered if any idea she could come up with in her current state could possibly be a good one. Before long, Tech walked into the room, a cup of tea balanced on one of his wings, and said, “Your tea, Level.”
“Thanks, Tech,” she muttered, picking the tea up with her claw and taking a sip. Then, without any warning at all, she added, “Also, congratulations. You’re a guard now. You start tomorrow.”
“Whoa, whoa, what?” Tech asked. “Isn’t there, like, training involved or something?”
“Not for tomorrow’s assignment, there isn’t,” Level answered, plain and simple. “You just have to stand outside for a certain amount of time and let me know if a tall, lanky pegasus with an elaborate manecut wants to come in.”
“Yeah, but-” Tech tried to contradict.
“No buts,” Level cut him off. “Flash, you’re dismissed.”
“Thank you, Level,” Flash replied, giving a formal bow. “I’ll be back tomorrow.” With that, he walked out of the house. He found that Crash was still waiting outside the force field, too scared of Level’s disease to cross through.
“Well?” Crash asked.
“Apparently, I’m on the clock tomorrow,” Flash explained. “In the meantime, you wanna go hit Hayburger?”
The next day…
This was easily the most stressful day Flash had experienced since joining the Royal Guard.
It wasn’t that anything was happening; in fact, it was because nothing was happening. As he stood outside the force field, he prayed to the heavens above for something, anything, to happen. It didn’t matter what happened; it could’ve been anything from a bank robbery to a changeling swarm, and he would have dealt with it happily. But no. Instead, he was stuck outside the force field, waiting for the world’s most annoying pegasus to show up.
Tech walked out of the house, waiting to switch places with Flash, but that wasn’t due for another fifteen minutes. “So,” Tech said nonchalantly, “is this what it’s like to be a Royal Guard? Just waiting around for something to happen? If so, I don’t think I can handle it.”
“We’re guards,” Flash informed Tech. “We don't have a choice. Also, we don’t talk.”
“Why not?” Tech asked. “It’s not like Shining Armor can catch us here.”
“No, but Level can,” Flash explained. “And, in her current state, I really don’t wanna give her something to be mad about.”
“True,” Tech replied. After a few more seconds, he asked, “So, do you really think you can break through to this Zephyr guy? Level told me what you told her, and I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
“Well, ponies used to say that I was a lost cause, so I’m not willing to completely give up on the guy just yet,” Flash reasoned. “Still, it would take nothing short of a miracle to get him to not be annoying.”
As soon as Flash was done saying this, two familiar pegasi came into view. “Oh, c’mon, sis,” the taller one whined. “I had to ask Spike to make sure I was doing it right.”
“Speak of the devil,” Flash whispered, recognizing Zephyr’s voice.
To Flash’s surprise, Fluttershy whipped around and snapped, “You didn’t do it at all!” She turned around and made like she was getting ready to scream, but took a deep breath instead. “Well, there’s always Level Up’s offer, and I don’t think she’s going to let you fool around.”
“What?” Zephyr blurted out. “But that wasn’t supposed to be until next week!”
“No, you said it wasn’t supposed to be until next week,” Fluttershy clarified. “I told the annoying guard that we would consider the Princess’s offer, and we’re running low on options.” Then noticing the cottage that was covered by a force field and guarded by Flash, Fluttershy reasoned, “Well, this must be the place.”
“That’s right,” Tech confirmed. “Princess Level’s expecting you. I’ll go tell her you’re here.” With that, he disappeared into the house, leaving Flash alone with Fluttershy and Zephyr.
Flash just stayed silent for a long time, blinking his eyes. Like a good guard, he maintained a silent, stoic façade, masking his fear of Fluttershy behind a firm mask of confidence. This would have been easy if Zephyr weren’t nudging him in the shoulder, asking, “Well, this guy’s boring, isn’t he?”
“Zephyr,” Fluttershy hissed. “It’s part of his job to be boring.” She then dropped her voice even lower than it normally went and grumbled, “That’s probably why Twilight broke up with him, but he didn’t see that.”
Flash’s eye twitched. He wished he could respond by telling Fluttershy that he had changed, but his training prevented it. Instead, he simply stood there as Zephyr replied, “Oooohhh. This is the guy that Mom and Dad told me you complained to them about.” He grabbed Flash’s face, yanked it up to meet his own, and added, “He doesn’t look like such a bad guy. He just kept trying to fish in the wrong part of the sea.”
“Yes,” Fluttershy agreed. “And that’s why I don't like him.”
The door opened, ending Flash’s torment. Level stepped out, with Tech right behind her, prompting a startled look from Fluttershy. “Princess Level?” Fluttershy asked, obviously not believing what she was seeing.
Zephyr gasped – though it was obviously exaggerated – and screamed, “Oh, dear! Look at the Princess! She’s caught a cold! And if I work for her, I’ll catch a cold!” He grabbed Fluttershy’s face, forced her eyes to meet his, and asked, “You don’t want me to get sick, do you?”
“Well, no, but-” Fluttershy started to respond.
“Relax. It’s not a cold,” Level explained, staying behind the barrier. “It’s magic flu. And you have to have a horn to catch it,” she pointed to her own, “so you’re immune.”
Fluttershy breathed a sigh of relief before turning to her brother and snarkily saying, “See, Zephyr? Nothing bad is going to happen if you start working for her today. You won’t get sick, and you’ll be able to do some nice. Hard. Work.”
Zephyr gulped. Everypony ignored this. Level nodded and agreed, “That’s right. And I have the perfect job in mind for him.” She managed to use her ill magic to summon…
“A toilet brush?” Zephyr asked, taking it in his hoof. He looked up at Level, his eyes slowly widening with horror, and said, “No. No! You can’t seriously mean-”
“I do,” Level cut him off. She turned to Tech and instructed, “Tech, lead him to the upstairs bathroom. Stand guard outside and make sure he doesn’t escape. I’ll check up on him in an hour.” She turned back to Zephyr and clarified, in no uncertain terms, “And that toilet had better be completely clean when I get up there!”
“Ah! Okay, okay,” Zephyr muttered. “Geez! Some ponies just don't know how to be subtle.”
“Come on, Breeze,” Tech prompted. Zephyr walked into the house, with Tech following with the same professional walk that all members of the Royal Guard used.
As soon as they were gone, Flash asked, “What about me?”
“You’re dismissed for the time being,” Level replied. But, as she coughed into her wing again, Flash felt bad for her. She was sick; he couldn’t just leave her to fend for herself while her boyfriend stood guard outside the bathroom. That would be wrong!
“How about I just take care of you, instead?” Flash offered. “Just until Tech is done guarding Zephyr.”
“N-” Level started to answer, but she was interrupted by a heavy coughing fit. As she hacked, several bursts of magic shot from her horn and bounced all around the inside of the force field, hitting various objects and turning them all into something else entirely. And Flash could only watch as a pebble turned into a mouse, a patch of grass turned into a patch of cheese, and one of the windows turned into sheet of fudge. Seeing all of this, Level sighed and grumbled, “Okay, fine, but only because I don’t want to burn the house down. You can start by fixing my lunch.”
Flash looked up at the sun, which told him that it was about 1:30 in the afternoon, and muttered, “But it’s not lunchtime.”
“It is if you’re diabetic,” Level said simply. Flash, knowing that Level knew her own condition better than he did, simply stepped through the barrier and followed her into the house.
An hour later, Level walked upstairs to check on Zephyr. Flash followed, curious to see how the new guy had done. “So, do you think he actually did it?” Flash pondered. “He didn’t seem all that work-oriented to me.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,” Level replied with a sniffle. “There’s no way that Tech let Zephyr get out of it.”
Before Flash could reply, both he and Level heard Zephyr’s voice say, “Yep. He really cracks the whip.” They both yelped and looked up to find that Zephyr, not Tech, was standing outside the bathroom.
Level furrowed her brow and asked, “What are you doing out here?”
“Standing guard,” Zephyr replied simply, arousing Flash’s suspicions.
“But… That’s not your job,” Flash pointed out. “It’s Tech’s job.”
“Not anymore,” Zephyr said coolly. “Take a look.” He opened the door, and Flash was horrified to find that Tech was standing on his rear legs, scrubbing the living daylights out of the toilet.
“Tech!” Level snapped, prompting a startled Tech to cringe and look at her. “What the heck are you doing? You were supposed to make sure that Zephyr didn’t leave!”
Regaining his composure, Tech explained, “Well, technically speaking, he didn’t leave. About five minutes in, he told me about how he always wanted to be a Royal Guard. I didn’t want to crush his dreams by forcing him to scrub toilets instead, so I decided to switch places with him. So he spent the hour standing guard, and I spent the hour… scrubbing… the… toilet…” He faltered, looking down at the toilet brush in his hooves, as if he had just realized what I was doing. Suddenly, he snapped, “Hey, wait a minute! I’m doing you’re job!”
Level, her eyes filled with the anger of a thousand hornets, whipped around to face Zephyr and shouted, “Zephyr Breeze! I can’t believe this! I had one job for you, and you blew it off and spent the hour standing around and doing nothing! You’re fired!” Calming down somewhat, she added, “Your sister is waiting outside the force field. She’s told me that she made other arrangements for your job. Now, go on! Git!”
Zephyr hung his head low and began to walk away. Then, at the top of the stairs, he turned around and pointed out, “You know, I did make a pretty good guard. Tech didn’t try to escape once.”
“Out!” Level snapped.
As Zephyr continued to walk away, Flash asked, “So… I guess this is it? We couldn’t get to him?”
“No,” Level denied. “I’m not ready to give up on him. Sure, he’s a pretty bad worker, but that can change. I want you to follow him to whatever his next job is and see if you can make an impression.”
It was an odd request, but Flash saluted her and said, “Yes, your Majesty.”
“What about me?” Tech asked.
Level turned to him and answered, “You are the worst Royal Guard I have ever seen in my life. I’m demoting you back to Royal Photographer. Now wash your forehooves.” Tech walked over to the sink and did as she asked, but he only scrubbed his forehooves for a measly two seconds before turning off the water. “Longer!” Level snapped.
Flash decided to back away slowly and proceed with his assignment.
With the help of a hot air balloon, Flash, accompanied by Crash, managed to follow Zephyr to his next job at the Wonderbolts’ Headquarters. There, Zephyr, following Rainbow with a lovesick expression on his face, walked into the Wonderbolts’ barracks. Flash and Crash watched through a window as Rainbow presented Zephyr with a bucket and a mop.
“All right, Zephyr,” Rainbow instructed. “Normally, the worst flier of the day is in charge of cleaning up the compound, but she crashed so badly that she had to go to the on-site hospital. So now, it’s your job. You can start by scrubbing the floor of the barracks.”
“Yeah, sure,” Zephyr replied. “I’ll get right on it.” But he didn’t get right on it. Instead, he took a few seconds to look around the barracks his eyes wide with wonder. Flash didn’t blame him; most ponies never got to come into the Wonderbolts’ barracks. Rainbow, however, was far from impressed. She flew out the door, leaving Zephyr alone. As soon as Zephyr realized this, he started to trot in the same direction, but Rainbow came back with a storm cloud and promptly zapped him with a bolt of lightning!
“Aaahh!” Zephyr yelled. He looked singed, but mostly unhurt. “Hey! What gives?” he asked.
“I told you to scrub the floor, Zephyr!” Rainbow snapped. “And you may recall that I said I would zap you if you tried to get out of this! Now, get to work!” Zephyr whimpered and began to scrub the floors, but his newfound devotion didn’t last for long. He took a break less than a minute later, and Rainbow responded by zapping him again!
“Hey!” Zephyr yelped. “I was taking a breather!”
“After thirty seconds?” Rainbow roared.
“I was exhausted!” Zephyr lied.
“How dumb do you think I am?” Rainbow snarled. Rather than answering, Zephyr looked around, spied a window that happened to be open, and smiled. He took off and began to fly towards it.
“Oh, no, you don’t!” Rainbow shouted. She flew in front of Zephyr with the storm cloud, blocking the exit. Zephyr tried to get around it, but Rainbow kept zapping him! Then, he tried to find another way out, but Rainbow just chased him around, zapping him every time he headed towards an opening. And all the while, Flash winced and cringed at the scene before him.
“Eesh,” Crash muttered. “It’s like this guy is trying to get himself fried.”
“I know,” Flash agreed. “I kind of feel sorry for him.”
“Why?” Crash asked. “He’s asking for this.”
“Yeah,” Flash admitted. “But it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s being zapped repeatedly with lightening. Nopony deserves that.”
“Get back here, Zephyr Breeze!” Rainbow continued to yell. “You will get this job done by the time the other Wonderbolts get back, and you will do it right!”
After a few seconds, Zephyr shouted, “No, I won’t!”
“Why not?” Rainbow demanded.
“Because they’re back!” Zephyr yelped, pointing towards the doors. Except that there were no Wonderbolts there. Rainbow, not knowing this, let out a panicked yell and whipped around.
“Spitfire! I can expla-” Rainbow hastily started. Sadly, in the time it took for her to realize that there was nopony there, get frustrated, and turn around to start lecturing Zephyr, he had already flown out the open window that he had tried to fly through in the first place!
“After him!” Flash shouted, rearing up. He and Crash charged forward in pursuit of the naughty pegasus. When they got within earshot of him, Flash shouted, “Stop flying and land in the name of Princess Level!”
“No!” Zephyr shouted down at them. “And tell your precious Princess that she can hire somepony else to clean her stupid toilet!”
“You asked for it!” Flash shouted. He looked at Crash, hoping to convey with this glance what he intended to do. Crash nodded, without needing to hear a word, and lowered his head. Flash took the opportunity to leap onto his friend’s back. From there, Flash crouched, spread his wings, and waited for the right moment to execute his plan. Any minute now… any minute now…
Finally, Flash felt a strong gust that happened to be blowing in Zephyr’s direction. He smiled, knowing that this was going to go off without a hitch. Not content with waiting any longer, he leapt up, his wings still spread out… and glided.
Zephyr noticed that Flash was now on his tail but, if he was at all worried, he didn’t show it. “I was wondering when you were gonna take to the skies,” he said calmly.
“Stop flying and land!” Flash demanded again.
“Yeah, not gonna happen,” Zephyr denied.
“Yes, it will!” Flash shouted. “Unless you want to end up in jail, you will land, and you will-” His thoughts were cut short when the wind suddenly ran out. He had already flown over the edge of the cliff that housed the Wonderbolts’ Heaquarters. “Uh-oh,” he muttered, then spiraled down with a loud, “AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” Fortunately, he didn’t fall far before he landed face-first on a cloud.
Flash groaned, lifted his head, and spat out a mouthful of cumulus, which floated farther up into the sky. Zephyr, who had stopped to look, laughed and flew away with a triumphant, “Kiss my flank, sucker!” Flash growled in frustration, unable to catch up or even leave the cloud without truly functional wings.
“You okay down there?” Crash called.
“Yeah!” Flash called back up. “Get the balloon!” Even as he said this, his head began to ache with the frustrations of the day, and he had a feeling that it would only get worse.
Level was not going to be happy about this.
“He did what?” Level snapped. He and Crash had made it safely down to Earth, and Flash was filling Level in on what had happened.
“It’s true,” Flash wrapped up his summary. “And then the wind gave out, I crashed onto a cloud, and he flew away and taunted me with, quote, ‘Kiss my flank, sucker!’, unquote.”
“That lousy,” Level growled, letting the thought hang. After letting out a cough, she drooped her head and muttered, “Maybe I was wrong about him. Maybe he isn’t Society material, after all.”
Seeing this, Flash found himself feeling bad for her again. It wasn’t her fault that Zephyr was irresponsible and lazy; that was just the way he was. “Don’t be so sure,” Flash said.
Level looked up and asked, “Huh?”
“Everypony has the power to change, Level,” Flash explained. “You and I are proof of that. It’s just that what we tried didn’t work.”
“Then what will work?” Level asked, tears forming in her already pathetic-looking eyes. “What is it going to take to break through to this guy? From what I’ve heard, even his own sister couldn’t figure out how to get him to be productive.”
“I don’t know,” Flash admitted. “But there’s gotta be a way, just like there was with me. You weren’t willing to give up on him before, and you shouldn’t give up on him now.”
Level wiped her eyes, blew her muzzle, and replied, “Yeah, you’re right. But how to do it? It’s not like he’s willing to listen to reason; we’ve already managed to determine that he isn’t.” She sighed, adding, “So what can we do?”
Flash wasn’t sure what to do. He knew that Level would never give up until Zephyr Breeze was a member of the Society. And, deplorable though Zephyr was, he wasn’t completely beyond hope. But that still didn’t change the fact that Flash hadn’t made any progress with him. But, surely, there was still something that could be done…
Suddenly, an idea dawned on Flash that was so obvious that he couldn’t believe he hadn’t thought of it sooner. “Maybe,” he muttered, “there’s nothing we can do.”
Level’s eyes widened. “What?”
“Think about it,” Flash reasoned. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve never even heard of this Zephyr guy until you brought him up. If we don’t know him, how can we reform him?”
Level looked like she was about was about to object, but instead she sneezed powerfully, causing her latest errant beam of magic to turn the fireplace into a doll-sized castle, still connected to the burrito-chimney by a pipeline of brick. She sniffled and sighed, “I wish that didn’t make sense. But maybe you’re right; maybe this isn’t our fight.”
“Exactly,” Flash agreed. “Just curious: what made you want Zephyr to join the Society in the first place? He’s obviously not reformed.”
“Well,” Level replied with a deep, sick snort, “during my days as Golden Chaos, I studied the families of all the Mane Six, hoping to come across something that I could use to take them down. I stumbled across Zephyr Breeze while looking at Fluttershy’s family and, seeing that his personal history lacked absolutely anything positive, decided that it would be a waste of my time to even give him a second thought. In a rare twist of fate, my Dark Side had been right; Zephyr Breeze never once became important in the grand scheme of things.
“A few days ago, however, I got a note from Azalea. She said that a member of Fluttershy’s family who was so obscure that she had never heard of him until about a month or so prior to her writing the note could well play a very important part in Equestrian history sometime in the near future. I knew right away what that meant; Zephyr was destined to become a member of the Royal Society of the Reformed. I did a bit of digging and found out that he was floundering in the Cloudsdale Mane Therapy School and was planning on dropping out. I planned to speak with him and try to reform him after he left but, naturally, by the time that happened, I was already sick.”
“And that’s why you called me,” Flash guessed.
“Yeah,” Level confirmed. “I was hoping that you could reform Zephyr on my behalf but, as you can see, it didn’t work out that way.”
“Maybe it doesn’t have to,” Flash suggested. “You said that he was staying with Fluttershy, right? Well, what if she’s the one who’s meant to reform him? Maybe, with the help of one or two of her friends, she can get to him and convince him not to be such a lazybones.”
Level paused to consider this. After a few seconds - and a cough – she finally said, “You know something? You may be right. I’m not sure why Azalea wrote to me about Zephyr Breeze, but I guess that, sometimes, you just have to accept the fact that you can’t carry the weight of the entire world on your shoulders. One way or another, you’ll have to trust that things will work out for the best.” Looking worried all of a sudden, she asked, “But will that actually happen? I mean, I don’t want to throw in the towel and then learn that we were Zephyr’s last hope for redemption, after all.”
“Well, there’s only one way to find out,” Flash replied. “Princess Level, I humbly request to stay in Ponyville until your full recovery. That should take a few days and, by then, we should have an answer as to whether or not Fluttershy was able to reform him.”
“Request granted,” Level wholeheartedly agreed.
A few days later…
Flash knocked on the door of Level’s cottage once again. After several days of just hanging out in Ponyville – wandering around town and doing stuff with Crash – he had approached the cottage and found that the force field that had surrounded it was gone. Hoping that meant what he thought it meant, he’d decided to speak to Level.
When Level answered the door, Flash’s first indication that things were looking up was that she used her magic to turn the handle. When the door swung open, she looked much better. She was still a little bleary-eyed and her face was more pink than magenta, but she no longer looked like a zombie who had died of pneumonia. “Hey, Level,” Flash greeted her. “You feeling better?”
“Much,” Level confirmed, her voice no longer the slightest bit nasal. “My fever broke last night, and I’ll likely be completely better by the end of tomorrow.”
“Good for you,” Flash said with a smile. “What about Zephyr?”
“You know, it’s funny you should ask,” Level mused. “I wrote Azalea telling her all that had happened, and she wrote back saying that she never expected me – or you – to actually do anything about it but, and I quote, ‘Because Zephyr is a likely candidate for reformation, it couldn’t hurt to know his name,’ unquote.”
“I see,” Flash muttered after a few seconds. “But what about him?”
“In the same letter, Azalea told me that she got wind of him going back to the Cloudsdale Mane Therapy School. Apparently, he is throwing himself into his classes like never before and may well be at the top of his class by the end of the semester.”
“Good for him,” Flash remarked. “I guess that means my job here is done, huh?”
“Looks like it,” Level agreed. “You and Tech are both dismissed back to the Crystal Empire.” As she spoke, she moved aside, allowing her boyfriend to walk out of the house.
“Ready to go?” Tech asked.
“If it means I get to come back to Ponyville later, sure!” Flash agreed. And with that, the two pegasi walked away, happy that everything had turned out for the best.
My Little Pony Developed for Television by
Flutter Brutter Written By
Featured (or would-be Featured) Voice Actors
Tara Strong as Level Up
Peter New as Tech Savvy
Vincent Tong as Flash Sentry
Guest (or would-be Guest) Voice Actors
Ryan Beil as Zephyr Breeze
Andrea Libman as Fluttershy
Britt McKillip as Princess Cadence
Tabitha St. Germain as Princess Flurry Heart
Level Up and Tech Savvy belong to me. Everything else is owned by Hasbro and DHX Studios. Thank you.